Representative Steve Driehaus announced that he has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives which would protect state-provided bonuses for veterans. The bill would exempt state-provided bonuses from being counted as income in the calculation of benefits for Social Security and other means-tested programs.
"The people of Ohio have decided that our veterans have earned additional support because of their service to our nation, and it isn't fair for those bonuses to be counted against the other benefits they have earned. This legislation will ensure that veterans in Ohio and other states will enjoy bonuses as they were intended and still receive the support and resources they need," said Rep. Driehaus.
Representative Driehaus's bill would provide exemptions to current members of the armed forces, veterans of the Gulf War and those who have served since September 11, 2001. Currently, at least seven states offer veterans' bonus programs.
Representative Driehaus's legislation would prevent state-provided veterans' bonuses from being counted as income and thereby negatively affecting the means-tested benefits that some veterans and their dependents receive. This legislation would apply to more than eighty means-tested benefit programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), low income housing, Pell Grants, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP).