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Compton: More east county office hours available for vets

By George Compton
Saturday, January 31, 2009

Because of a large increase in the number of veterans needing service in east county areas, office hours are being expanded in Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks.

John Jackson will be at the Simi Valley Job and Career Center, 980 Enchanted Way, each Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for the first Wednesday of the month, when he will be at the Senior Center from 9 to 11 a.m.

John will be in Thousand Oaks at the office of Supervisor Linda Parks, 2967 Thousand Oaks Blvd., from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. He will be at the Thousand Oaks Senior Center the second Tuesday of the month, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Q. I understand the working dogs in the military can now be adopted when they are retired, how can I find out if I am qualified to get one?

A. There is a Web site dedicated to finding homes for retired working dogs. The site is http://www.militaryworkingdogadoptions.com and has instructions and tips about the adoption procedures.

Q. I am rated 80 percent disabled by the VA, and I am being paid at the 100 percent rate because of unemployability. I recently received a sizable check from the Department of Defense, can you explain?

A. The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act provided for full concurrent receipt of military retired pay for veterans receiving individual unemployability compensation, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2005.

The difference between 80 percent and 100 percent is significant; this year it is $1,276 for a married veteran. In your specific case it will add about $400 per month to your retired pay.

Your award goes back to 2006 so indeed you were owed a sizable sum.

Q. Recently you gave instructions on a question/answer Web site to find out about the 9/11 GI Education Bill, can you give that again?

A. There are a lot of questions and answers about the new bill on the VA Web site. Go to http://www.va.gov and scroll down to education and you will see a question-and-answer section. I have never seen a VA page grow so fast.

— George Compton, a 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.

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