Compton: VA education benefits are not taxable

By George Compton
Friday, June 19, 2009

Q. I am going to attend college with the Post 9/11 Education Bill. Are any of those benefits taxable?

A. No. Any benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service.

Q. Is it possible to schedule my interment at a National Cemetery in advance?

A. You cannot make arrangements with the National Cemetery in advance, but you can make arrangements with a funeral director in advance. In making those arrangements, give the funeral director a copy of your discharge. All interments are now scheduled through the National Cemetery scheduling office in St. Louis, and all funeral directors should be familiar with the process.

Q. I understand that if the child of a veteran wants to use the California Fee Waiver, the veteran must have a service-connected disability. I did not file for disability from the VA but I was discharged from the military because of a medical condition. Will that make my son eligible?

A. If a veteran has a discharge document that states that the reason for discharge is because of a service-connected disability, eligibility for the California Fee Waiver is established.

I recommend you file for disability from the VA for the condition that ended your service. That could be important if your medical condition becomes more severe. You also could be eligible for medical treatment from the VA.

Q. At one time I used a VA loan to purchase a home. My loan was assumed, the assumer defaulted on the loan, and the VA paid a claim to the lender. The VA agreed it was not my fault and waived the debt. Now I need a new VA loan but I am told that my used eligibility cannot be restored. Why?

A. Although your debt was waived by the VA, the government still suffered a loss on the loan. The law does not permit the used portion of your eligibility to be restored until the loss has been repaid in full.

— George Compton, a retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the county Human Services Agency.

Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033, phone 385-6366, fax 385-6371, or e-mail [email protected].

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