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07-27-2007, 09:26 AM
Lt. Gen. James Terry Scott, chair of the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission (http://www.vetscommission.org/), testified during a joint hearing of the Senate Armed Services (http://armed-services.senate.gov/) and Veterans' Affairs (http://veterans.senate.gov/) committees on Thursday that the Army system for evaluating disabilities is unmanageable and inconsistent, the AP/Arizona Daily Star (http://www.azstarnet.com/news/178213) reports. The commission was created in 2004 to examine how to improve the benefits system. In its review, the commission found that the Army is less likely than other military groups to assign a disability rating of 30% or more, the cutoff for a person to receive lifetime retirement payments and health care. Scott said that the Pentagon "has strong incentive to assign ratings less than 30%" so that the military can avoid paying disability benefits. Scott added, "It is apparent that service members are not well-served." Army officials refuted the allegations.