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Veterans' Adviser: Try to keep income down to be eligible for fee waiver

By George Compton
Saturday, December 29, 2007

Q: In a recent column, you stated that the limit a student could make for this year and be eligible for the fee waiver was $10,488 and that it should increase for the next school year. My son will report an income of about $11,000 for this year; will that make him ineligible for the fee waiver at CSU Channel Islands?

A: The income limit will be established long before your son needs to file his return with the IRS. However, I do not think the limit will go as high as his income.

If your son is over the limit, have him open a traditional IRA, not a Roth IRA, and invest enough to get his adjusted gross income below the limit. His tuition is then covered, and he has an investment. In the future, if he goes over the limit of a traditional IRA, he would be denied the fee waiver.

Q: I am going to have surgery for a service-connected condition. I should be in the hospital for two weeks, but I am going to need a few months of physical therapy. Is there a way to get physical therapy without having to make multiple trips to West Los Angeles?

A: Contact Oxnard Family Circle (385-4180). That facility has a contract with Veterans Affairs to provide physical and chronic pain therapy, as well as other services. I recommend you visit there, and they will assess your requirements. They will also explain how to apply with the VA to take advantage of their services. You will need to have your VA doctor authorize physical therapy so start that process as soon as possible.

Q: Does the VA still provide transportation to the West L.A. Medical Center? Where is there a schedule and do you need a reservation?

A: The VA bus makes one round trip daily (Monday-Friday) from the Santa Barbara Outpatient Clinic and the West L.A. Medical Center. The bus makes a stop at the Oxnard Transportation Center and departs for L.A. about 9:10 a.m. and arrives at West L.A. about 10 a.m. It then shuttles veterans between West L.A. and Sepulveda Outpatient Clinic until it departs West L.A. for Oxnard about 3:40 p.m. It arrives in Oxnard about 5 p.m.

You need to make a reservation with the Santa Barbara Outpatient Clinic at 683-1491. I recommend you make the reservation when you make an appointment because the bus becomes full on occasion. At the latest, call by 12:30 p.m. the day before you need the ride.

— 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:

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