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Compton: Vets encouraged to attend Welcome Home event

By George Compton
Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System is sponsoring the second annual Welcome Home event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7 at the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, 16111 Plummer St., North Hills.

This event is to welcome home all veterans, and there will be family activities. I strongly encourage our new veterans to attend to learn about the veteran community and medical benefits available from the VA.

Q. I have received a request from the VA for medical information from my civilian doctor. What is the best way to submit that information?

A. Provide a letter from your doctor about your condition and how that condition relates to your military service. Also provide a release (VA Form 21-4142) so the VA can request any other information required from your doctor.

Q. I just found out that my VA compensation would make me eligible for the economic stimulus payment. I did not file by April 15. Can I still file?

A. Under the economic stimulus payment instructions (IRS Rebate), individuals receiving veteran's benefits have until Oct. 15 to file. You are eligible to count those benefits to reach the $3,000 qualifying income level. Those who reach the $3,000 qualifying income level are eligible to receive $300 ($600 on a joint return).

Q. I have been discussing a VA Home Loan with a lender, and he said he could get my Certificate of Eligibility for me. Is that possible?

A. Most lenders have access to an automated system that can establish eligibility and issue a Certificate of Eligibility. That system works if there is sufficient data on the veteran. Any veteran who has applied for any VA benefit is in the system, and veterans currently leaving the service have their data entered in the system.

This method of getting your certificate will certainly save time. Currently, veterans in this area have to apply to the VA Eligibility Center in North Carolina.

— 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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