The newest bill being introduced to congress on behalf of Native Americans pertains to Native American veterans and their families maintaining housing assistance. The bill is meant to amend an oversight in the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act that has caused disabled veterans, their families and survivors to be denied help because they are receiving veterans’ and survivor benefits.
After researching Veterans Pension Programs on the United States Department of Veterans Affairs I have come to the conclusion that in passing this new bill on behalf of the Native Americans would in fact give them greater benefits then an American veteran.
The flaw that Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz. Is trying to bring to light is that benefits that Native Americans veterans receive are counted as income. These benefits can push veterans and survivor families above the limit, making them ineligible and costing them needed assistance.
For an American veteran the law reads:
What is countable income for veteran’s pension eligibility purposes?
This includes income received by the veteran and his or her dependents, if any, from most sources. It includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business.
The bottom line here is that there are benefits and laws applying to Veterans and my thoughts are that the Native American is looking for a loop hole to receive larger or better benefits than an American veteran. If this law passes I am sure it will be superseded by another law allowing for only so many benefits to acquire housing.