MILITARY

Triple dippers: 60,000 veterans collect disability benefits, Social Security, retirement pay

  • FILE - In this Monday, July 21, 2014 file photo, Paul Russo works on the letters for the Disabled Veterans' Life Memorial in Washington. According to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, nearly 60,000 veterans collected more than $3.5 billion in 2013 in military retirement pay, disability benefits from Veterans Affairs and disability checks from Social Security. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    FILE - In this Monday, July 21, 2014 file photo, Paul Russo works on the letters for the Disabled Veterans' Life Memorial in Washington. According to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, nearly 60,000 veterans collected more than $3.5 billion in 2013 in military retirement pay, disability benefits from Veterans Affairs and disability checks from Social Security. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 9, 2014 file photo, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Coburn requested a Government Accountability Office report which showed nearly 60,000 veterans collected more than $3.5 billion in 2013 in military retirement pay, disability benefits from Veterans Affairs and disability checks from Social Security. Coburn said officials should fulfill promises to veterans, but work to streamline duplicative programs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    FILE - In this July 9, 2014 file photo, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Coburn requested a Government Accountability Office report which showed nearly 60,000 veterans collected more than $3.5 billion in 2013 in military retirement pay, disability benefits from Veterans Affairs and disability checks from Social Security. Coburn said officials should fulfill promises to veterans, but work to streamline duplicative programs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)  (The Associated Press)

It's a rare triple play of government benefits.

Nearly 60,000 veterans collected more than $3.5 billion last year in military retirement pay, disability benefits from Veterans Affairs and disability checks from Social Security.

That's according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.

The arrangement is legal. But some lawmakers say the report shows the need for better coordination among government programs that are facing severe financial constraints.

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma requested the review. He says officials should fulfill promises to veterans but work to streamline duplicative programs.

Veterans groups say the retirement money was earned for years of service in the military, while disability payments are compensation for service-related injuries.

In most cases, veterans who receive multiple benefits are severely disabled.