Brochure on benefits available at VA facilities
I am a Korean War veteran. I started getting an annual check from the U.S. Treasury several years ago. I noted a printed statement on the check indicating "INS DIV"; I assumed this is a dividend for a life insurance program. I knowingly have never received any letter or other correspondence concerning VA benefits, i.e. hospitalization, burial, etc. Who can I contact to receive a comprehensive VA benefits brochure?
Answer: Your check is an insurance dividend check. Veterans eligible for the dividends have had VA life insurance policies in effect since they left the military. Dividends are paid each year to veterans holding certain government life insurance policies and who served between 1917 and 1956. For VA benefits information and brochures, contact your nearest VA health care facility or VA regional office. The primary brochure you are looking for is the "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents." The brochure can also be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954 for a $5 fee. Check the VA's Web site, www.va.gov.
Here in Hawaii, contact the VA Medical Center at 433-0600 or the Honolulu VA Regional Office at (800) 827-1000.
Q: Can a veteran get a VA loan to pay off the mortgage or other liens of record on his or her home?
A: Yes. In most cases, the loan may not exceed 90 percent of the reasonable value of the property as determined by an appraisal, plus the funding fee, if required. The loan may include funds for any purpose that is acceptable to the lender, plus closing costs, including a reasonable number of discount points. A veteran must have available home loan entitlement. An existing loan on a manufactured home (except as noted below) may not be refinanced with a VA guaranteed loan.
The loan amount is limited to the balance of the old loan plus the closing costs, discount points, funding fee, and up to $6,000 in energy efficient improvements. An existing VA loan on a manufactured home may be refinanced to obtain a lower interest rate. For additional information on a home loan guaranty, call the Honolulu VA Regional Office at (808) 827-1000. You can also visit the VA Web site at www.homeloans.va.gov.
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.