100% Disability Benefits Awarded After Congressman Ruiz’s Office Stepped In

ANZA  – Larry Thurner, a resident of this community and veteran of the Marine Corps with a medical condition that rendered him unable to work in 1975, finally received his deserved 100% Individual Unemployability (Disability Benefits). Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., CA-36, announced the news on Monday.

Individual Unemployability (IU) is a unique part of VA’s disability compensation program. It allows VA to pay certain Veterans compensation at the 100 percent rate, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at that level.

The news comes after Congressman Ruiz’s office stepped in to resolve the issue that was pending since 1975 — more than 40 years.

“I am thrilled to have helped Mr. Thurner secure the benefits that he deserves and earned long ago,” said Dr. Ruiz. “This is good news for Mr. Thurner today. If you or someone you know is a veteran who needs assistance obtaining their benefits, care, or backpay, please contact my office. There is no excuse for these benefits being delayed decades, and I will continue to fight on behalf of the thousands of veterans in my district.”

Ruiz, a fervent champion of Veterans, in February was appointed to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which conducts oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and advances legislation on matters pertaining to veterans, including medical care, veterans’ hospitals, treatment compensation, education, and more.

An emergency physician and public health expert, Ruiz also serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“After 50 years of being ignored by the VA we have finally received a favorable resolution with the help of veterans advocate Ronnie Imel and Congressman Ruiz and his staff,” Thurner said in a prepared statement. “Thanks for all the hard work!”

Larry Thurner was rated at 100% fully disabled from the United States Marine Corps in 1971 when he left service due to a medical condition. In 1975 and with a full-time job, that medical condition hospitalized him while he was acting as a caretaker to his family.

It wasn’t until 2021 that the VA recognized Thurner’s disability and awarded him 100 Percent Individual Unemployability.


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  • Larry Thurner: Congressman Raul Ruiz