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Law changes veteran burial and funeral benefits, plot allowances

The president signed the Veterans’ Benefit Act of 2010 yesterday; a public law number has not been assigned. 

I will send the public law when it becomes available.  This is great news and a great way to assist our veterans and their dependents!

These are the NCA-related sections.

• Increase in Burial and Funeral Expenses for Deaths in Department Facilities — Paragraph (1)(A) of subsection (a) of section 2303 is amended by striking “$300” and inserting “$700 (as increased from time to time under subsection (c)).”

• Increase in Amount of Plot Allowances — Subsection (b) of such section is amended by striking “$300” both places it appears and inserting “$700 (as increased from time to time under subsection (c)).”

• Annual Adjustment — Such section is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

With respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary shall provide a percentage increase (rounded to the nearest dollar) in the maximum amount of burial and funeral expenses payable under subsection (a) and in the maximum amount of the plot or internment allowance payable under subsection (b), equal to the percentage by which the Consumer Price Index (all items, United States city average) for the 12-month period ending on the June 30 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year for which the increase is made, exceeds the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period preceding the 12-month period described in paragraph (1).

Effective date:

In general, except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to deaths occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2011.

Prohibition on cost-of-living adjustment for Fiscal Year 2012 — no adjustments shall be made under section 2303(c) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (c), for fiscal year 2012.

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call Mike Dunaway, 247-2198, and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays, call Harriet Mulnix, (505) 793-1782.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. Durango, CO 81301 (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone number is 247-2214.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.