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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: August 30, 2010
Creator: Morman, Armaad R.
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries. This report addresses congressional and constituent issues such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others.
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U.S. Periods of War

U.S. Periods of War

Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Description: Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: October 4, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial veterans' benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial veterans' benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others.
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Veterans' Benefits: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors

Veterans' Benefits: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers directly, or in conjunction with other federal agencies, several benefits for surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of deceased veterans to provide them with financial, educational, and emotional support. Among these various programs, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly tax-free cash payment for eligible surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents. This report outlines the eligibility requirements and benefit levels for DIC, the policy issues associated with DIC, and legislation in the 111th Congress related to DIC.
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Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several pension benefit programs for veterans as well as their surviving spouses and dependent children. The most current pension programs available (for those meeting the eligibility criteria on or after January 1, 1979) are the Improved Disability Pension for certain low-income veterans and the Improved Death Pension for certain low-income surviving spouses or children of veterans. There is also a special pension for Medal of Honor recipients. This report describes these programs, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels. This report will be updated as needed to reflect legislative activity and changes to benefits or eligibility requirements.
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Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities

Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities

Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Weimer, Douglas Reid
Description: This report describes disability compensation, which is a benefit Congress provides to American veterans and their dependents through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Disability compensation is a monthly cash benefit program for veterans currently impaired from past service-connected activities.
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Federal Employees: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Congress has linked adjustments in federal pay to the ECI so that wages for federal employees will remain competitive with wages paid by firms in the private sector. Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. These annual adjustments in federal employee pay-which are distinct from any pay raises associated with within-grade step increases or promotions to a higher pay grade-are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI. Under certain circumstances, the President may limit the annual increase in federal pay by executive order.
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Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees

Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees

Date: December 22, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the retirement benefits for federal employees that are governed by chapters 83 (CSRS) and 84 (FERS) of Title 5 of the United States Code.
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Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

Date: December 30, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Federal employees with permanent appointments earn pension benefits under one of two retirement plans. Employees hired after 1983 participate in the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Employees hired before 1984 participate in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) unless they elected to transfer to the FERS during open seasons held in 1987 and 1998. This report discusses the changes in legislation that allowed veterans who subsequently became civilian federal employees to count their years of active-duty military service toward retirement eligibility and pension benefits under CSRS.
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Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: January 4, 2011
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: Report providing a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: January 4, 2011
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several pension benefit programs for veterans as well as their surviving spouses and dependent children. The most current pension programs available (for those meeting the eligibility criteria on or after January 1, 1979) are the Improved Disability Pension for certain low-income veterans and the Improved Death Pension for certain low-income surviving spouses or children of veterans. There is also a special pension for Medal of Honor recipients. This report describes these programs, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels. This report will be updated as needed to reflect legislative activity and changes to benefits or eligibility requirements.
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Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. The taxable wage base is $106,800 in 2011. This report discusses both retirement funds.
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Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress

Early Withdrawals and Required Minimum Distributions in Retirement Accounts: Issues for Congress

Date: January 7, 2011
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: In response to the economic downturn, Congress considered providing relief to Americans by suspending two tax penalties on defined contribution retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). This report discusses the reasons offered in support of suspending these provisions, as well as the drawbacks. This report also presents data that estimates the number of households that these proposals would impact. Borrowing from retirement plans as an alternative to withdrawals is also discussed. Finally, the report discusses the kinds of proposals offered to either suspend or eliminate the early withdrawal penalty or the required minimum distribution provision.
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Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report describes recent trends in the number of civil service annuitants and the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.
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Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues

Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues

Date: January 12, 2011
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Description: The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses.
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The Military Survivor Benefit Plan: A Description of Its Provisions

The Military Survivor Benefit Plan: A Description of Its Provisions

Date: January 12, 2011
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Description: This report describes the basic provisions of the military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and all relevant changes or modifications that have occurred since its creation in 1972.
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Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test: How Earnings Affect Benefits

Date: January 14, 2011
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Shelton, Alison M.
Description: Social Security benefits received before a person attains full retirement age (FRA) are subject to an actuarial reduction for early retirement and also may be reduced by the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (RET) if the beneficiary has earnings that exceed an annual threshold. This report explains how the RET is applied under current law and provides detailed benefit examples to show how the RET affects both the worker beneficiary and any family members (auxiliary beneficiaries) who receive benefits based on the worker beneficiary’s record. The report points out features of the RET that are not widely known or understood, such as the recomputation of benefits when a beneficiary attains FRA to adjust (increase) benefits to take into account months for which no benefit or a partial benefit was paid as a result of the RET. Finally, the report discusses policy issues related to the RET, including recent research on the effect of the RET on work effort and the decision to claim Social Security benefits.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 18, 2011
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
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Legal Issues Related to Proving “Service Connection” for VA Disability Compensation: Statutory Presumptions

Legal Issues Related to Proving “Service Connection” for VA Disability Compensation: Statutory Presumptions

Date: March 3, 2011
Creator: Reid Weimer, Douglas
Description: This report provides a basic overview of various statutory presumptions that help veterans substantiate a service-connected claim for disability compensation.
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Veterans Affairs: A Preliminary Analysis of the FY2012 Appropriations Request

Veterans Affairs: A Preliminary Analysis of the FY2012 Appropriations Request

Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Scott, Christine & Panangala, Sidath Viranga
Description: This report provides a preliminary analysis of the President's budget request for FY2012 for the programs administered by the VA. This report is not an exhaustive discussion of VA's budget request for FY2012. A full CRS report on FY2012 VA budget and appropriations issues is planned after initial congressional consideration of appropriations legislation.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: June 1, 2011
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the VA have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department