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Yuba-Sutter Counties

Veteran Service Office

Marvin King, Veteran Services Officer

5730 Packard Ave. Suite 300, Marysville CA 95901

 Phone Number (530) 749-6710

Fax (530) 749-6711

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General Information

 

General Information

1. Am I a Veteran?

2. What kinds of benefits are available?

3. Are there any benefits for Dependents of Veterans?

4. I received a General Discharge, how do I apply for an upgrade?

5. I recently separated from the military.  How can I find out what VA benefits I might be entitled to receive?

6. What service does the County Office provide?

 

Burial Benefits/National Cemetery System

1.  Am I entitled to be buried in a National/State Veteran's Cemetery?

2.  Can my dependents be buried with me?

3.  Will the VA pay to bury me?

4.  How do I apply for Reimbursement of Burial Cost?

5.  Will the VA provide a Headstone/Grave marker?

6.  Can Spouse's death information be placed on a VA provided Headstone/Grave marker?

 

Veteran Health Administration

1.  Am I entitled to VA Health Care?

2.  Do I need to meet the VA Health Services criteria to enroll?

3.  How does the VA Health Care System determine which Veterans will receive medical treatment?

4.  How do I apply for VA Health Care?

5.  Is there any cost for VA Health Care?

6.  What is the income limits referenced in the table above?

7.  What types of services are provided within the VA Health Care System?

8.  Will the VA provide Long Term Nursing Home care?

9.  Will the VA cover Dental Treatment?

10.Will a VA Health Care Facility provide medical treatment for my dependents?

 

Veteran Benefit Administration

1.  What types of benefits are available?

2.  What does Service-Related mean?

3.  What is required by VA to grant Service-Connected Disability?

4.  What does Non-Service Related mean?

5.  Why would the VA make the determination that my current condition is Non-Service related?

6.  What can I do if I disagree with the VA's decision to render a condition as Non-Service Related?

7.  I am a Veteran and I was exposed to many chemicals during my Military Service.  Can my exposure be claimed as a disability?

8.  I was a POW during my Military Service.  Does the VA recognize any medical conditions caused by my POW experience?

9.  I was involved with Atomic Bomb testing/exposed to Nuclear Radiation.  Does the VA recognize any medical conditions because of my involvement/exposure?

10. I am a Vietnam Veteran and was exposed to Agent Orange.  Does the VA recognize any medical conditions because of my exposure?

11. I have received VA Service-Connected Disability Rating for a condition.  What happens if this condition gets worse?

12. My overall VA Disability is less than 100%.  I was told that the VA would increase my rating to the 100% level because I am unable to work.  Is this true?

13. I am retired from the military and receive military retired pay. Should I file a claim for VA disability compensation?  Will this affect my retired pay?

14. I received disability severance pay when I left the military. Will this affect my VA compensation?

15. What is Non-Service Related Wartime Pension?

16. What is required to apply for a Non-Service Related Pension?

17. What is Aid & Attendance (A&A) or Housebound Benefit?

18. Who is eligible for A&A or Housebound benefit?

19. What is DIC?

20. What is a Widow's Pension?

21. Are there any education benefits available to me or my dependants?

22. What is the VA Home Loan program?

23. Who is eligible for this program?

24. How do I apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Home Loan?

 

Answers to General Information Questions

1.  Am I a Veteran?

Veteran is defined by the Department of Veteran Affairs as "a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable."  This definition will include all people who entered into active military service and than separated, no matter how long the period of service was. 

 

2.  What kinds of benefits are available?

Type of benefits available to a Veteran will vary depending on the period of service, length of time in service, medical conditions occurring during service or after service.  They can include, but are not limited to:

  • Burial in a National Cemetery

  • VA Health Care

  • VA Dental Care

  • Hearing Aids, Glasses

  • Service-Connected Disability

  • Non-Service-Connected Wartime Disability Pension

  • Additional funds due to the Veteran's need of Aid & Attendance or Housebound 

  • Education

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

  • VA Home Loan Program

  • Automotive Grant

  • Specially Adaptive Housing Grant

  • Disabled Veterans Life Insurance

Please note that all VA Benefits will have period of service, length of service and discharge requirements.

 

3.  Are there any benefits for Dependents of Veterans?

Yes.  Benefits are available for dependents, depending on the individual Veteran's case.  Some of the Federal benefits can include:

  • VA Health Insurance

  • DIC Benefit (Service Related Death)

  • Widow's Pension (Non-Service Related Death of a Wartime Veteran)

  • Additional funds due to being in the need of Aid & Attendance or Housebound

  • Education

  • State benefits can include:

    • College Fee Waiver

    • Property Tax Waiver

 

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4.  I received a General Discharge, how do I apply for an upgrade?

We can assist you with applying for a discharge upgrade by completing DD Form 293, Application for the Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States or DD Form 149 Application for Correction of Military Records.

 

5.  I recently separated from the military.  How can I find out what VA benefits I might be entitled to receive?

Please visit our office to discuss the benefits which are available to separating military members and their dependents.

 

6.  What service does your office provide?

The Yuba-Sutter County Veteran Service Office provides assistance with:

 

  • Overall VA Claim/Case Management

    • Complete and Submit all Claim forms
    • Complete and Submit Appeal Forms
    • Advise Veterans and Dependents on ways to maximize their benefits
  • Review Service Medical Records

    • List conditions which have the potential for VA Disability
  • Review VA Claim Folder

    • Identify & help correct errors in past VA decisions
  • Advise Veterans on All Available Benefits

    • Federal, State, County, Service Organizations...
  • Report / Verify Income to other Agencies

    • SSA/SSI, HHS, Loan Institutions...
  • Administer College Fee Waiver Program

  • Advise Veterans & Legislators on Veteran Issues

  • Operate VA Shuttle Van between Marysville & VA Medical Centers in Sacramento

 

 

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Answers to Burial Benefits/National Cemetery System Questions

 

1.  Am I entitled to be buried in a National/State Veteran Cemetery?

All Veterans discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable and service members who died while on active duty may be eligible for burial in a National or State Veteran Cemetery.  If you entered into active service after Sept 1980 (Enlisted) or Oct 1981 (Officer) you must have completed 24 consecutive months of the full period of active duty.  National Guard and Reservists are eligible if they were entitled to or would have been entitled to retirement pay at time of death.

 

2.  Can my dependents be buried with me?

Yes.  Dependents can be buried with the Veteran as long as the Veteran meets the eligibility criteria.  Dependents are defined as current spouse and minor children.

 

3.  Will the VA pay to bury me?

Yes.  The VA can reimburse part or all of the cost for burial of a Veteran up to a set limit, if the Veteran is receiving or entitled to receive VA Benefits.  First, the Veteran must be receiving or entitled to receive VA Benefits.  The amount of reimbursement will be based upon the VA determination as to the cause of death.  If the cause of death is determined as Service Related, reimbursement can go up to a $ 2,000 limit.  If the cause of death is determined as Non-Service Related, reimbursement can go up to a limit of $ 300 toward burial preparation and $ 300 toward the purchase of a plot.

 

4.  How do I apply for Reimbursement of Burial Cost?

Apply for reimbursement of Burial expenses by:

  • Completing a VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits

  • Providing a copy of the Death Certificate

  • Providing a copy of PAID receipts. 

This application may be obtained from most local funeral homes, from the Internet at (http://www.va.gov/vaforms/), or from our office. 

 

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5.  Will the VA provide a Headstone/Grave marker?

Yes.  If the Veteran meets the criteria listed above.  If the Veteran is placed in a National or State Veteran Cemetery, the headstone or grave marker will be ordered by the cemetery staff.  If the Veteran is placed in a private cemetery, the family will need to complete a VA Form 40-1330 to obtain this benefit.  The VA Form 40-1330 will need to be reviewed by the private cemetery to ensure that the headstone/grave marker chosen will meet the requirements of the park.  This application may be obtained from most local funeral homes, from the Internet at (http://www.va.gov/vaforms/), or from our office.  Additionally, a copy of the Military Discharge is required at the time of application.

 

6.  Can Spouse's death information be placed on a VA provided 

Headstone/Grave marker?

Yes.  This request must be clearly stated during the original application process.

 

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Answers to Veteran Health Administration Questions

 

1.  Am I entitled to VA Health Care?

Possibly.  The VA Health Services would like to treat ALL discharged Veterans, but due to limits of resources they are unable to meet the high demand for services.  Eligibility for services includes:

  • Discharged Under Honorable condition or better

  • Length of Service (discharge before Sep 1980, 1 day) (discharge after Sep 1980, 2 years) 

 

2.  Do I need to meet the VA Health Services criteria to enroll?

Not always.  There are times that a Veteran will be eligible for Health Care due to a Service-Connected Disability, but may not meet the Character of Service or Length of Service criteria.    

 

3.  How does the VA Health Care System determine which Veterans will receive medical treatment?

The VA Health Care System categorizes all Veterans into 1 of 8 priority groups.  These priority groups are as listed below.  Currently the VA Health Care System will allow some NEW Priority 8 Veterans into the system.  If you are currently enrolled and receiving VA Health care, you will not be disenrolled from the system.

 

 

Priority

Description

Priority 1:

  • Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities 50% or more disabling
  • Veterans determined by VA to be unemployable due to service-connected conditions

Priority 2:

Priority 3:

  • Veterans who are Former Prisoners of War (POWs)
  • Veterans awarded a Purple Heart medal
  • Veterans whose discharge was for a disability that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
  • Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities 10% or 20% disabling
  • Veterans awarded special eligibility classification under Title 38, U.S.C., § 1151, "benefits for individuals disabled by treatment or vocational rehabilitation"

Priority 4:

Priority 5:

Priority 6:

  • World War I veterans
  • Compensable 0% service-connected veterans
  • Veterans exposed to Ionizing Radiation during atmospheric testing or during the occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Project 112/SHAD participants
  • Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998 as follows:

*   Currently enrolled Veterans and new enrollees who were discharged from active duty on or after January 28, 2003, are eligible for the enhanced benefits for 5 years post discharge

*   Veterans discharged from active duty before January 28, 2003, who apply for enrollment on or after January 28, 2008 are eligible for this enhanced enrollment benefit through January 27, 2011

NOTE: At the end of this enhanced enrollment priority group placement time period Veterans will be assigned to the highest Priority Group their unique eligibility status at that time qualifies for.

Priority 7:

Priority 8:

Veterans eligible for enrollment: Non-compensable 0% service-connected and:

*   Sub-priority a: Enrolled as of January 16, 2003, and who have remained enrolled since that date and/or placed in this sub-priority due to changed eligibility status

*   Sub-priority b: Enrolled on or after June 15, 2009 whose income exceeds the current VA National Income Thresholds or VA National Geographic Income Thresholds by 10% or less

Veterans eligible for enrollment: Non-service-connected and:

*   Sub-priority c: Enrolled as of January 16, 2003, and who have remained enrolled since that date and/or placed in this sub-priority due to changed eligibility status

*   Sub-priority d: Enrolled on or after June 15, 2009 whose income exceeds the current VA National Income Thresholds or VA National Geographic Income Thresholds by 10% or less

Veterans not eligible for enrollment: Veterans not meeting the criteria above:

*   Sub-priority e: Non-compensable 0% service-connected

*   Sub-priority g: Non-Service-Connected

 

 

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4.  How do I apply for VA Health Care?

Entry into the VA health care system begins by:

  • Completing a VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits

  • Provide a copy of your military discharge or VA disability rating decision. 

This application may be obtained from any VA Health Care facility, from the Internet at (http://www.va.gov/vaforms/), or from our office. 

 

5.  Is there any cost for VA Health Care?

Sometimes.  Most Veterans will fall under the following guidelines:

  • There are no costs associated for any medical treatment of Service-Connected disabilities. 

  • If the Veteran is rated 50% Service-Connected Disabled or above, the VA Health Administration will treat ALL conditions at no cost to the Veteran. 

  • If a Veteran is placed into Priority Group 5, there will be no cost for medical treatment.

  • Treatment for Non-Service related conditions for Veterans rated below 50% Service-Connected Disabled and Veterans in Priority Group 7 or 8 will be charged the co-pay.

 

6.  What is the income limits referenced in the table above?

There are two income limits set by the VA Health Care System.  These limits are used to determine which category a Veteran will be placed in and if they will be charged the co-pay. 

  • Financial Income Threshold.  This threshold is a nationally set limit and is used to determine the cutoff at which no co-pays would be charged.  Total household income is considered with an adjustment for number of dependents living in the home.  For current income limit use this Internet link (http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/Library/pubs/VAIncomeThresholds/)

  • Geographic Means Test (GMT) Income Threshold.  This threshold is used to distinguish Veterans that will be allowed in the VA Health Care system under Priority 7 and those Veterans that are not allowed in under Priority 8.  Total household income is considered with adjustment for geographical area and number of dependents living in the home.  For current geographical income limit use this Internet link (http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/Library/pubs/GMTIncomeThresholds/)

 

7.  What types of services are provided within the VA Health Care System?

VA Health Care can provide:

  • Out-Patient care

  • In-Patient care

  • Specialty care

  • Physical Therapy

  • Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation

  • Dental care

  • Vision care

  • Mental Health treatment

  • Long Term Nursing care

 

8.  Will the VA provide Long Term Nursing Home care?

The VA will provide Long Term Nursing Home care at a contract facility for the following:

  • If Long Term Nursing Home care is required for a Service-Connected Condition

  • For any reason, if the Veteran has an overall Service-Connected Disability rating of 70% or greater

 

9.  Will the VA cover Dental Treatment?

The VA will provide dental care for the following:

  • Veteran has been granted Service-Connected disability for a dental injury or disease.

  • Veteran has an overall Service-Connected Disability rating of 100%.  This benefit will includes Veterans that are rated below 100% but have been granted Individual Unemployability.

  • Veterans that have been granted and are enrolled with Vocational Rehabilitation training

  • Veteran is receiving medical treatment that, due to a dental condition, cannot be completed until the dental treatment is completed.

 

10. Will a VA Health Care Facility provide medical treatment for my dependents?

Only under the following conditions:

  • The Veteran has an overall Service-Connected Disability rating of 100%

  • The dependent has applied for and been granted a ChampVA Health Card

  • The local VA Health Care Facility has excess capacity

 

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Answers to Veteran Benefit Administration Questions

 

1.  What types of benefits are available?

The Veterans Benefit Administration has two main programs for Veterans and two main programs for a Surviving Spouse, Parents, or Dependent Children of a Veteran.  These four programs consist of the following:

  • Veteran's Disability compensation due to medical condition/injury occurring in/coincidental to Military Service

  • Veteran's Wartime Pension due to any medical condition, injury, or age above 65 which is permanent in nature and prevents the Veteran from obtaining employment

  • Surviving Spouse, Parents, or Dependent Children DIC Benefits are benefits paid to the Veteran's Surviving Spouse, Parents, or Dependent Children due to the death of the Veteran for a Service Related reason.

  • Surviving Spouse Widow's Pension is a benefit paid to the Veteran's spouse due to any medical condition, injury, or age above 65 which is permanent in nature and prevents the Surviving Spouse from obtaining employment

 

2.  What does Service-Related mean?

Service Related means the VA had determined that an existing medical condition was caused by, aggravated by, or first diagnosed during a Veteran's Military Service. 

 

3.  What is required by VA to grant Service-Connected Disability?

There are three things we must substantiate before the VA will grant Service-Connected Disability.  They are:

  • Exposure/Condition/Event which occurred during Military Service.  In most cases, medical conditions occurring during military service are documented within the Veteran's Service Medical Records.  If documentation never occurred or the medical records are missing, we look for alternate sources to validate the condition.  These sources can include personal statements from a Combat Veteran concerning a Combat Injury, statements from buddies or family members that knew of the condition, private medical records documenting medical treatment received during Active Military service.  Additional, there are some conditions that are caused by exposure to Acoustic Trauma (high noise), Agent Orange, Atomic Radiation, Chemicals, Asbestos, and Combat during the course of assigned military duty which are not documented during service.  If this is the case, proof of exposure will need to be provided. 

  • Current Condition.  Documentation proving that there is a current condition.  Typically this is provided within the current medical treatment record which documents the diagnosed condition.  A claimant must substantiate that there is a current condition in order for the VA to grant Service Connection.  No current problem or condition, No claim.

  • Nexus/Link between the "In-Service" Exposure/Condition/Event and the Current Condition.  There are two ways to provide this Nexus/Link: 

    • Provide a copy of all medical records that document continual treatment for this condition.  Records must be from time of separation to present. 

    • A doctor's medical opinion which states the "In-Service" Exposure/Condition/Event is "as likely as not" (more than 50% probability) the cause of or aggravation of the current condition.

 

4.  What does Non-Service Related mean?

Non-Service related means that the VA had determined an existing medical condition WAS NOT caused by, aggravated by, or first diagnosed during a Veterans Military Service. 

 

5.  Why would the VA make the determination that my current condition is Non-Service related?

The VA will render a condition as Non-Service related if the facts of the case fail to meet any one of the three criteria needed to grant Service-Connected Disability (see above).

 

6.  What can I do if I disagree with the VA's decision to render a condition as Non-Service Related?

There are two approaches you can take depending on when the decision was made.

  • If the date on the decision is less than one year old, a Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) can be filed with the VA Regional Office who rendered the decision.  Within this NOD, you must state specifically which portion of the decision you are in disagreement with and the reasons for the disagreement.  Additionally, direct your response to rebut the reason or reasons the VA used to deny Service-Connected Disability.  I.E. if the VA denied because there is no documentation of a current condition, you must obtain current medical records.  If the VA denied because there was no documentation of "In-Service" Exposure/Condition/Event, you must provide that information.  If the VA denied because there is no Nexus/Link between the "In-Service" Exposure/Condition/Event and the Current Condition, you must obtain and provide a Nexus statement from a doctor.

  • If the date on the decision is more than one year old, a request to reopen the decision is required.  A decision can be reopened under two conditions.  They are:

    • Based on New & Material evidence.  "New" means something that the VA has not seen and "Material" means that it addresses the reason for the original denial.

    • Based upon a Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE) by the VA during the original decision process.  When reopening under a CUE it must be proven that, based upon records contained within the VA Claim Folder, the VA overlooked information or failed to correctly apply VA rules at the time of that decision.

 

7.  I am a Veteran and I was exposed to many chemicals during my Military Service.  Can my exposure be claimed as a disability?

No.  The VA will not grant a Service-Connected Disability based ONLY on exposure.  What is needed to file a claim is a current medical condition.  The medical condition resulting from exposure can be claimed, but the exposure alone cannot.

 

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8.  I was a POW during my Military Service.  Does the VA recognize any medical conditions caused by my POW experience?

Yes.  There are many medical conditions the VA recognizes as a direct result of being a POW.  This list is divided into two categories based upon length of time in captivity.  They are:

  • Less than 30 Days:

    • Psychosis.

    • Any of the anxiety states.

    • Dysthymic disorder (or depressive neurosis).

    • Organic residuals of frostbite, if it is determined that the veteran was interned in climatic conditions consistent with the occurrence of frostbite.

    • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

    • Atherosclerotic heart disease or hypertensive vascular disease (including hypertensive heart disease) and their complications (including myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia).

    • Stroke and its complications.

  • 30 Days or more:

    • All conditions listed above

    • Avitaminosis.

    • Beriberi (including beriberi heart disease).

    • Chronic dysentery.

    • Helminthiasis.

    • Malnutrition (including optic atrophy associated with malnutrition).

    • Pellagra.

    • Any other nutritional deficiency.

    • Irritable bowel syndrome.

    • Peptic ulcer disease.

    • Peripheral neuropathy except where directly related to infectious causes.

    • Cirrhosis of the liver.

 

9.  I was involved with Atomic Bomb testing/exposed to Nuclear Radiation.  Does the VA recognize any medical conditions because of my involvement/exposure?

Yes.  There are many medical conditions the VA recognizes as a direct result of being exposed to Nuclear Radiation.  This list is divided into two categories based upon documented test involvement, occupation assignment to Japan, and amount of any other radiation exposure.  The conditions are divided as follows:

  • Nuclear Test / Japanese Occupying Force includes:

    • Leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia).

    • Cancer of the thyroid.

    • Cancer of the breast.

    • Cancer of the pharynx.

    • Cancer of the esophagus.

    • Cancer of the stomach.

    • Cancer of the small intestine.

    • Cancer of the pancreas.

    • Multiple myeloma.

    • Lymphomas (except Hodgkin's disease).

    • Cancer of the bile ducts.

    • Cancer of the gall bladder.

    • Primary liver cancer (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated).

    • Cancer of the salivary gland.

    • Cancer of the urinary tract.

    • Bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma.

    • Cancer of the bone.

    • Cancer of the brain.

    • Cancer of the colon.

    • Cancer of the lung.

    • Cancer of the ovary.

    • Note: For the purposes of this section, the term "urinary tract" means the kidneys, renal pelves, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra.

  • Any other radiation exposure includes:

    • All forms of leukemia except chronic lymphatic (lymphocytic) leukemia;

    • Thyroid cancer;

    • Breast cancer;

    • Lung cancer;

    • Bone cancer;

    • Liver cancer;

    • Skin cancer;

    • Esophageal cancer;

    • Stomach cancer;

    • Colon cancer;

    • Pancreatic cancer;

    • Kidney cancer;

    • Urinary bladder cancer;

    • Salivary gland cancer;

    • Multiple myeloma;

    • Posterior subcapsular cataracts;

    • Non-malignant thyroid nodular disease;

    • Ovarian cancer;

    • Parathyroid adenoma;

    • Tumors of the brain and central nervous system;

    • Cancer of the rectum;

    • Lymphomas other than Hodgkin's disease;

    • Prostate cancer; and

    • Any other cancer.

 

10.  I am a Vietnam Veteran and was exposed to Agent Orange.  Does the VA recognize any medical conditions because of my exposure?

Yes.  The conditions are as follows:

  • AL amyloidosis

  • Chloracne or other acneform disease consistent with chloracne

  • Type 2 diabetes (also known as Type II diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetes)

  • Hodgkin's disease

  • Ischemic heart disease (including, but not limited to, acute, subacute, and old myocardial infarction; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease including coronary artery disease (including coronary spasm) and coronary bypass surgery; and stable, unstable and Prinzmetal's angina)

  • All chronic B-cell leukemias (including, but not limited to, hairy-cell leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia)

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy (see note 2)

  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

  • Prostate cancer

  • Respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)

  • Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or mesothelioma) (see note 1)

  • Note 1: The term "soft-tissue sarcoma" includes the following:

    • Adult fibrosarcoma

    • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans

    • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma

    • Liposarcoma

    • Leiomyosarcoma

    • Epithelioid leiomyosarcoma (malignant leiomyoblastoma)

    • Rhabdomyosarcoma

    • Ectomesenchymoma

    • Angiosarcoma (hemangiosarcoma and lymphangiosarcoma)

    • Proliferating (systemic) angioendotheliomatosis

    • Malignant glomus tumor

    • Malignant hemangiopericytoma

    • Synovial sarcoma (malignant synovioma)

    • Malignant giant cell tumor of tendon sheath

    • Malignant schwannoma, including malignant schwannoma with rhabdomyoblastic differentiation (malignant Triton tumor), glandular and epithelioid malignant schwannomas

    • Malignant mesenchymoma

    • Malignant granular cell tumor

    • Alveolar soft part sarcoma

    • Epithelioid sarcoma

    • Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses

    • Extraskeletal Ewing's sarcoma

    • Congenital and infantile fibrosarcoma

    • Malignant ganglioneuroma

  • Note 2: For purposes of this section, the term acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy means transient peripheral neuropathy that appears within weeks or months of exposure to an herbicide agent and resolves within two years of the date of onset.

 

11.  I have received VA Service-Connected Disability Rating for a condition.  What happens if this condition gets worse?

There are times that medical conditions get worse.  If this has occurred, a request for a Reevaluation of the condition can be submitted and an increase to the disability can be granted.  This request can be submitted any time the Veteran feels the condition has gotten worse.  A request for reevaluation must be submitted in writing to the VA.  The VA Form 21-4138 can be used and may be obtained from the Internet at (http://www.va.gov/vaforms/) or from our office.

 

12.  My overall VA Disability is less than 100%.  I was told that the VA would increase my rating to the 100% level because I am unable to work.  Is this true?

Possibly. The benefit you're referring to is Individual Unemployability (I.U.).  The purpose for this benefit is to compensate a Veteran at the 100% rate for service related medical conditions that are rated less than 100%, but prevents the Veteran from obtaining and maintaining "Substantial Gainful Employment."  This is an incredible benefit, but there are several requirements that need to be met:

  • Unable to work due solely to Service Related Disabilities (age is not a factor)

  • Left last employment due to Service Related Disability or unable to obtain employment due to a Service Related Disability

  • Overall VA Service-Connected disability rating at the following:

    • One SC Disability condition rated at the 60% level or higher

    • Two or more SC Disability conditions with an Overall Disability rating at or above the 70% level with at least one of the conditions rated at the 40% level

There are occasions in which a disability rated below these guidelines will prevent employment.  In these cases, a request for special consideration by the VA is submitted.

 

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13.  I am retired from the military and receive military retired pay. Should I file a claim for VA disability compensation?  Will this affect my retired pay?

It is important to file a claim if you are disabled due to an injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by your military service.  Service-Connected disabled veterans are afforded some benefits not offered to military retirees.  By law, the payment of VA compensation benefits received will reduce the amount of Military Retired pay received.  Recent law changes have modified this old standing statute.  Currently there are two programs that can return full retired pay benefits to a military retiree.  One of these programs is known as Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and the other program is Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP).  Under CRSC any Service-Connected disabilities which are deemed combat related by the Military (DOD) that portion of the retirement pay will be returned to the retiree.  Under CRDP a retiree must have an overall service-connected disability rating at or above 50% level which will allow the Military (DOD) to return the full retirement pay.

 

14.  I received disability severance pay when I left the military. Will this affect my VA compensation?

Law prohibits payment of VA compensation and military disability severance pay for the same medical condition or disability.  VA compensation will be withheld on a monthly basis until the total amount of military severance pay has been recovered. 

 

15.  What is Non-Service Related Wartime Pension?

Non-Service related Pension is a benefit that VA grants to Wartime Veterans that are unable to obtain and maintain employment due to any medical condition, injury, or age above 65.

 

 16.  What is required to apply for a Non-Service Related Pension?

There are several criteria that must be met.  They are:

  • Military Service during a war period (minimum of one day)

  • Veteran's total period of Military service is:

    • 90 days or more (prior to Sept 1980)

    • 24 months or more (after Sep 1980)

  • Character of discharge is other than Dishonorable

  • Unable to work because:

    • Permanently and Totally disabled for any reason other than willful misconduct

    • Over 65 years old

  • Income below VA prescribed limits

 

17.  What is Aid & Attendance (A&A) or Housebound Benefit?

A&A or Housebound benefit is an additional amount of monthly benefit paid to a Veteran or Surviving Spouse who require help from another individual for daily care.

 

18.  Who is eligible for A&A or Housebound benefit?

A Veteran, Veteran's Spouse, or the Veteran's Surviving Spouse depending on the type of benefit which the VA has approved.

 

19.  What is DIC?

DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation) is a monthly benefit paid to a Surviving Spouse, Parent, or Dependent Child when the VA determines the Veteran's death

  • Was the result of their Military Service

  • Or the Veteran was rated 100% Service-Connected Disabled for 10 years or longer.

 

20.  What is a Widow's Pension?

Widow's Pension is a monthly benefit paid to a Surviving Spouse or Dependent Child when the VA determines the Veteran's death was NOT the result of their Military Service.  The Veteran must have met the criteria listed above for a Wartime Pension and the Surviving Spouse's income must be below the VA prescribed limits.

 

21.  Are there any education benefits available to me or my dependants?

Possibly.  There are several different types of education programs offered by VA and the State of California.  Each program has different eligibility criteria and time limits.  The programs are as follows:

  • Chapter 30.  Montgomery GI Bill.  (Veterans & Surviving Spouse)

    • Military Member died on Active Duty

    • Veteran entered into military service after June 1985

    • Continuous active service for 2 years (for a 3 year commitment) or 3 years (for a 4 year commitment)

    • Character of discharged is Honorable

    • 10 year time limit (extensions may be granted)

  • Chapter 31. Vocational Rehabilitation and Training (Veterans only)

    • Veteran has been rated Service-Connected Disability at the 20% level (10% with serious employment handicap)

    • Veteran is unemployed or underemployed

    • 12 year time limit based upon the date stamped on the VA Award letter

  • Chapter 32. Veteran's Education Assistance Program VEAP (Veterans only)

    •  Veteran entered into military service after Dec 1976

    • Completed 24 months of service (after Sept 1980)

    • Made contributions prior to Apr 1987

    • Character of discharge other than Dishonorable

    • 10 year time limit

  • Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill (Veteran, Spouse, and Dependents)

    • Completed 90 days of Service or more after 9/10/01 or 30 days or more and discharged with a 30% Service-Connected Disability

    • Character of discharge is Honorable

    • 15 year time limit

    • Can be transferred to Spouse and/or Children

  • Chapter 35.  Survivors and Dependent's Education (Spouse, Surviving Spouse, and Dependents)

    • Veteran who died due to Service-Connected condition or is awarded 100% Service-Connected disability

    • Service Member who died on Active Duty

    • Service Member listed for more than 90 days as currently MIA or POW status

    • Children aged under 26 (extensions may be granted)

    • Surviving Spouse has not remarried

    • 10 year time limit based upon dated VA Award letter (extensions may be granted)

    • 20 year time limit based from date of Active Duty death

  • California College Fee Waiver

    • This benefit is the waiver of mandatory system-wide fees at any campus of the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community College (CC) and is divided into 4 different plans.  These plans are listed below:

    Plan A

    • Child between the age of 14 and 27 of a Wartime Veteran who died due to Service-Connected condition or is awarded 100% Service-Connected disability

    • Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner of a Wartime Veteran who is awarded 100% Service-Connected disability

    • Unmarried Spouse or un-terminated Registered Domestic Partner of a Wartime Veteran whose death has been rated as Service-Connected

    • Any dependent of a Veteran who is declared MIA or POW

    • Specified dependents of Registered Domestic Partner

    • Veteran must have survived at least 1 day during a war period

    • Cannot be used in conjunction with VA Chapter 35 Benefits

    Plan B

    • Child of a Veteran who has a Service-Connected disability (0% or higher), had a Service-Connected Disability at time of death, or died of service related causes

    • Child's annual income for last tax season is below state set threshold

    • Child can received both VA Chapter 35 and this benefit

    • Specified dependents of Registered Domestic Partner

    Plan C

    • Child, Surviving Spouse, or Registered Domestic Partner of a member of the California National Guard who died in line of duty, died due to Service-Connected disability, or is permanently disabled due to an event that occurred while in service to the state

    • Must remain Unmarried Spouse or un-terminated Registered Domestic Partner

    Plan D

    • Medal of Honor recipients

    • Child of a Medal of Honor recipient

    • Specified dependents of Registered Domestic Partner

    • Limited to undergraduate studies

    • Age, income, and residency requirements must be met for a child

    • Child can received both VA Chapter 35 and this benefit

 

22.  What is the VA Home Loan program?

The VA Home loan is designed to help service members, veterans, reservists, and unmarried surviving spouses in buying a home that they otherwise would not be approved for.  In this program the VA guarantees a portion of the home loan.  This guarantee allows the loaning institution to approve a home loan to the recipient with little or no money down.  If the loaning institution is forced to foreclose and does not recoup the full amount of the outstanding debt, the VA will reimburse the remaining balance up to a preset limit.  At this point the service member, veteran, reservist, and or unmarried surviving spouses is responsible to repay the VA the amount paid to the loaning institution.

 

23.  Who is eligible for this program?

Those that are eligible for this program include service members, veterans, reservists, and unmarried surviving spouses which meet the following criteria:

  • Good credit rating

  • Sufficient income

  • Have a valid VA Home Loan Eligibility certificate

  • Agree to live in the property

  • Military discharge above dishonorable

  • Meet the period of service:

    • WWII (active duty between Sep 1940 and July 1947)

      • Minimum of 90 days of service (except when discharge was due to service-connected disability)

    • Post-WWII (active duty between July 1947 and June 1950)

      • Minimum of 181 continuous days of service (except when discharge was due to service-connected disability)

    • Korean War (active duty between June 1950 and Jan 1955)

      • Minimum of 90 total days of service (except when discharge was due to service-connected disability)

    • Post-Korean War (active duty between Jan 1955 and Aug 1964)

      • Minimum of 181 continuous days of service (except when discharge was due to service-connected disability)

    • Vietnam (active duty between Aug 1964 (veterans that served in Vietnam, Feb 1961) and May 1975)

      • Minimum of 90 total days of service (except when discharge was due to service-connected disability)

    • Post-Vietnam (active duty between May 1975 and Sep 1980 (Enlisted) or Oct 1981 (Officer))

      • Minimum of 181 continuous days of service (except when discharge was due to service-connected disability)

    • Post-Vietnam (active duty between Sep 1980 (Enlisted) or Oct 1981 (Officer) and Aug 1990)

      • Minimum of 24 continuous months or full period (at least 181 days) for which they are called to active service (except when discharge was due to headship, convenience of government, reduction-in-force, certain medical condition, or service-connected disability)

    • Gulf War (active duty after Aug 1990 and Date To Be Determined)

      • Minimum of 24 continuous months or full period (at least 90 days) for which they are called to active service (except when discharge was due to headship, convenience of government, reduction-in-force, certain medical condition, or service-connected disability)

 

24.  How do I apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Home Loan?

A Certificate of Eligibility can be obtained by:

  • Completing a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility

  • Supply a copy of:

    • Military Discharge

    • Or VA DIC Award Letter

    • Or letter of Good Standing (for active duty personnel)

Mailed to:

                              VA Eligibility Center

                               P.O. Box 207290

                              Winston-Salem, NC 27120

This application may be obtained from the Internet at (http://www.va.gov/vaforms/) or from our office.

 

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