Compton: Vets can apply military experience as work experience
By George Compton
Q. I understand there was legislation pending to allow veterans to apply for employment with the state of California without starting at entry-level pay. Did that ever take effect?
A. That legislation went into effect in January 2009. Veterans are now eligible to take promotional civil service exams, even if they are currently not a civil service employee.
The law allows veterans who meet the minimum qualifications for promotional job openings to be admitted to state interviews and exams. Veterans now get credit for military training and job experience.
A copy of the State Personnel Board Memorandum explaining the law can be found at the following link: http://www.spb.ca.gov/WorkArea/showcontentx?id=4550.
Q. I have been receiving compensation at the 50 percent rate for many years. I am now 60 years old and I will be receiving retirement funds from the Air Force Reserve. How will that affect my disability?
A. You need to inform the VA that you are going to receive retired pay. Until a few years ago, retirees had the amount of compensation from the VA reduced from their retired pay. Now veterans rated at 50 percent to 90 percent have a portion of their retired pay reduced and veterans at 100 percent have no reduction. Over the next few years the reduction will be reduced until all will get VA compensation and full retired pay. If your disability was from combat or combat-related training you need to file for Combat Related Special Compensation. That option returns the amount withheld for compensation immediately and it is tax-free.
Q. I am 100 percent disabled and I applied for CHAMPVA for my spouse and it was denied, can you explain?
A. You were denied because you have a temporary rating of 100 percent and you will be re-evaluated at a later date. If you receive a permanent rating of 100 percent she would be eligible.
— 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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