CAFC Wins a Major Victory For California’s Disabled Veterans:
The bill, SB 285, was authored by California Senator Rod Wright. It was introduced at the request of CAFC in cooperation with the American Retirees Association (ARA), a group we have a long association with .
SB 285 codifies existing federal law, United States Code, Title 38, Section 5301 into our states statutes to assure it is followed in our state courts. Although federal law is very clear in its wording and intent, civil court judges nationwide have routinely ignored it. The result has been illegal attachments and garnishments of the disability compensation and erroneously calculating veterans’ disability compensation into divorce settlements as a divisible asset or income.
Once again the experience and effectiveness of CAFC proved its worth. SB 285 passed California legislature without a single no vote, even though similar efforts in Iowa, West Virginia and Oklahoma have failed so far. We hope our victory will revitalize efforts in those states. CAFC is pleased to announce we have already received commitments from legislators in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to follow the California lead.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this announcement this was another national first to correct inequities that veterans have faced in our courts spearheaded by CAFC. CAFC also lead the nation in passing laws to help protect military parents’ child custody rights and fair child support treatment. What CAFC started in 2004/2005 has now led to approximately 30 states passing laws and changes at the Federal Level. For more details on our work for military parents please read this recent AmeriForce story and here.
CAFC wants to express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for Senator Rod Wright’s unwavering willingness to stand up for our nation’s disabled veterans and the American Retirees Association for sponsoring the bill. CAFC also want to thank all of the approximately twenty four veterans groups that are part of the California State Commanders Veterans Council (CSCVC) and CSCVS for their support and help.
There is still a lot of work ahead and your help is the only way CAFC can continue our efforts to finish the job. We feel honored and privileged that our efforts are helping. A generous donation to CAFC will help us continue this valuable work.
SUPPLEMENTAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
According to Veteran's Affairs (VA), 60,000 U.S. service personnel have been wounded or have struggled with psychological disorders in the wake of their tours in Iraq since 2003. The percentage of amputees is the highest since the Civil War and the VA estimates that up to one-third of all those who have served in Iraq suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). See Boston Globe Story here.
Additional as with disabled people on SSI benefits most disabled vets are barely living on $700.00 to $800.00 a month and even though both SSI and VA benefits are protected against garnishments and attachments. Some agencies and companies are getting around the federal protection laws for disabled persons on SSI and VA benefit as recently reported by CBS News from a AP story: Creditors Use Loop Hole to Seize Benefits: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/03/business/main5057911.shtml?source=search_story.
Please read more here and read: CAFC Helps Disabled Veterans with Family Law Reform and Update: SB 285 Wright Veterans Disability benefits for more information on this effort and issue.