Donnelly Lauds VA Decision Not to Support Proposed Budget Cuts to Veterans’ Individual Unemployability Benefits

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today lauded the decision by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin that he will not support moving forward with proposed cuts to Individual Unemployability program for veterans. The Individual Unemployability benefit provides compensation to tens of thousands of disabled veterans who are unable to work and have a significant service-connected disability. The President’s budget submitted to Congress proposes terminating the program. Donnelly had previously written to Shulkin that eliminating the program would be “profoundly unjust”, after hearing from many Hoosiers who were concerned about the proposal.


Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “It is welcome news for Hoosier veterans that the VA will not support proposed budget cuts to benefits for disabled veterans. These men and women deserve all the support we can provide after their service and sacrifice in defense of our nation. It is up to Congress to consider a budget, and I will work with my colleagues and the VA to ensure that we keep our promises to Indiana’s and America’s veterans.”


Last month Donnelly wrote to Shulkin, in part, “I share your view that we must be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. There is no question that the VA has room to improve on increasing efficiency and eliminating waste. However, I firmly believe that providing financial support to deserving veterans who have sustained significant disabilities in the course of serving our nation is an appropriate use of federal funds.”


Shulkin, in his response, said, in part, “…after careful consideration, I determined that I could not support a policy that has the potential to cause significant financial harm to veterans. Recognizing that finalizing the VA budget is a collaborative process, I look forward to continuing to work with Congress on how to best serve our Veterans and continue our most important programs.”

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