Brickbat: Veteran's Benefits


Georgesheldon /

When Elmo Jones of Aurora, Colorado, and his wife divorced, the court found that her son was not fathered by Jones and refused to award her any child support. Despite that, the Department of Veterans Affairs began to garnish his military retirement benefits for child support. When he complained, they demanded he prove the boy was not his son. He sent them a copy of the court ruling and the results of the DNA test, but the agency continued to withhold his pay. Only after a local TV station began asking questions did the VA stop withholding money from Jones' check.


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  1. I’m shocked! Well, not so much about the VA being incompetent, that’s kind of a given at this point.

    I’m shocked that a family court would allow a trifling thing like DNA evidence to let a ‘father’ off the hook for child support payments just because he isn’t the kids biological father. Normally they just go with, ‘If mom says you’re the dad, then you’re the dad, DNA be damned.’ Freaking Maury Povich has higher standards of evidence for paternity than most family courts.

    1. The standard is “The court recognizes you aren’t the father, but you are the closest thing. Therefore you shall pay child support for the good of the child (and to reduce the government’s burden, FYTW).”

      1. The child’s interests come first. This hardly even qualifies as a brickbat when there’s plenty of examples of courts ruling the not-the-daddy still has to pay child support.

        1. and it is still bullshit

      2. Yeah. It sounds like he got lucky. In a lot of places, if you ever acknowledge any responsibility for a child, you are on the hook forever.

  2. Kinda had the opposite experience with my biological father. I did get an education out of it though.

  3. If any of you ever had the slightest affection for me, I beg of you that if my visage adorns the screen along side Maury Povich, that you will be a true friend and shoot me in the head. Twice.

  4. Single-payer health care for the win!

  5. The 57-year-old served in the U.S. Army for 21 years, including combat in the Persian Gulf War. But he’s finding the toughest mission of his life is on home soil.

    I’d pay to see Rambo take on the VA.

    1. Isn’t that the beginning of First Blood?

  6. “they demanded”

    You answer to us peons, not the other way around aka why the government should not exist.

  7. Matt Welch did ta whole hing on this back in 2004. I think it’s what originally got him noticed outside of libertarian circles.

    “What nearly 10 million American men have discovered to their chagrin since the welfare reform legislation of 1996, is that when the government accuses you of fathering a child, no matter how flimsy the evidence, you are one month away from having your life wrecked. Federal law gives a man just 30 days to file a written challenge; if he doesn’t, he is presumed guilty. And once that steamroller of justice starts rolling, dozens of statutory lubricants help make it extremely difficult, and prohibitively expensive, to stop — even, in most cases, if there’s conclusive DNA proof that the man is not the child’s father.”

    “Injustice by Default”

    Matt Welch…

    The government puts the squeeze on women to name a father–any father–in order to get benefits, and if the real father is somebody she doesn’t want to talk to, for whatever reason, she may use the name of somebody she thinks is a nice guy.

    If they send notice to your old address, it doesn’t matter. You get 30 days from the day they send notice to contest, and after that, even a paternity test proving you’re not the father often isn’t enough.

      1. And people wonder why Japanese men are marrying their pillows.

      2. “The court ruling, handed down on Thursday, said that it was paramount to protect the social status of the child…”

        Apparently a child born out of wedlock faces some kind of stigma in Japan?

        1. 2% of Japanese kids are bastardohs.

          1. Yes, some Google research gives me the figure of 2% – and until around 2013, children born out of wedlock had only half of the inheritance rights of legitimate children. Also, at least until 2013, it says right on your birth certificate whether you’re legitimate or illegitimate.

            And the NYT suggests that ending all discrimination against out-of-wedlock births would be just the thing to help increase the ol’ Japanese birthrate.

            1. In light of the dire predictions of population decline, the government might well rethink its discriminatory attitude toward births out of wedlock, which have been a critical factor contributing to the increase in fertility rates in other advanced economies.

              Oh yeah. Needz moar out of wedlock children. Are they completely insane?

              1. To loosely paraphrase Orwell, only an intellectual could believe such bullshit.

                1. Or Benjamin Franklin, but in his defense he was speaking tongue in cheek, portrayed the mother as wishing she was married, and then represents her as marrying one of her judges, which is supposed to be a happy ending.

    1. To the mother? Probably.

  8. The FOX31 Problem Solvers called the VA and emailed its public affairs several times to get some answers.

    The United States Department of Veterans Affairs can be taken down by a local news station? That’s what Obama has done the this country.

    1. It was a small concession for the petty bureaucrats who now get to go back to fucking people over.

  9. I’m fortunate to have survived two hernia operations at the hands of the V.A. This was back in the late ’70s.

    They did okay, but I was pretty young and otherwise healthy at the time. The old guy in the bed next to me claimed he was in the Spanish American war. I believe him.

    1. That war never really ended right?

      1. IIRC, we’re still paying for it with part of our phone bills.

      2. Think we are still paying for it

        1. Good News! According to, we finished paying for the Spanish American War in 2006!

  10. With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

    I’m seeing this story out there and in checking to see how much bullshit it is (lots: “same stage in life” = same age so obviously it should be “millennials earn 20% less because they’re better educated” – they spent four years in college instead of working, so 4 years racking up student debt instead of earning a pay check plus a degree in basketweaving ain’t worth as much as an autobody repair apprenticeship) and I checked on this “Young Invincibles” site. Holy shit, it’s entitled snowflake central over there. You should check it out if you have the stomach for it, it’s everything that’s wrong with this country in one place. (TW: may cause you to lose any shred of hope you have for the future.)

    1. Maybe Monday. No point ruining the weekend.

    2. Thing is, money by itself is a deceptive measure. What matters is what the money can buy. I would argue that someone with a $40K income today is much richer than someone earning 20% more than that a generation ago.

      1. How much value does the internet alone add to a person’s life? I doubt I could quantify it, but I know its a lot more than what I pay my service provider and device manufacturers.

        1. Just think about all the things that have come out over the last thirty or more years, that were a really big deal when they were new, that we take for granted today. The list is ‘UUUUUUGE!

          1. Heck, some things have gone from new to obsolete between now and when the boomers were the millenials’ age. Like the vcr for example.

          2. So many things outside the tech industry too. Building materials like laminate flooring. Auto technologies like airbags. The list goes on and on.

      2. That was another annoying thing, they talked about net worth and how much debt these kids have. When I was in my 20’s, I wasn’t ever more than about $40 in debt because nobody would dream of loaning me more than that. So who’s living better, somebody who owns their $15,000 single-wide free and clear or somebody who has a $250,000 mortgage on their $250,000 home?

    3. I’m seeing this story out there and in checking to see how much bullshit it is…. Young Invincibles

      Sounds like that site would be vulnerable to confirmation bias, among other things.

    4. My favorite was the one about how California “removed barriers to food access on college campuses”. My first thought was, “they took the locks off the dumpsters behind the cafeteria?” – but, no, it means they expanded the Food Stamp program. Not giving the kids free food is “a barrier to access”. Them bastards better be working on my barrier to access of Rolls Royces, cocaine, and hot Asian chicks next.

  11. They never say that the money was going to the mother, just that the VA was collecting it. Does that mean the VA just kept it?

    1. One of the Capos probably did

      1. That coke habit isn’t going to pay for itself.

      2. Wet their beak, so to speak.

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