Matt Gaetz Wants to Expand Pensions for Veterans Who Reach 100

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced a proposal this week which give veterans who reach the age of 100 qualify for full pensions no matter how much their net worth.

Gaetz introduced the “Joseph Ainsworth Act” which “would change the Net Worth Limitation in Section 1522 of Title 38 by creating an age exemption for veterans older than 99 years old” on Thursday. Two congressmen from Florida–Democrat U.S. Rep. Darren Soto and Republican U.S. Rep. Ross Spano–are cosponsoring the bill.

“The ‘Ainsworth Act’ is specifically named after a Northwest Florida veteran, First Lieutenant Joseph Chester Ainsworth of Pensacola, a 103-year-old Army veteran who was denied aide and attendance relief because of his family’s assets. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs cited the net worth limit as cause for denying First Lieutenant Ainsworth his pension benefits,” Gaetz’s office noted about the proposal. “Under current law, veterans whose net worth exceeds a specific monetary limit are ineligible for pension benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calculates a veterans’ net worth by evaluating the sum of the veterans’ assets plus their annual income. If that value exceeds the limitation the VA has set, the veteran is not eligible to receive pension benefits. The Joseph Ainsworth Act would eliminate the Net Worth Limitation for veterans over 99 years of age.”

Gaetz weighed in on Thursday as to why he introduced the bill.

“Military veterans are the heartbeat of Northwest Florida and are national treasures to the entire country,” Gaetz said. “Eliminating this rule for our military heroes who have achieved such a milestone in their life will help alleviate financial burdens they may endure and also show our nation’s gratitude for their selfless devotion to our country. It is my hope that First Lieutenant Joseph Ainsworth’s situation will be eradicated for future centenarian military veterans and that his service to our country will be immortalized through this legislation.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday. So far, there is no counterpart over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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