Congressman Matt Gaetz Introduces “Ainsworth Act” to Secure Full Pension Benefits for Centenarian Military Veterans

February 6, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today introduced legislation to allow centenarian military veterans to qualify for full pension benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs regardless of their net worth. The “Joseph Ainsworth Act” would change the Net Worth Limitation in Section 1522 of Title 38 by creating an age exemption for veterans older than 99 years old.

 

The “Ainsworth Act” is specifically named after a Northwest Florida veteran, First Lieutenant Joseph Chester Ainsworth of Pensacola, a 103-year-old Army veteran who was denied aide and attendance relief because of his family’s assets. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs cited the net worth limit as cause for denying First Lieutenant Ainsworth his pension benefits.

 

Under current law, veterans whose net worth exceeds a specific monetary limit are ineligible for pension benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calculates a veterans’ net worth by evaluating the sum of the veterans’ assets plus their annual income. If that value exceeds the limitation the VA has set, the veteran is not eligible to receive pension benefits. The Joseph Ainsworth Act would eliminate the Net Worth Limitation for veterans over 99 years of age.

 

“Military veterans are the heartbeat of Northwest Florida and are national treasures to the entire country,” Congressman Matt Gaetz said. “Eliminating this rule for our military heroes who have achieved such a milestone in their life will help alleviate financial burdens they may endure and also show our nation’s gratitude for their selfless devotion to our country. It is my hope that First Lieutenant Joseph Ainsworth’s situation will be eradicated for future centenarian military veterans and that his service to our country will be immortalized through this legislation.”

A copy of the “Ainsworth Act” is available PDF iconHERE and text of the bill may be found below:

 

LEGISLATION TEXT

 

To amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the application of the Department of Veterans Affairs net worth limitation to veterans otherwise eligible for pension payments who are over the age of 99.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Joseph Ainsworth 4 Act’’.

 

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON APPLICATION OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NET WORTH LIMITATION TO VETERANS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR PENSION PAYMENTS WHO ARE OVER THE AGE OF 99.

 

Section 1522 (a) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘‘unless the age of the veteran exceeds 99 years,’’ after ‘‘this title,’’.

 

 

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