VA works to ensure vets of all generations are aware of benefits
Is the VA reaching out to veterans of all generations?
Answer: One of the VA's highest priorities is ensuring that America's 24 million veterans are aware of the benefits available to them as a result of their military service. VA wants to do everything possible for the veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and also make sure that the veterans who served in earlier periods, wartime or peacetime, are not overlooked.
Veterans who received a VA disability compensation rating many years ago and whose service-related disabilities have progressed in severity should also contact their local regional office for assistance in submitting a claim for increased benefits. VA efforts to inform veterans about their disability compensation benefits face a special challenge with older veterans who may not have been in touch with VA for decades, or who may not be aware of the entire range of expanded veterans' benefits available to them or their families. Call VA toll free at (800) 827-1000 or visit www.vba.va.gov. Claims for disability compensation may be filed in person at the VA located at Tripler Army Medical Center, electronically, or by mail.
Q: What income is counted for the Means Test and is family size considered?
A: VA considers your previous year's total household income (both earned and unearned income) for you, your spouse and dependent children. Earned income is usually wages you receive from working. Unearned income can be interest earned, dividends received, money from retirement funds, Social Security payments, annuities or earnings from other assets. The number of people in your family will be factored into the calculation to determine the applicable income threshold -- both the VA national income threshold and the income threshold for your geographic region.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.
Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin, can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org