Every once in a while, a Veteran gets involved in something that results in a bad outcome. Bad choices usually play a role here.
The Veterans Administration recognized the need to outline specifics regarding various Special Groups of Veterans, and this article reviews that group known as Incarcerated Veterans.
According to VA Pamphlet 80-13-01, Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors (based on the 2013 edition: http://www.va.gov/OPA/publications/benefits_book.asp), VA benefits are affected if a beneficiary is convicted of a felony and imprisoned for more than 60 days.
Other things to remember include:
- Disability or death pension paid to an incarcerated beneficiary must be discontinued.
- Disability compensation paid to an incarcerated Veteran rated 20 percent or more disabled is limited to the 10 percent rate.
- A veteran with a disability rating of 10 percent, the payment is reduced to half of the rate payable to a Veteran evaluated as 10 percent disabled.
- Any amounts not paid to the Veteran while incarcerated may be apportioned to eligible dependents.
- Payments are not reduced for participants in work-release programs, residing in halfway houses or under community control.
Remember, that if you fail to notify the VA of a Veteran’s incarceration, this can result in overpayment of benefits and even loss of all VA financial benefits until overpayment is recovered. And, VA benefits will not be provided to any Veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.
Please see your VA for specifics on this information.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel for those Veterans who’ve been incarcerated, however. At least two programs may provide added assistance in order to get Incarcerated Veterans back on the right track:
The Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program (HCRV) – offers outreach to Veterans incarcerated in state and federal prisons, and referrals and short-term case management assistance upon release from prison.
The Veterans Justice Outreach Program (VJO) – offers outreach and case management to Veterans involved in law enforcement encounters, overseen by treatment courts, and incarcerated in local jails. Visit www.va.gov/homeless/ to locate an outreach worker.
As always, please consult the VA for the most accurate and current information regarding support for Incarcerated Veterans.
Let’s do our part to help these Veterans in need!