Paralyzed Veterans of America urges preserving and strengthening Social Security during hearing on Capitol Hill

Post Date:April 10, 2019

Media Contact: Liz Deakin LizD@pva.org, 202-416-7627

Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2019) — Before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee today, Paralyzed Veterans of America Deputy Executive Director Shaun Castle emphasized the importance of Social Security for millions of veterans with disabilities and their families, and offered ways to address the long-term health of this valuable program.

“For the broader population of veterans with disabilities including millennials like me, it is Social Security that offers a more comprehensive system of supports not only for veterans themselves but their spouses, dependents, and survivors,” said Castle.

For many PVA members, especially the 52% whose disabilities are non-service-connected, Social Security represents a critical source of economic support. “Due to their catastrophic disabilities, most of PVA’s members would likely be eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI).  For those who have non-service-connected disabilities, SSDI may be their only source of financial assistance if they are unable to work,” said Castle.

During his testimony, Castle talked about his own experience as a veteran with a spinal cord injury, and how SSDI gave him the financial means to put his life back together. “I really have SSDI to thank for being there when I needed it the most and the role it played in helping me get to where I am now,” said Castle.

PVA has long supported many efforts to protect and strengthen Social Security, including the Social Security 2100 Act, legislation introduced earlier this year by Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee John Larson. The provisions in this bill would benefit beneficiaries of Social Security and enhance the long term solvency of the system.

As Congress beings to review proposals to enhance Social Security, Castle urged the Subcommittee to consider the specific fundamental principles established by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Social Security Task Force, of which PVA is a member. “It is so important for any changes to Social Security to take into account their impact on all beneficiaries,” said Castle.
 
For more information on PVA’s 2019 policy priorities, please visit www.pva.org/PVAadvocates.