Well another month has slipped by and it looks like it is starting to get warmer. The first week of April was spent in Indianapolis training with the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. It was a long week in a classroom but I gained a lot of good knowledge. When I am fully accredited I will be able to go to the VA website and look directly at the claims and see what is happening. I still have to take another test for the State of Indiana. There were 91 Veteran Service Officers in attendance and we all passed. The test was 100 questions long and had to be completed in 90 minutes. Well that part is completed.

OK let's look now to a program that a lot of people are not familiar with and that is the VA Pension program. Most of this information came from March 2014 VFW magazine. To qualify you have to have a permanent and total non-service disability or be 65 years of age or older and meet certain financial standards. You must have served at least 90 days on active duty prior to Sept. 8, 1980 or 24 months after that date. One day of your service needed to be during a war period and meet low income and net worth levels. You have to have less than $80,000 net worth not counting your home or one vehicle. If you are on Medicaid and in a nursing home the most you will receive is $90 for incidentals. If you have a lot of medical bills that you have to pay co-pays on it will go to reduce your income. Remember this is not to get rich but just to help those that have a low income. The most a person could get is $12,465 being single with no income. The average for veteran benefit has been $11,038 and for survivors without veteran has been $6,521 and you would divide those numbers by 12 to get the monthly benefit. But remember everyone is different and it all depends on what you actually make.

One new thing coming in July of this year is the revised Military Family Relief fund. If you remember it was designed to help military family's of recently deployed service men and women who needed help financially. It is no longer going to be for just those three years back. It will be from September of 2001 going forward. We don't have all the details as yet but I will let you know when I know more as it will go into effect on July 1. As always give me a call if you have a question or you want to set up a meeting.