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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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broncovet

2020 Cola announced

Question

The 2020 Cola has been announced for Social Security.  Its just 1.6%

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/social-security-increase-cola-2020-raise-190813496.html

Veterans is likely to be the same.  For a 100 percent, married Vet this means his comp will go up $51.63 per month to 3278.78.

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Thanks, Bronc, I've been waiting for this as early October is when they usually come out with ithe rate and the VA benefits always follow the same increase. As the article says, many will feel it doesn't reflect what the real inflation has been to them, it is better than "a stick in the eye." We have seen nothing for an increase some years, so I'll take it for what it is. Thanks for sharing.

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There was talk (in congress) to make Vets Cola automatic, but I dont know if that went anywhere.  

Of course, what happens is that inflation is much higher than the government admits, so seniors, if they live long enough, get "eaten alive" with inflation.  

We often dont notice it...our pay does not keep up with inflation...but you see it when you see someone on social security who has been on it for decades.  My father got 364 for social security.  Mine is triple that.  ONE problem is medicare part B, which always goes up faster than inflation.  Usually health care goes up "double digits" or nearly so every year.  So what happens is medicare part b often goes up so that our cola barely covers medicare, if at all. 

I tried opting out of Part B medicare, which you can do.  Its about 135 per month, taken out of your social security check.  For me, that was a bad idea.  What it means is this:  


 

Quote

I trust VA will always take care of all my health care needs forever.  

Now that's a mistake.  You see, if you opt out of Part B, then go back in, there is a severe penalty.  The only way I got around it was that I was disabled before age 65, so I had 2 chances to opt into medicare part b..one when I got disabled, again when I turned 65.  No penalty.  Of course, that could or maybe already has changed.  

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$51.63/month? Almost enough to take a family to the movies once, without visiting the snack bar

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3 hours ago, broncovet said:

I tried opting out of Part B medicare, which you can do.

I will assume then that being 100% VA disabled doesn't cover the Part B? I was wondering for when I turn 65 I am required to signup for Tricare for Life (which is basically Medicare Part B). I was hoping that I would not need to since I am also covered by the VA. I am thinking I am wrong, like you Bronco I wanted to save the $135 per month.

 

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I hate paying the cost of part B for Medicare as I am sure most do... but as a military retiree I feel I was shafted twice. The Army always said stay to retirement and get health care for life., then what did they do ? The government reneged on that promise,  and the courts said just because a recruiter ( includes the active duty career counselor)   said this doesn't make it true. What a bunch of bull.  But before the Supreme court ruled in, the Government decided to give us Tricare , of course there is a cost to that too. Then congress decided to tie Tricare ( for life) to Medicare,  so now if a retiree doesn't pay for Medicare he also loses Tricare.  It doesn't matter if your 65 or younger..don't take Medicare when your eligible  you will lose tricare.   Of course when we take Medicare , we no longer have to pay for Tricare but any one in this boat knows Tricare was a lost cheaper. So now we get this wonderful cost of living increase.  Its very unlikely that 1.6% actually comes close to the actual cost of living.  Of course 1.6% is better than nothing... but if you are paying for Medicare Part B the  chances are the 1.6% increase will only cover the increase in Medicare Part B. The Government gives it and the takes it away all in one swoop. 

As a military retiree I don't think my Tricare should have been tied to Medicare, anymore than my Army retirement should have been tied to my VA compensation.   But cost aside,  I am very grateful to have three ways of paying for my health care ( VA, Tricare, and Medicare) . Many feel  lucky if they have only one health care insurance.  So I am blessed in this regard.   

As to the 1.6% increase for Social Security,  well in the long run it might be cheaper if we didn't get the raise because under the rules no increase in cost of living means no increase in Part B  Medicare. No matter how you look at it... it is better than nothing, but its not much.  Now, I sure do look forward to that increase in my Civil Service Retirement , VA disability check, and my Army Retirement,  because those raises especially together  add up to real money. 

Of course I think I say the same thing every time the cost of living percentage is announced.

 

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