NewsBytes September 10, 2021     

In this issue:
NDAA and Concurrent Receipt Update
Some Veterans Are Eligible for Education Refunds
Twentieth Anniversary of the September 11 Attack

NDAA and Concurrent Receipt
The House and Senate sponsors of the “Major Richard Star Act” (H.R.1282, S.344), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (Fla.) and Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.) respectively, will file floor amendments to their chambers version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with provisions to the legislation included. This legislation would expand concurrent receipt to include Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) beneficiaries who are medically retired with less than 20 years of service.

Eliminating these unjust and arbitrary offsets to benefits should be a top priority for Congress. Retired pay is for vested years of service paid by the Department of Defense, while disability compensation is for a lifelong injury paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Reducing retirement pay due to a disability is an injustice! Members are strongly urged to use the FRA Action Center.  

Some Veterans Are Eligible for Education Refunds
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is looking for certain veterans who may be eligible for refunds from the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). The VA estimates 115,000 veterans may be entitled to a refund of this benefit. Eligible veterans must have entered active duty from Jan. 1, 1977, to June 30, 1985; completed their first period of service; contributed to VEAP while on active duty and before April 1, 1987; have unused contributions; and not have been dishonorably discharged. 

If you have unused VEAP funds, you should submit VA Form 22-5281, after completing sections 1-6, 14, 15, and 18. It will take 3 to 4 weeks to receive a response and/or refund via U.S. Treasury check. If you are unsure if you are eligible for a refund or whether you participated in VEAP, call the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 domestically or 001-918-781-5678 overseas, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central Time.

Twentieth Anniversary of the September 11 Attack
The 20th anniversary of the world’s deadliest terror attack will be remembered during special services and events being held in New York City, at the Pentagon, and throughout the U.S. this weekend. The recent difficulties with the withdrawal from Afghanistan will overshadow many of the events. 
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York City, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon during the terrorist attacks that were carried out by Al-Qaida, a Muslim militant group founded by Osama bin Laden.  Bin Laden was later killed by U.S. military forces in Pakistan during a May 2011 raid.   

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