Veteran's adviser: Compensation rates for 2008 are announced
By George Compton
Q. Has the VA published the new compensation rates for next year? I have a 40 percent disability rating and I am married and have a 20-year-old child attending college.
A. The new rates are published and reflect a 2.3 percent increase. The new rates will be reflected on the checks at the end of this month.
Veterans rated 10 percent will receive $117 per month and veterans rated at 20 percent will receive $230 per month.
Veterans rated 30 percent and higher get additional pay for spouses and dependent children. That additional pay increases with the percentage of disability. Here are the single rates: 30 percent is $356; 40 percent is $512; 50 percent is $728; 60 percent is $921; 70 percent is $1,161; 80 percent is $1,349; 90 percent is $1,517; and 100 percent is $2,527.
The new rate for surviving spouses that are receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is $1,091. That rate increases $271 for each dependent child.
In your case at 40 percent with a spouse and dependent child in college, you will receive $658 per month. If your child is attending a state-owned college, do not forget the fee waiver.
Military retirees will also have a 2.3 percent monthly increase in their retired pay.
Q. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer four months ago. I served in Vietnam and I filed a disability claim earlier this month. If my claim is approved, what will be the effective date of my disability?
A. Normally the effective date is the beginning of the next month following the date the claim was filed. For example, if a claim was filed on Nov. 17 the effective date for compensation would be Dec. 1.
When a claim is filed based on medical data that is developed within one year of the submission of the claim, the VA can award compensation from the beginning of the month after the exam. In your case, your award may be established at the beginning of the month after your diagnosis.
— George Compton, retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the County of Ventura, Human Services Agency. Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033; phone number: 385-6366; fax: 385-6371; or e-mail: George.Compton@ventura.org.