It has been brought to my attention that I’m currently not eligible for benefits through the Veterans Affairs system. After visiting the local VA clinic here in North Platte to get some information, I filed an application for benefits and was informed a few weeks later that I earned too much money to qualify.

I asked myself, after serving 20-plus years in the military and being retired, why is there an earned income ceiling for benefits? You would think that anyone retired without a service-connected disability would be eligible for benefits.

I understand from the local Lincoln County Veterans Service Office representative that back in 2003, VA instituted a ceiling on earned income in order to qualify. Why the ceiling was put into place is beyond my understanding of the program. I’m wondering how many active-duty and retirees know they’re not eligible for benefits due to the ceiling on earned income? I don’t expect this situation to change overnight.

The bottom line for me is that the income qualification policy is wrong. With all the talk lately about supporting our veterans, I find the VA policy to be a slap in the face to those who have proudly served their country and those who are actively serving now.

Ronald L. Malandrini

Retired Navy, 1974-1994

North Platte

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