July 16, 2010 - The Veterans Disability Protection Act of 2010 (VDPA) will soon go in front of Congress. This particular piece of legislation has been called one of the most momentous and important in decades. Should this legislation pass, it will cement Congress's obligations to completely shield military disability benefits from being destroyed.
When veterans are awarded disability compensation, it is tax free and federally protected from any attachments. Yet everyday, in courtrooms across the country, judges ignore the little issue of federal law and strip veterans of the disability compensation they deserve. Judges violate federal law every time they rule a veteran's disability payments are divisible marital assets. This may not be done intentionally, many civil and divorce court judges are not aware of the difference between military retirement pay and VA disability compensation. Because of this, disability compensation is rolled into divorce settlements when it should not be. It is for this very reason the VDPA was drafted.
The role disability compensation is designed to play in a veteran's life has been defined more than once. Disability compensation is supposed to lend veterans permanently injured in the line of duty financial assistance so they may live productive and complete lives. Congress passing the VDPA demonstrates their support in protecting disability compensation from all third parties, to include creditors. Disability compensation is tax exempt but is not:
Passing the VDPA would mean the disability compensation stays with the eligible veteran and is not given to another, undeserving person. It would also mean every injured soldier who ever has, or ever will, serve, will have their compensation protected.
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