Vets must notify VA for loan liability releases
When a veteran sells his property, who will assume the existing Department of Veterans Affairs loan? Is the veteran released automatically from personal liability for repayment of the loan?
Answer: No. If the loan closed after March 1, 1988, the lender or VA must be notified and requested to approve the assumer and grant the veteran release from liability. If the loan was closed prior to March 1, 1988, the loan may be assumed without approval from VA or the lender. However, the veteran is strongly encouraged to request a release of liability from VA to avoid owing a debt to the government if the loan assumer (or a subsequent assumer) fails to pay the loan. For more information on VA home loans, contact the VA at (800) 827-1000, or check out the VA Web site at www.homeloans.va.gov.
Q: I read combat veterans have been granted an extension of health care eligibility for VA health care. Can you elaborate?
A: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 extends the period of enhanced health care eligibility if the veteran served in Iraq or Afghanistan after Nov. 11, 1998.
Currently enrolled veterans and new enrollees who were discharged from active duty on or after Jan. 28, 2003, are eligible for the enhanced benefits, for five years following discharge.
Veterans discharged from active duty before Jan. 28, 2003, who apply for enrollment on or after Jan. 28, 2008, are eligible for the enhanced benefit until Jan, 27, 2011.
Veterans included in this authority may be enrolled in priority group 6 if not eligible for a higher priority group placement and may be charged copays for medication and/or treatment of conditions that are clearly unrelated to their combat service (e.g. common cold, broken bone). For additional information on this enhanced benefit, contact the VA at 433-0600.
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.