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Old 05-24-2009, 05:46 PM
 
150 posts, read 600,697 times
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I will be volunteering with a prison ministry and find that some of the inmates who will soon be released are veterans of various military branches. I've heard that felons loose their benefits but don't know who to contact to get specific details. Helping offenders to return to the outside is complicated and so many parole officers don't seem to know where to get needed answers, don't have time or just don't really care. If the offender needs psych or medical care, have they lost their ability to use the VA system?

Any help or offer of direction is truly appreciated.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,764 posts, read 4,604,279 times
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The prisoner should get their DD214. Bottom line, if you want to help them, they can't do anything without it. If they don't know where it is, they can get one, but it takes a long time (they have time to wait for it I suppose). As a recruiter, I would get letters from dudes in jail all the time wanting to get back in. That's a no go. My brother works with prisoners, many of whom claim to be veterans but can't show it. His first step is always helping the ones who seem legit on the path to getting their DD214, often simplhy by showing them how to search for the address to write to online.

Once they have a DD214, their status can be verified and they can ask the VA for help finding out what they may be entitled to as a veteran in spite of their criminal conviction (not much, from memory, but it depends on their crime IIRC)
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,870 posts, read 28,669,930 times
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I seem to recall that there was a big issue about that when they first had 'Timothy McVey' on trial. Congress pushed through a law to deny VA privileges to felons.

With four massive bombs set inside the building and McVey's tiny little bomb outside the building, his defense wanted investigation to continue to find who placed the bombs inside. But it was all canceled when he lost his defense team.

The result is that a vet is supposed to lose most of his VA benefits if he commits a felony.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:22 AM
 
687 posts, read 994,350 times
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A vet only loses VA privileges while in prison. When they are released, they can get their benefits reinstated. Plenty of vets with felony convictions receive VA benefits.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:52 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 13,386,386 times
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Forest Beekeeper, I seem to remember something like that, too. I just don't remember which way the issue went. At any rate, eligibility for veteran's benefits is always on a case-by-case basis. As Caution says, the individual veteran MUST be willing to do the leg workfor his/herself. You may be able to educate yourself about some of the programs and requirements from a county or state veteran's bureau (check the blue "Government" pages in front of the phone book. Best of luck!
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:16 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
17,638 posts, read 19,027,454 times
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I do not think there is one simple answer. I think you need to contact the VA, which is not part of the Department of Defense.

For example: Section 505 of Public Law 107 – 103, “The Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001,” as well as 38 U.S.C. 5313B, prohibit the payment of benefits to VA beneficiaries while they are fugitive felons and also prohibit payment to dependents of a veteran who is a fugitive felon. This is known as the Fugitive Felon Act.

I think each individual needs to be carefully screened/evaluated etc...

Rich
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:24 PM
 
150 posts, read 600,697 times
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Thank you to all who offered suggestions. Yes, I have tried to do some research on the VA websites. And yes, it seems to be somewhat confusing but I never saw anything about specific exclusions. Well, maybe something about other than an honorable discharge. I will keep looking but at least I have a few places to start.

Again, thank you for all your helpful answers.
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:30 PM
 
1 posts, read 7,823 times
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I was just arrested for a felony I am currently enrolled in school and using my Post 911 benefits. How will this affect them, if convicted, dismissed, probation etc?
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:14 PM
 
1,725 posts, read 1,974,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggor View Post
I was just arrested for a felony I am currently enrolled in school and using my Post 911 benefits. How will this affect them, if convicted, dismissed, probation etc?
Get a good lawyer, 25k now is worth over a million dollars later...

Do a little research on overcharging and plea bargaining down. What was it for???

Moderator cut: Stay on topic and keep the politics out of this forum

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 07-21-2012 at 11:29 PM..
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:12 PM
 
3,208 posts, read 2,624,348 times
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Contact your local VA if a veteran and speak with one of the social workers. They will explain all the beneifts available. Even if you did not do the full 20 years contact your local VA.. There are still benefits available especially if you have limited income.
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