Monday, June 24, 2024


Another Veterans Day in the books… I would like to thank everyone that recognized Veterans this year. The Lake County courthouse was lit up for Operation Green Light for Veterans. Thank you to the Board of Commissioners, Adminis­trator, and the Facilities Maintenance crew for the support and work required to illuminate the courthouse in green. See the phenomenal pho­to on the right, thanks to legendary North Shore photog, Christian Dalbec. The American Legion Post 109 held a successful Veterans Day Din­ner. Thank you to all the volunteers, especially the young adults from local high school sports teams, for the hard work. I would be remiss if I failed to mention Lyn Singleton and her tireless work resulting in an exquisite meal.

I do not have a witty transition, so I will get right to the point. A Veteran may be eligible for additional disability compensation for a quali­fied spouse, child, and/or parent. You must be eligible for VA disability compensation, and you must have a combined disability rating of at least 30%.

VA considers a dependent as a spouse (in­cluding same-sex and common-law marriages), a parent you are directly caring for and their in­come/net worth are below a certain amount, and an unmarried child (includes adopted child and stepchild). The unmarried child must be under 18 years old, or between 18 and 23 years old and enrolled in school full time or became perma­nently disabled before they turned 18.

You need to file a claim for additional com­pensation for a dependent. You may submit this claim at the same time you file your original claim for disability compensation. You may also file a claim if you receive a decision increasing your combined disability rating to at least 30%. You may file a claim whenever you add a depen­dent by getting married, having or adopting a child, your child is 18-23 and in school full time, or if you become the caregiver for a parent who meets the income/net worth requirements.

Just as important as adding a dependent, is making sure to remove a dependent due to divorce, death, or any other reason a dependent no longer meets the definition or requirements. We want to avoid incurring a debt due to overpayment of your disability compensation.

You may submit your claim to add or remove a dependent online at VA.gov.

However, I would recommend consulting your County Veterans Service Officer. Your CVSO can review your situation and ensure the appropriate forms and evidence are submitted to VA.

Brad Anderson and Melissa Crandall are the Lake County Veterans Service Officers and can be reached at 218.834.8326 or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Vet­erans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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