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Gus Bilirakis Brings Back the Retired Pay Restoration Act

January 9, 2019 - 2:15pm
Gus Bilirakis
Gus Bilirakis

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., who has been the vice chairman of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee before the Democrats flipped the House in November, brought out a proposal to “ensure veterans are able to receive both their VA disability compensation and their military retired pay, eliminating the unfair offset between the two benefits.” 

Bilirakis brought back the “Retired Pay Restoration Act,” which the Florida Republican has pushed before but never got over the finish line, on Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Tusli Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is cosponsoring the legislation. 

On Wednesday, Bilirakis weighed in on his proposal and why he continued to champion it. 

“Our  nation’s veterans have earned and deserve the utmost respect, best possible services and care for the sacrifices they and their families have made to defend this country - especially under the constant threat of global terrorism,” Bilirakis said. “However, under current law, some military retirees have their disability pay deducted from their retirement pay, which is unconscionable.  These are two completely different benefits, and it is wrong for them to count against one another. Plain and simply, it isn’t right to deny veterans the financial compensation they have earned and deserve.”

With Democrats now in charge of the House, Bilirakis said he was happy to have a supporter from the other side of the aisle.  

“I am honored and grateful to have Representative Tulsi Gabbard working alongside me this year, in a bi-partisan manner, to champion this important cause.  I am hopeful that with our combined efforts, this will be the year we are able to finally rectify this injustice,” said Bilirakis.

The American Legion and other veterans groups are backing the legislation.  

“Representative Bilirakis and Gabbard’s introduction of legislation to repeal the remaining vestiges of the disabled veterans tax, known as concurrent receipt, continues a decades-long endeavor to reverse a gross injustice. With passage of this bill by Congress, eligible veterans will never have to choose between payment for their service or the debt owed to them for their sacrifices,” said American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad said.

The bill has been sent to the House Veterans Affairs and the Armed Services Committees. So far, there is no counterpart over in the Senate. 


I was born in Gainesville Florida and went to GHS (Purple Hurricanes). I'm retired Army with 30% disability that is subtracted from my 23 year pension. I live in Kentucky where my wife was from and Rep Massie has supported this bill. I have asked Sen McConnell and Rand to support this if it ever passes the house. I thank Rep Bilirakis for refiling this bill and hope everyone gets behind it. The country needs to finally fix this inequity for those who served when others didn't.

You are disgrace the men and woman you voted to send into harms way. Where were you? Your retirement is gauranteed whether you serve one term or 10. Maybe it should be with held until you have served 20 years to earn retirement

If you qualify for both military retirement and disibilty pay then it needs to be honored. The men and women in the military make enough sacrifices, this is what is right.

So will this bill die at the Committee of Armed Services like the last 2 HR's did.

I'm a 30% disabled retired vet. This act is long overdue!

I'm a victim of this injustice. Concurrent Receipt must be abolished! Thank You for your efforts. Let's get this done please.

Let's stay on point! POTUS Trump is financially "twisting the arms" of 800,000 families, in order to force congress to his (right or wrong) point-of-view. It is a morally corrupt tactic. He should not be successful doing this.

Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with this current resolution.

So much Shit. Ten damn years in control and I have written you fifty time without one damn reply. Yo people on the VA Committees were all a big joke and a bunch of do nothing but blow smoke up us Veterans ASS. I seen you do nothing. Except run around and tell lies and say vote for me , Vote for me. That's all you know. Ten years and ZERO.

I thank you for your effort in this matter. Like they say seeing is believing. If Congress feels we deserve this current receipt, then it will finally pass. If not oh well, back to the drawing board.

I was rated 100% permanently and totally disabled from the day I was medically retired. To this day, my military pension is reduced nearly $400 per month due to concurrent it isn’t just those rated less than 50%. This would be a welcome change for all disabled veterans, even if it isn’t retroactive. Just start making my current retirement pay whole again!

In a short amount of time, half of the U.S. citizens will have served in the Military, due to our war mongers in D.C. A poor job taking care of vets has been going on for years. Next thing you know there will be more vets on the government payroll than SS recipients. A new threat for our citizens from our elected representatives. A clean sweep is necessary for the next Congressional elections. Help our President drain the swamp.

Get a grip Jim. At any given time in the past decade, less than 1 percent of the American population has been on active military duty, compared with 9 percent of Americans who were in uniform in World War II. We military veterans are the least of your misplaced fiscal and political worries. As for draining that swamp, I can only add: Build That Wall !!

Are you saying that service members who serve over 20 years should not be eligible to receive the pension that they were guaranteed when they signed up as well as disability payments for life altering effects of serving? Not clear on your statement.

what has happened is this: If you retire you receive a pension but if you are rewarded a disability rating they take money from your retirement pension. He is trying to stop that. This giving the retired vet his full retirement and full disability pay.

That is correct. If your disability rating is less than 50%, the government withholds whatever dollar amount you receive in disability from your retirement check. Completely asinine!

Good work to both of them! I agree, I would love to see Tulsi make a run for President.

Thank you Reps Bilirakis and Gabbard for looking out for our veterans. I've heard that Tulsi is considering running for President. She is a veteran, served 2 tours overseas in Iraq and Kuwait, and is still serving as a Major in the National Guard. She really cares about her brothers and sisters who are veterans and current service members. She has such integrity and compassion. Wouldn't it be great to have a Commander in Chief who has actually been to was and knows the true costs of war? Tulsi has my vote.

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