Will the VA and Veterans Be Impacted by the Impending Federal Budget Sequestration?
If you have kept up with the national news in the last few days and weeks, much of the talk has been about “sequestration,” which is federal budget cuts mandated by a 2011 deficit reduction law. The cuts are scheduled to go into effect today. Congress and the White House have been trying to strike a deal to avoid these cuts, but so far nothing has been agreed upon. You may have heard politicians or commentators on television referring to these upcoming budget cuts as being “across the board,” meaning all government agencies and functions would be impacted.
Many disabled military veterans or their survivors live on a fixed income and depend on monthly compensation or pension benefits from the VA. Fortunately, not all of what you may have heard in the news is true. The cuts would not be “across the board.” The federal Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (“PAYGO”) provides that “all programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs” shall be exempt from reductions due to sequestration. This means that VA monetary and medical benefits programs will continue without interruption even if sequestration goes into effect. Although the various factions in the federal government cannot agree on much when it comes to budget, fortunately they can all agree that our nation’s veterans should not be the ones made to suffer.