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house Bill H.R. 1816

Should the Government Stop Counting Money From the VA as "Income" When Calculating a Vet's Housing Assistance Eligibility?

Argument in favor

Veterans have earned the benefits they receive from the VA for medical purposes, and it makes no sense for those funds to be counted as income which in turn prevents them from getting housing assistance.

PacificCstar's Opinion
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05/20/2015
Let's not be stingy with Veterans. They are only 1% of the population and they served their country. We need to stop thanking them for their service and start showing them we actually appreciate that they went to Germany, The South Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in our place. This isn't a salary negotiation, it's repayment for our personal safety and comfort.
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05/19/2015
Since when have health benefits ever been seen as any form of "income?" Stop the BS and give the veterans their due; they've earned that much respect.
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Vivian's Opinion
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05/21/2015
If some retirees don't have to declare social security benefits, surely, surely there's no need for Veterans to declare the compensation they receive for service and often irreversible harm to their mental and physical persons.
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Argument opposed

All income that a person receives has to be counted that way when HUD disburses housing assistance — whether it’s from a pension, Social Security, or VA medical payments.

Joey's Opinion
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05/20/2015
The rules should be the same for everyone. However, what we should be asking is "Are the current veterans pensions sufficient?"
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Mark's Opinion
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06/13/2016
Income is income regardless of how it was earned.
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Hannah's Opinion
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05/19/2015
If not counting money from the VA would make our vets more eligible for housing then, no, it should not be counted. There are more vacant houses than homeless people in the U.S. Our vets are important. They took care of us, let's take care of them.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house Passed May 18th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedApril 15th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 1816?

This bill would exclude payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans from being considered as family income for housing assistance purposes by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

It would give more veterans the ability to receive housing benefits that they were unable to access under current law because of aid and attendance benefits received from the VA — which are intended to be used for medical care, but have been considered as income by HUD.

Impact

Veterans receiving aid and attendance benefits from the VA, taxpayers, HUD.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1816

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

Veterans comprise as much as 12 percent of the total homeless population in the U.S., and there are an estimated 1.4 million who are considered to be at risk of homelessness because of poverty, and substandard housing conditions, among other conditions.


In-Depth:

similar version of this bill was passed by the House through a voice vote in October 2013, but it failed to advance from Committee in the Senate during the 113th  Congress. That version of the bill also would have covered utility expenses -- preventing those from being counted as part of a veteran's income.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: NPR)

AKA

Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2015

Official Title

To exclude from consideration as income under the United States Housing Act of 1937 payments of pension made under section 1521 of title 38, United States Code, to veterans who are in need of regular aid and attendance.

    Let's not be stingy with Veterans. They are only 1% of the population and they served their country. We need to stop thanking them for their service and start showing them we actually appreciate that they went to Germany, The South Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in our place. This isn't a salary negotiation, it's repayment for our personal safety and comfort.
    Like (19)
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    The rules should be the same for everyone. However, what we should be asking is "Are the current veterans pensions sufficient?"
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Since when have health benefits ever been seen as any form of "income?" Stop the BS and give the veterans their due; they've earned that much respect.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    If some retirees don't have to declare social security benefits, surely, surely there's no need for Veterans to declare the compensation they receive for service and often irreversible harm to their mental and physical persons.
    Like (6)
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    We need to support and help our veterans as much as possible. They have paid enough already.
    Like (3)
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    Benefits don't equal income. Especially when those benefits are usually alloyed for medical or general living purposes.
    Like (3)
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    Can we please stop screwing our veterans now?
    Like (3)
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    Finding a home or employment is tough enough for every veteran who's no longer part of the military. This will help them manage everyday life concerning their income rate in civilian life.
    Like (2)
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    Yes! That's the same as the dirty trick of taxin Social Security. This however is just a ruse to deny veterans their benefits. Despicable.
    Like (2)
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    Often there is not much left of a disabled veteran's ability to function in society in a noble and dignified way. Do not means test anyone who has a combat related disability regardless of their income.
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    As a Veteran who can't work, yet not appropriate for a job program, it is the disability I do receive that makes me ineligible and barely living 1st to 1st every month.
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    What a joke! As if vets physically, mentally and in most combat cases, "emotionally disabled", need any more hardship from the government. It should NOT be counted as income. When are the Feds going to get the point? Did George Bush required his two daughters up to go to Iraq in a combat support unit for the infantry? All these lawmakers who cry, "war time", are rarely if ever mothers and fathers who would ever send their kid to combat! Yet have no problem with any other parent doing their service as long as it doesn't affect their family or lifestyle. When are we going to get it people? Our vets need to best care we can get them, combat or not. For every one person in the infantry there are 9 support personnel. Combat or not, God Aweful amounts of vets have PTSD and we give them pathetic care. Now we need to make it harder to have a roof over their head? Common people the only reason corporations live in the luxury they do is because of our diplomacy and military. Roughly 22% of 33% percent taxes on your check go to "corporate subsidies"! I don't remember the last Version, Chevy or any other corporate executive was sleeping in dirt, eating MRE's and taking rounds. We bailed Chevy out, and the CEO was whining about his 35 million dollar salary getting reduced? Unbelievable to say the least! The top 400 wealthiest people in America make more than 50% of our population combined? It's time we step up to the plate, pull our heads out of our a*=#ss and take care of those who take care of us! Housing should not even be a concern for vets.
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    Leave the disabled veteran tax exempt.
    Like (1)
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    It's seems that the only thing government can do right is screw something up! It's really good at screwing things up. During the last government shutdown 80% of federal workers were furloughed because they are non essential personnel, if they are non essential why do they even have jobs? Fire these non essential employees then there will be plenty of money to take care of veterans.
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    The vets are getting the shaft at every turn. How dare money be taken away from them to out into programs for illegals. That is shameful!
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    Yes, VA benefits should not be counted as "income". They are generally compensation for disabilities directly resulting from military service.
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    Our vets are treated like second class citizens.
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    As a Marine Corps combat veteran, I feel this is money I have earned and should not be taken away in any way.
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    VA income should be a subsidy to total taxable income. It is a benefit award
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    Makes sense to me.
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