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Marc J. Soss, Esq.

(941) 928-0310 |


Williams Sonoma · Lowes · Home Depot · Golden Coral


Retirees may receive standard issue glasses each year from the Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Command (NOSTRA). To obtain go to the NOSTRA Web site and select the “How to Order: Retirees” link for information. If you are retired military and eligible for other medical services, you are authorized to receive annually one clear pair of Bifocals and one tinted pair of Bifocals if prescribed by your Optometrist / Ophthalmologist.  If you choose not to request Bifocals, you can receive one pair of Distance Vision and one pair of Near Vision spectacles. One pair of Distance Vision tinted spectacles is authorized if prescribed by your Optometrist / Ophthalmologist. 

Veterans’ Preference in Employment and Retention: 

Florida and its political subdivisions shall give preference in employment and retention in government positions to veterans who served during a wartime period and separated under honorable conditions, or who are disabled veterans who have compensable service connected disabilities as well as to a spouse or un-remarried veteran’s widow or widower under certain circumstances. 

Education for Children of Deceased or Disabled Florida  Veterans:

The State of Florida provides scholarships for dependent children of Florida veterans or servicemen who died in action or died from service-connected diseases or disabilities, have been verified by the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs as having service-connected 100% total and permanent disabilities, have been determined to have service-connected total and permanent disability ratings of 100% and are in receipt of disability retirement from any branch of the United States Armed Services, or are classified as prisoners of war or missing in action. Specific residency requirements apply and the veteran must have served during specific wars, conflicts or events.

Burial Benefits in a Veterans


Grave site in a national cemetery

(with space available), 
· Opening and closing of the grave,
· Perpetual care,
· Govt. headstone / marker,
· Burial Flag,
· Burial allowance, and
· Spousal benefits. 

Burial Benefits in a Private Cemetery:
· Perpetual care,
· Govt. headstone / marker,
· Burial Flag, and
·  Burial allowance.
·  No spousal benefits.

To confirm eligibility for burial benefits, call a Veteran’s Benefits Counselor at (800) 827-1000 

Note: The VA does not make funeral arrangements or perform cremations.  Families should make these arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office.  Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the families expense.

·Members of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard) who dies on active duty.
·Any veteran (discharged under conditions other than dishonorable). 
·Reservists and National Guard members who, at time of death, were entitled to retired pay or would have been entitled, but for being under the age of 60. 
·Members of reserve components, and members of the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard, who die while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the US for injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while performing active duty for training or inactive duty training.



2018 Changes to Veteran Benefits Eligibility


​2006 Clayton B. Burton Award of Excellence

Sailor Makes Time for Community

Veteran Legal Services Sarasota
Marc J. Soss

Special Monthly Compensation for Serious Disabilities:
VA can pay an added compensation (paid in addition to the regular Disability Compensation) to a veteran who, as a result of military service, incurred the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities. Loss, or loss of use, is described as either an amputation or, having no effective remaining function of an extremity or organ. Loss, or loss of use, is described as either an amputation or, having no effective remaining function of an extremity or organ. The disabilities VA can consider for SMC include: loss, or loss of use, of a hand or foot; immobility of a joint or paralysis; loss of sight of an eye (having only light perception); loss, or loss of use, of a reproductive organ; complete loss, or loss of use, of both buttocks; deafness of both ears (having absence of air and bone conduction); inability to communicate by speech (complete organic aphonia); and loss of a percentage of tissue from a single breast, or both breasts, from mastectomy or radiation treatment

Combination of Disabilities:
The VA will pay higher rates for combinations of these disabilities such as loss or loss of use of the feet, legs, hands, and arms, in specific monetary increments, based on the particular combination of the disabilities.  There are also higher payments for various combinations of severe deafness with bilateral blindness. Additional SMC is available if a veteran is service connected for paraplegia, with complete loss of bowel and bladder control. In addition, if you have other service-connected disabilities that, in combination with the above special monthly compensation, meet certain criteria, a higher amount of SMC can also be considered. If a veteran is service connected at the 100% rate and is housebound, bedridden, or is so helpless to need the aid and attendance of another person, then consideration of payment of additional SMC can be considered.  The amount of SMC will vary depending on the level of aid and attendance needed.

Concurrent Receipt:
Qualified disabled military retirees now get paid both their full military retirement pay and their VA disability compensation. This recently passed law phases out (over 9 years) the VA disability offset, which means that military retirees with 20 or more years of service and a 50% (or higher) VA rated disability will no longer have their military retirement pay reduced by the amount of their VA disability compensation.  Full concurrent receipt will be phased-in over the coming years (except as noted above). This means that if you qualify you will see your retirement pay increase by approximately ten percent each year until the phase-in is complete in 2014.

Eligibility: To qualify for concurrent receipt you must be a:
·  Military Retiree with 20 or more years of service, 
·  Chapter 61 Medical Retirees with 20 plus years.
·  National Guard or Reservist with 20 or more good years. (Once they turn 60 and begin drawing a retirement check)  ·   Service Related Disabled Veteran with a VA disability rating of 50% or higher. 

The Value of the Benefit:
Your personal CRDP payment rate is determined by your current VA Disability Compensation waiver, minus the CRDP "Table Rate," then multiplied by the current CRDP "Phase Out" percentage. When fully phased in, CRDP will fully restore your military retirement pay and VA Disability Compensation payments. The total amount you receive cannot exceed the sum of your actual military retirement pay and VA Disability Compensation added together.