Ninth Circuit Holds VA Benefits can Be Used to Help Pay for Incompetent Veteran's Subsistence
Source: Gossett v. Czech, 581 F.3d 891 (9th Cir. 2009).
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The Ninth Circuit has held that the Veteran's Benefits Act, which makes benefits earned by United states military veterans "exempt from the claims of creditors" (38 U.S.C. § 5301 (a) (1)), does not prohibit direct payments of an incompetent veteran's VA benefits to a state hospital for ongoing patient care. The ruling is consistent with those of other jurisdictions which, similarly, have distinguished between a state's use of an incompetent veteran's benefits to help pay for that veteran's subsistence, on the one hand, and from more traditional debt-collecting activities on the other.