Veterans Affairs: 'Gray Area Retirees'- Issues and Related Legislation [September 10, 2009]   [open pdf - 138KB]

From the Summary: "The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a broad range of benefits and services to American veterans and to certain members of their families. In addition, the Department of Defense (DOD) offers a variety of benefits to veterans who are also military retirees. When members of the National Guard or the Reserve who have not yet reached age 60 retire (usually after at least 20 years of service), however, they are not entitled to certain federal benefits, including health care. These military retirees are commonly known as 'Gray Area Retirees' (GARs)." "The concept of 'veteran' is defined by federal statute and includes various criteria, such as discharge status, 'active' service, time of service, and length of duty. Based upon their military service and the eligibility criteria, it may be difficult for members of the National Guard and members of the various Reserve Components to qualify as 'veterans' for purposes of VA benefits. Therefore, not every member of the Guard or the Reserve will be considered a 'veteran' for the purposes of VA benefits. Congressional interest has focused on this group of military retirees, and bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress, which, if enacted, would provide certain benefits to this particular group of military retirees."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40815
Public Domain
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