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Senators Hassan, Shaheen Join in Introducing Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Veterans with Disabilities Full Military Benefits

Bipartisan Major Richard Star Act Would Allow 42,000 Combat-Injured Veterans to Receive Both Disability Compensation and Retired Pay

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues in introducing the Major Richard Star Act, bipartisan legislation to provide combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service their full benefits.


Currently, 42,000 military retirees with combat-related injuries qualify for retirement pay for their service from the Department of Defense and for disability compensation for injuries acquired in combat from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, for retired veterans with less than 20 years of service, their disability pay is deducted from their retirement pay. The Major Richard Star Act would repeal this unfair offset, allowing veterans with disabilities to receive both their retirement pay and their disability compensation.


“Veterans who were injured in combat deserve full access to the compensation that they have earned through their service,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan legislation would help ensure that veterans who experience disabilities due to their injuries during war receive the full retirement and disability compensation that they are entitled to. I am proud to support this bipartisan bill to better support combat-wounded veterans, and I am grateful for the efforts of the late Major Richard Star for bringing attention to this important issue.”


“We owe our veterans the very best we can provide for their service and sacrifice. Ensuring access to the full benefits they’ve earned and deserve needs be at the top of Congress’ list,” said Senator Shaheen. “Current law unfairly obstructs wounded veterans with less than twenty years of service from securing the full scope of disability pay that they’re entitled to. That is unacceptable and is why I’m glad to partner with this bipartisan group of Senators to right that wrong. I’ll continue to stand up for our service members and veterans to ensure they have the resources they need to live healthy, safe and successful lives when they come home.” 


Senators Hassan and Shaheen are working to support veterans, service members, and their families and improve care to veterans. Senator Hassan is leading a bipartisan, bicameral effort to strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Solid Start program, which aims to contact every veteran multiple times by phone in the first year after they leave active duty to check in and help connect them to VA programs and benefits.


Senators Hassan and Shaheen also helped secure critical priorities for Granite State veterans in bipartisan legislation that was signed into law. The bipartisan veterans package included the Deborah Sampson Act, which Senators Hassan and Shaheen joined in introducing, that would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure that the VA can address the needs of women veterans. Additionally, last year Senators Hassan and Shaheen cosponsored bipartisan legislation, which is now law, to improve veterans’ access to mental health care in New Hampshire and across the country.