March 29, 2013 |
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, with medical care and disability benefits weighing heavily for decades to come, according to a new analysis. The bill to taxpayers so far has been $2 trillion, plus $260 billion in interest on the resulting debt. By comparison, the current federal budget is $3.8 trillion. The costs of the wars will continue to mount, said the study's author, Linda Bilmes, a public policy expert at Harvard University.
March 8, 2013 |
Question: When I moved into my apartment building about two years ago, I had a job as a physical therapy assistant. About three months ago, however, I had a bad bicycle accident, and now I can't work. Currently, my main source of income is disability insurance from my employer and state disability benefits. When the apartment manager saw me around the apartment complex during the day, she asked me whether I was still working. I explained to her that I was on disability. She seemed concerned about this and about a week later served me with a 60-day notice terminating my tenancy.
August 9, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Hopes for a last-minute agreement to overhaul the state's $11-billion workers' compensation system are growing as the end of the 2012 legislative session approaches. A small group of labor unions and large employers has been meeting quietly since April to craft legislation that would cut administrative, legal and medical costs enough to fund a significant boost in benefits paid to workers who suffer permanent disabilities from job-related injuries or illnesses. And an agreement seems imminent.
July 19, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Ruth Moore described herself as a "vivacious" 18-year-old serving in the Navy when, she says, a superior raped her outside a club in Europe. After that, she attempted suicide and was discharged, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder — an ailment she says she did not have. Moore applied for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs but was denied multiple times — despite submitting witness testimony that she had been raped and subsequently treated for chlamydia.
June 17, 2012 |
The war gave him flashbacks and nightmares. He flailed around in his sleep, bruising his arms. Memories of being bombed and rocketed seemed real, and painfully intense. Tech Sgt. Stanley Friedman was ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the signature disability from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few weeks ago, Friedman received his first 70% disability check for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It wasn't for service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
April 25, 2012
The Social Security trustees projected this week that funding for retirement benefits will run short in 2033, three years sooner than had been estimated a year ago. After that, the program will be able to pay only about 75% of the amount now promised to retirees and the disabled. That's still a long way off, and lawmakers may not want to meddle with Social Security in an election year. But the longer Congress waits to deal with the problem, the harder it will be to solve. The last time lawmakers made significant changes to Social Security was in 1983, when they raised payroll taxes and gradually increased the retirement age. Those changes were made not just to solve a near-term funding crisis but also to gird the system for the baby boom generation's retirement.