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Compton: Combat-related disability is available

By George Compton
Saturday, February 16, 2008

The 2008 Defense Authorization Act expands Combat Related Special Compensation to veterans who were medically retired because of combat-related conditions without completing 20 years of military service.

Veterans who have a compensable disability rating from Veterans Affairs have the amount of that compensation reduced from their retired pay. Combat Related Special Compensation provides that amount back to the veteran, tax free.

Applications for CRSC go to the veteran's branch of service, not the VA. Veterans who believe they are eligible for CRSC should contact this office, and we will explain the necessary documentation required for the claim and assist in preparation.

Q. My son is about to return from Iraq and leave the service. In an earlier article you stated that combat veterans get two years of free medical treatment from the VA. Is that still valid?

A. Combat veterans are authorized free medical care from the VA, but the same legislation from above increased the benefit to five years. After the five years, the veteran will be placed in an appropriate priority group and may or may not have a co-payment for treatment and prescriptions.

Q. I have had a VA life insurance policy for many years. Is it possible to obtain a loan on that policy?

A. You certainly can receive a loan on your policy. We are sending you the form you need to send to the VA Insurance Office in Philadelphia.

If you have any questions about the application or the amount you can borrow, the VA Insurance Office (800-669-8477) has the most helpful staff of all the offices we work with.

— George Compton, is the veterans service officer for the County of Ventura, Human Services Agency. Send questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033; 385-6366; fax: 385-6371; or e-mail: George.Compton@ventura.org.