Nevah Jones joined the Advocacy Center as a Skadden Fellow in our Veterans Legal Services Unit in September. In addition to serving as an attorney for low-income veterans in need of service-related payments and benefits from VA, Nevah will expand our existing medical-legal partnership to include legal training for clinicians providing care to veterans.
Nevah will focus on educating clinicians about what is legally necessary to craft a medical opinion in support of a veteran’s VA claims, as veterans have a higher burden of proof when submitting medical documentation for service-related disability benefits. She will advocate to address potential systemic issues in the initial stages of medical assessment that may result in payment or benefit denials for those to whom it is lawfully due. In addition, Nevah will also work with clinicians to identify health care barriers for veterans living with racial trauma stemming from military service. Racial discrimination within the military contributes to mental health conditions that may result in less than honorable discharge characterizations. Veterans who seek to upgrade their discharge characterization to access treatment or service-related benefits need credible medical evidence of their race-based trauma.
As a 20-year veteran of the Air Force, Nevah feels a unique connection to this work:
“In the military, I saw injured servicemembers pressured to ‘soldier on’ instead of seeking the medical care that they needed. Those same individuals were then disciplined and discharged when their untreated ailments made it difficult to do their jobs. I regret that I could not do more for my airmen then. It is because of them that I am singularly focused on getting veterans access to necessary health care and benefits today.”
Read Nevah’s full bio
If you are a clinician or attorney interested in learning more about these educational and legal efforts, please contact Nevah.
Last November, North Carolina passed a law to allow eligible retired members of the Armed Forces to deduct certain military retirement pay when calculating taxable income in North Carolina. The law also allows eligible beneficiaries of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) to deduct certain SBP payments. The deduction applies to the following:
- Retirement pay for service in the Armed Forces to a retired member that either
- Served at least 20 years, or
- Medically retired under 10 U.S.C. Chapter 61. (This deduction does not apply to severance pay received by a member due to separation from the member’s armed forces.)
- Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments to a beneficiary of a retired member who is eligible to deduct retirement pay.
Beginning in tax year 2021, eligible retirees or SBP beneficiaries may deduct military retirement pay or SBP payments on a North Carolina individual income tax return.
If you are eligible for the deduction but have already filed your North Carolina individual income tax return, you should consider filing an amended return with the North Carolina Department of Revenue to deduct the payments. (For more information on how to amend your 2021 North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return, Form D-400, see the instructions for the return, Form-D401, on the NC Department of Revenue website.)
Frequently Asked Questions
A retired member of the Armed Forces is eligible for the deduction if the retired member
- Served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces; or
- Was medically retired from the Armed Forces. For more information on medical retirement, see Disability Retirement.
If the retired member who purchased SBP coverage served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces or was medically retired from the Armed Forces under 10 U.S.C. Chapter 61, then the beneficiary of the retired member can deduct the SBP payment when calculating North Carolina taxable income.
You should consider filing an amended return with the North Carolina Department of Revenue to deduct the payments. For more information on how to amend your 2021 North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return, Form D-400, see the instructions for the return, Form-D401, on the NC Department of Revenue website.
No. Retirement pay received for work performed by a civilian employee does not qualify for the deduction.
No. North Carolina explicitly limits the deduction to payments made to the retired member of the Armed Forces. For example, the former spouse of the retired member of the Armed Forces may be entitled to receive a court-ordered payment from the retirement pay of the member. Because such payments are made to a person other than the retired member of the Armed Forces, the former spouse does not qualify for the deduction.