Compton: Rule for low-interest home loans is relaxed

By George Compton
Saturday, July 5, 2008

On June 17, President Bush signed into law the Heroes Earnings Assistance Act of 2008, which made a much needed change to eligibility for Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bonds under the state’s long-standing CalVet Home Loan Program.

To be eligible for the lowest interest rate home loans, veterans formerly had to have had active military service before 1977. The act now allows veterans who were deployed to Panama, the Persian Gulf, Operation Desert Storm, Somalia, the Balkans and now Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan to have access to the same benefits those earlier veterans received.

On behalf of all California veterans, I would like to thank the California senators and representatives who were unanimous in their support for this act. I would also like to thank Secretary Tom Johnson of the California Department of Veterans Affairs for his years of work in making the act a reality.

For those veterans ready to take advantage of the CalVet Home Loan Program, the toll-free number is 866-653-2507.

Q. I met a veteran at a VA clinic, and he said he was not 100 percent disabled but being paid at the 100 percent rate. Is that possible?

A. Veterans who have service-connected disabilities that impair their ability to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment can be paid at the 100 percent rate. The basic requirements are that the veteran must either have one single service-connected disability rated at 60 percent or more, or have multiple disabilities that combine to 70 percent or more with at least one disability rated at 40 percent or more.

Even if a veteran meets the above criteria, the VA must evaluate the case. I have veterans rated above 70 percent disabled who maintain gainful employment. Veterans with service-connected disabilities less than the above criteria would usually not get rated unemployable.

Q. I used the VA Home Loan Guarantee many years ago and since have sold that home. How can I find out if I can use that benefit again?

A. Apply for another Certificate of Eligibility. We are sending you a packet of information and the form you will need.

— 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: [email protected].

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