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State-by-state Look At Vets' Benefits

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State-by-state look at vets' benefits In addition to benefits offered by the The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, military veterans and their families may also qualify for a variety of other perks offered by every state and the District of Columbia.

Link to Article

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-0...ts-states_N.htm

LIAISONS: Vets miss out on benefits, liaisons say

By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

CHICAGO — Many veterans never receive the federal and state benefits to which they're entitled because they're unaware they qualify for health care, tax breaks and other compensation, local liaisons to former troops say. "They're entitled to these benefits. They just don't know they exist," says veterans service officer Darlene McMartin, who works in a county-funded office in Council Bluffs, Iowa. McMartin says she encounters veterans every day who don't know about her office and the services they provide.

There are 25 million veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says. In fiscal year 2006, it provided disability pay to 2.6 million of them, pensions to 320,000, education benefits to 500,000, guaranteed home loans to 180,000 and health care to 5.5 million. It provided insurance to 4.5 million veterans and active-duty personnel.

The VA gives briefings and booklets about benefits to military personnel before they are discharged and sends each a "welcome home" packet with reminders and toll-free numbers. Still, veterans often don't know they can get financial or medical help or increases in disability pay, says Jim Golgart, a veterans service officer in Le Center, Minn.

"A lot of veterans from all eras do not understand or know about their benefits," says John Scocos, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. He wishes the federal VA would give outreach grants to state agencies.

Thirty states have county veterans service officers to provide information and help fill out applications; the rest have state or regional officers. Those advocates say reaching veterans is difficult:

•Many men and women who leave military service "put the green suit away and that's it," says Jim Lynch, veterans service officer in Valparaiso, Ind. Decades later, many develop health issues "and wonder what help they're entitled to." Long gaps can make it difficult to find records documenting injuries and illnesses during their service, he says.

•Ray Carroll, service officer in Panama City, Fla., says there are at least 22,000 veterans in Bay County. In 2007, his office saw 5,353 of them, including 441 new clients. Many more could qualify for benefits, he says. He runs ads in local media and holds an open house every Tuesday at a fire station.

•American Legion Post 266 in Tea, S.D., held its annual benefits forum Monday. "We're getting to some of the people … but not all," says district commander Richard Sievert.

•Mike Beaird, service officer in Huntsville, Ala., hosted a "supermarket of benefits" at a shopping mall last month. Many widows of veterans of earlier wars never seek help, he says.

•In Fall River, Mass., Nagali Bouchard of the Veterans' Association of Bristol County says most of the 15 new clients she sees each month have never sought medical care through the VA. "Sometimes," she says, "I guess they just fall through the cracks."

Legislation pending in the Senate would create a separate budget for VA outreach. The House of Representatives has passed a similar bill. "VA is conducting a very active outreach effort to recently returning veterans," says federal VA spokesman Matt Smith.

ALABAMA: Free tuition at state colleges and technical schools for disabled veterans and dependents.

ALASKA: One-time 25% discounts for some veterans on the purchase of residential or recreational land.

ARIZONA: Exemptions from vehicle license taxes and registration fees for fully disabled veterans and surviving spouses.

ARKANSAS: Income tax exemption of the first $6,000 of service or retirement pay.

CALIFORNIA: Home loans below market interest rates with low or no down payments.

COLORADO: Free hunting and fishing licenses for fully disabled veterans.

CONNECTICUT: $1,500 property-tax exemptions for wartime veterans.

DELAWARE: High-school diplomas for World War II veterans who didn't graduate because of military service.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Assistance applying for federal benefits.

FLORIDA: Homestead tax exemptions for veterans with service-connected permanent and total disabilities.

GEORGIA: Free driver's licenses for some veterans.

HAWAII: Payments of up to $5,000 to totally disabled veterans to help buy or remodel homes to improve handicapped accessibility.

IDAHO: Advocates to help seek federal benefits.

ILLINOIS: Each county grants one four-year scholarship annually for free tuition at the University of Illinois to veterans' children.

INDIANA: Emergency grants for families of National Guard and reservists for food, housing, utilities, medical services or transportation.

IOWA: Grants up to $10,000 to help family members be with injured veterans during recovery and rehabilitation.

KANSAS: Helps veterans prepare for, find and keep jobs.

KENTUCKY: Tuition waivers at state schools for children and spouses of disabled or deceased veterans.

LOUISIANA: Employment preferences in civil service jobs and layoffs.

MAINE: State guarantees for a percentage of small-business loans.

MARYLAND: Exemptions from 5% excise tax on the sale or transfer of boats by active-duty military.

MASSACHUSETTS: $2,000 annuities to some veterans and their spouses as well as Gold Star Parents.

MICHIGAN: Annual tuition grants of up to $2,800 for eligible children of some deceased or permanently disabled veterans.

MINNESOTA: Cash assistance for rent, mortgages, utilities for veterans unable to work because of temporary disabilities.

MISSISSIPPI: Professional licenses don't expire while military personnel are on active duty or for 90 days afterward.

MISSOURI: State tax exemptions for payments from the Agent Orange compensation fund to veterans or dependents.

MONTANA: $250 death payments made by counties.

NEBRASKA: Temporary emergency aid for food, fuel, shelter, clothing, funeral and medical costs for veterans, spouses and dependents.

NEVADA: Free hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: $100 bonuses for discharged or deceased veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11.

NEW JERSEY: Readjustment counseling for veterans and their famiilies.

NEW MEXICO: $4,000 reduction in the taxable value of real estate.

NEW YORK: Burial allowance of up to $6,000 for some military personnel killed in combat or while on active duty in hostile locations since Sept. 29, 2003.

NORTH CAROLINA: Income-tax exemptions for federal grants for veterans who are blind or lost the use of limbs.

NORTH DAKOTA: Loans of up to $5,000 for temporary financial emergencies. Half the interest is refunded if the loan is repaid on time.

OHIO: Free legal help for military personnel and their families.

OKLAHOMA: Exemption from sales, excise and some other taxes for totally disabled veterans.

OREGON: No loan fees on home improvement loans.

PENNSYLVANIA: $150 monthly pensions for totally disabled veterans who are paralyzed or blind.

RHODE ISLAND: Free license plates for former prisoners of war.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Exemption from parking meter fees when a veteran's vehicle has disabled veteran, Purple Heart or Medal of Honor license plates.

SOUTH DAKOTA: $40 toward the cost of installing a government headstone or marker at veterans' graves.

TENNESSEE: Free license plates for veterans with total service-connected disabilities.

TEXAS: Credit in state retirement system for active-duty military time.

UTAH: Discounted mass-transit fares for disabled and elderly veterans.

VERMONT: A "war bonus" of up to $120 for Vietnam veterans.

VIRGINIA: Job referral and placement assistance.

WASHINGTON: Estate-management services for veterans and family members who can't manage their finances.

WEST VIRGINIA: Tuition assistance to veterans who need new vocations and have exhausted the G.I. Bill.

WISCONSIN: Job training, counseling and alcohol and drug abuse treatment for homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless.

WYOMING: Free tuition and fees for education to spouses and children of veterans whose deaths were service-connected.

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State-by-state look at vets' benefits In addition to benefits offered by the The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, military veterans and their families may also qualify for a variety of other perks offered by every state and the District of Columbia.

Link to Article

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-0...ts-states_N.htm

This is a good list but it's incomplete. I live in California and know for a fact there are more veterans' State benefits available than this article proclaims. You have to go to the State's Laws and do the homework. ~Wings

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    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
    • Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
      • 7 replies
    • I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:


      2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis


      2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.

      "...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.


      First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date. 

      If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues. 

       

      I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.

      It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.

      Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.

       

      Does this help?
    • Thanks for that. So do you have a specific answer or experience with it bouncing between the two?
    • Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.

      The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.

      ...................Buck
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