Concurrent Receipts

HEHS-95-136R: Published: Apr 27, 1995. Publicly Released: May 11, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) the methodology the Department of Defense (DOD) used to prepare its report to Congress on concurrent receipt of DOD retirement benefits and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation; and (2) estimated 1-year outlays if Congress allowed concurrent receipt for a limited group of retirees. GAO noted that: (1) DOD generally applied reasonable assumptions in developing its estimate of a $53.5-billion increase in unfunded liability that would result from allowing full concurrent receipt of DOD retirement and VA disability compensation; (2) DOD incorrectly assumed that the entire offset would be attributable to veterans' compensation, which resulted in it overstating the potential unfunded liability by about $3 billion; (3) limiting concurrent receipt of benefits would cost between $227 million and $1.2 billion, depending on how Congress limited concurrent receipt; and (4) while limiting concurrent receipt would reduce the budget impact, it would increase costs, because more veterans would likely apply for VA disability benefits or higher VA disability ratings.

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