Rep. Nehls Introduces Bill to Increase Pension For Medal of Honor Recipients
I recently introduced, H.R. 8973, the Medal of Honor Act, a bill that would increase the special monthly pension for Medal of Honor Recipients to equal an annualized amount of $100,000. Currently, Medal of Honor Recipients just $1,489.73 per month.
Since the first Medal of Honor was presented in 1863, there have been 3,515 Medal of Honor recipients, with 65 currently living. On April 27, 1916, Congress created the Army and Navy Medal of Honor Roll and entitled Medal of Honor recipients to a special pension of $10 per month for life. Eligibility for this pension is based solely on receipt of the Medal of Honor and is paid to any eligible individuals who elect to receive it. The monthly payment of $10 remained in effect until 1961 when Congress increased the monthly pension from $10 to $100. Under the Veterans Benefits Act of 2002, Congress increased the monthly payment to $1,000 and directed the Secretary of VA to increase the pension amount to reflect the same percentage as the Social Security COLA. As of December 1, 2021, the Medal of Honor pension is set at $1,489.37 per month.
“The Medal of Honor is the highest military award that our nation can offer. The men and women who have been awarded one have shown the very best of what America represents, courage, bravery, and valor,” I said. “If you can believe it, Medal of Honor Recipients only receive a pension of roughly $18,000 per year. Sadly, I have heard stories of Medal of Honor Recipients struggling financially, especially as they enter old age. We need to do better and I’m proud to introduce this legislation to help ensure these heroes are financially secure.”
“Support and passage of this bill will honor the brave men and women that signed the blank check of their initial enlistment,” said Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha. “Increasing the Medal of Honor Pension will help ensure that Medal of Honor Recipients can always make ends meet, even during hard times.”
Representative Michael Waltz (R-FL-06) has signed on as an original cosponsor.