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Veterans Services: 10 VA benefits you may have overlooked

1. Any veteran who is service-connected for a disability for which he or she uses prosthetic or orthopedic appliances may receive an annual clothing allowance.

2. VA provides pensions to low-income surviving spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime service.

3. A surviving spouse age 57 and older who remarries after Dec. 15, 2003, is entitled to continue to receive benefits.

4. Passports are available to family members free of charge for the purpose of visiting their loved one's grave or memorialization site at the American military cemeteries on foreign soil.

5. A rating percentage is considered "protected" once it is in place for 20 years. There would be no danger of a decreased disability rating after the 20 year mark.

6. A new imaging study has found that Gulf War veterans have what appear to be unique structural changes in the wiring of their brains.

7. Disabled veterans may be eligible to claim a federal tax refund based on: an increase in the Veteran's percentage of disability from the Veteran's Administration (which may include a retroactive determination) or the combat-disabled veteran applying for, and being granted, Combat-Related Special Compensation after an award for Concurrent Retirement and Disability.

8. Veterans who are 100 percent service-connected Individual Unemployability (IU) may be eligible for an additional monthly entitlement of $62.50 per month for catastrophic injury.

9. A veteran who is 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) for 10 years or longer and passes away from a non-service connected condition the spouse is eligible for Death Indemnity Compensatrion (DIC).

10. Any veteran that is service connected at 10 percent or more is eligible for free glasses from the VA. [Source: U.S. Veteran Compensation Programs December 31, 2017]

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.

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