Compton: Hotline is direct number for pay issues

By George Compton
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Q. I am a member of the California National Guard and I am continually having pay problems. Is there someone I can talk to about my problem?

A. The California National Guard has a hotline for this type of problem. Call 800-924-7782.

Q. In a recent column you quoted the monthly housing allowance for San Diego for a veteran that is going to use the Post 9/11 GI Education Bill. You said it was based on the zip code for the college. Is there a Web site that lists all of the zip codes? I have applied at three different schools.

A. I use the VA Web site, At that site, go to Benefits, then scroll down to Education; from that site, highlight Post- 9/11 GI Bill. At that site scroll down until you find the link to housing allowances for an E-5 with dependents. Click on the link and give the calculator a zip code and rank (E-5), and you will get the allowance for that zip code.

Q. My mother is the widow of a veteran and has been receiving about $660 a month in widow’s pension from the VAl. She needs to go into long-term care and will probably need an increase in her income. Will the VA help?

A. We basically have two options. Needing long-term care means we need to have her evaluated for aid and attendance. With aid and attendance, her pension will increase to about $1,056 a month. Knowing the cost of long-term care and the fact that she does not have much income, the cost might still be out of her reach.

If that is the case she needs to apply for Medi-Cal. The VA will not continue to provide her current pension under Medi-Cal, but there is another pension that provides an unmarried veteran or the widow of a veteran in long-term care $90 per month that is exempt from share-of-cost under Medi-Cal.

Q. My father served in the Merchant Marine in World War II and he is receiving veterans benefits. Can Merchant Marine Seamen that served after World War II also receive benefits?

A. Merchant Marine Seamen who served under the Coast Guard, the Naval Transportation Service, or the Army Transportation Service during WW II are eligible for veteran’s benefits. Eligibility stopped at the end of the war.

— 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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