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Cramer, Hoeven cosponsors of bill to help disabled veterans

Senators. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven are among a number of U.S. senators cosponsoring the Major Richard Star Act, to provide combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service their full benefits.

“Military retirement pay and disability payments are two completely different benefits. One should not diminish the merits of the other, but veterans are being denied their rightfully earned retirement pay because they incurred a disability as a result of combat action,” said Cramer. “Our bipartisan legislation fixes this discrepancy, allowing veterans to receive the full benefits they have earned and deserve.”

“Our veterans make tremendous sacrifices to protect this great nation,” said Hoeven. “This legislation cuts red tape and would ensure that veterans who have been injured in combat receive the full benefits they rightly deserve.”

Under current law, only military veterans who retire after 20 years of service and are over 50 percent disabled may receive full payment of both Department of Veterans Affairs disability payments and Department of Defense retirement funds. This legislation would benefit about 42,000 combat-disabled veterans who have not served a full 20 years and were forced to retire early as a result of their disability.

The bill would repeal the offset, allowing disabled veterans to receive both their retirement pay and their disability compensation. It is named in honor of Maj. Richard A. Star, a father, husband, and decorated war veteran who was medically retired as a result of combat-related injuries and lost his battle with cancer on Feb. 13.

The bill is endorsed by veterans service organizations like Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, Military Coalition and Military Officer Association of America.

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