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U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-GA, is leading an effort to ensure that combat-disabled veterans are not penalized for re-entering the workforce. Scott’s Purple Heart Freedom to Work Act would help eliminate barriers for these service members by raising the current monthly disability benefit for these veterans from $1,470 per month to $2,460 per month, the statutorily allowed maximum level.

Several members of the Georgia delegation also signed on to the bipartisan legislation including U.S. Reps. Rick Allen, R-GA, Buddy Carter, R-GA, Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA, Rich McCormick, R-GA, and David Scott, D-GA.

“Veterans should be able to freely work in the country that they sacrificed to protect without losing the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits that they are entitled to,” Scott said. “This legislation ensures that our combat-disabled veterans do not have to choose between returning to the workforce or keeping their benefits.”

Scott said too many veterans also face barriers when trying to access the benefits they deserve, and that this bill would go a long way in supporting these veterans after they return home.

“With an increased income threshold, they would be able to more freely pursue the careers and the well-rounded lives they want in our communities.”

Scott explained that currently any combat-disabled veteran who earns an income in excess of $1,470 per month loses 100 percent of their SSDI for being actively engaged in the workforce.

“This unacceptably low limit deters workforce participation and disincentivizes injured veterans from pursuing jobs, promotions, or working overtime,” Scott said.

Additionally, this bill would ensure combat-disabled veterans retain their SSDI benefits in cases when earned income exceeds the new threshold. Scott said the bill introduces a $4-to-$1 offset, eliminating the SSDI benefits cliff by gradually reducing benefits only after a veteran’s salary rises above $2,460 per month, Scott explained.

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