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Ninth Circuit Holds VA Benefits can Be Used to Help Pay for Incompetent Veteran's Subsistence

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.

Source: Gossett v. Czech, 581 F.3d 891 (9th Cir. 2009).

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Related legal case

Gossett v. Czech