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Compton: New bill affects education, more

By George Compton
Saturday, December 6, 2008

Q. I am in the Air National Guard and I have served a total of two years of active duty since 9/11. Will I have any benefits with the new education bill that takes effect next year?

A. Under the new bill that takes effect in August of 2009, you have earned 80 percent of the maximum benefit. To get 100 percent you would need three years.

There are a lot of questions about the new bill on the VA Web site. Go to, scroll down to "Education," and you will see a question-answer section.

Q. With the new changes in reimbursement rates at the VA, will there be an increase in mileage?

A. The rates were increased from 28.5 cents per mile to 41.5 cents per mile for eligible veterans. The new rate took effect on Nov. 17.

Service-connected veterans, veterans receiving nonservice connected pension, and veterans with low incomes are eligible for the reimbursement.

Q. In a recent column you gave the new VA home loan limit for Ventura County as $729,750. I am moving to Riverside County. Will I have the same loan limit?

A. No, the limits are different from county to county, based on cost of living in that county. The limit for Riverside County is $500,000.

Q. My father recently passed away, and he occasionally mentioned having a government life insurance policy. We cannot find any paperwork about a policy. Can you help?

A. You need to contact the VA Insurance Center at 800-669-8477. It will need his full name and Social Security number to check the records. That office is in Philadelphia so call early in the day.

If there is a policy, we can help you with the paperwork and get it to Philadelphia.

— 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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