VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY - 2020 ANNUAL REPORT
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic no report of the number of claim, appeals and pensions can be provided
This office has numerous claims in the appeals process and we are still waiting for their results. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun a new process for the appeals. Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) into effect 14 FEB 19. This new process also opened up a new way of submitting a supplemental claim or what was called in the past a reconsideration claim by utilizing two new forms. Even though the process is somewhat new, the “RAPID” is non-existant. Also due to the Pandemic, Appeals have been removed from the Regional office responsibility to the County VSO’s.
The office has an established and continues to have a contractual relationship with DSS. This is assisting more and more veterans and their families. The veteran is applying to DSS for benefits and DSS is referring them to our agency to establish eligibility for federal benefits first. This is a substantial cost savings to the county. We have had 83 referrals and 55veterans and/or widows who have qualified for federal benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This results in a greater reduction in the cost of local Medicare benefits.
Over the past year, this office had 6410 contacts and has provided 8040 client services. We have completed 132 Veterans’ property tax exemptions. This number will increase due to the returning Active Duty Reservist/Guardsman.
Continue supporting the National Cemetery known as the “Western New York National Cemetery” located at NY Route 77 and the Indian Falls Road, Town of Pembroke, Genesee County by keeping in contact with our Federal, State Representatives and Local Legislature and providing assistance in preparation of the VA Form 40-10007(Pre-Need Application).
Continue and improve the Veterans Mentorship Program by increasing the number of Mentors. This has been in existence since 2009. We have graduated 46 veterans to date with no repeat offenders.
This agency is highly involved with the NYS Department of Labor. The NYS Department of labor has recently assigned an employee to the Veterans Mentorship program this past year to assist veterans going through the court process to find employment.
Continue to gain knowledge of what is available to veterans and their families by attending Service Officer training offered by the National Association of Veterans Service Officers and the New York State Veteran Service Officer Association