There are a lot of needs-based programs that take your income level into account when distributing benefits. Many veterans may be concerned about how a change in jobs could affect their benefits or if they would receive benefits at all if they apply depending on their income level. You can at least earn income while on VA benefits, but does the VA reduce your benefits if you make too much money? This practice is known as means testing. If you want to learn more about VA benefits and any potential means testing within the program, Tabak Law is here to help!
Do VA Benefits Undergo Means Testing?
Means testing is basically a process where income is determined based on set standards and then your benefit is reduced based on that income. For those with income below a certain threshold, the full benefit is typically received. Spending on the program may be a scaled benefit or you may lose your benefit all together if your income surpasses a certain threshold.
VA benefits do not work like this. Currently, all VA benefits do not undergo any sort of means testing. In other words, regardless of income, your benefit will not change. A recent congressional budget office proposal sought to change that.
What Was the VA Benefits Congressional Budget Office Proposal?
Back in December of 2022, the congressional budget office submitted a proposal that would begin means testing VA benefits starting in 2024. The idea was to phase out benefits at a constant rate based on income if their household income was $125,000 or greater in 2023. Those with incomes between $125,000 and $170,000 would receive reduced benefits based on a scale and those who made $170,000 a year or more would receive no benefits.
These income levels would have been adjusted for inflation each year, and there was no planned adjustment for household size or things of that nature. It was estimated that this would affect 1.5 million of the 5 million veterans receiving VA benefits or 30%.
What Happened to the Congressional Budget Office Proposal?
In truth, the proposal was just that, a proposal. It never appeared in any official budget or bill. Instead, it was merely one of many “ideas” to reduce the deficit over the next decade. Inclusion or exclusion of any option by the CBO does not imply an endorsement or a rejection.
Based on the response across social media and from many news outlets across the political spectrum, this was not a well-liked idea, and will likely not enter into any proposed bills, budgets, or executive orders any time soon.
Need Help Getting VA Benefits?
If you need help getting the VA benefits that you deserve, whether you are applying for benefits or applying for a rate increase, Tabak Law is here to help. We have years of experience in the field and have helped many veterans get additional benefits, especially after rejection. We can a provide free consultation. Reach out to us today!
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