Veteran's Services

Posted by Pamela Arnsberger on Mar 22, 2018
Announcements and Reminders
 
Please note:  The online application for community grants has been posted. It is downloadable from the top right corner of our home page.  Please e-mail applications in by April 13th.
Remember our major fundraiser April 13th, a roast for Bruce McPherson.  Tickets are $150. Think about business sponsorships (which come with free tickets!) and possible silent auction items! And bring a bottle of wine for our wine wheelbarrow.
Second Harvest needs volunteers next Saturday (March 24th) to help with food sorting.
April 7th is our workday at the Homeless Services Center. We need supplies (sanders and drop cloths especially) and volunteers! In the same vein, the Rotarian of the week is Craig Matthews for taking on this big job. If you want to add your name to the list see Craig.
John Fisher announced the Rotary Foundation was honoring Bill Witmer for his contributions.
 
      Dean Kaufman, a Veterans Services Officer from our local Veteran’s Service Office (VS0) at 846 Front Street spoke to use today about Veteran's Benefits.
         Mr Kaufman began by stressing that veterans are part of all of our lives. He first described the four branches of the VA: healthcare, financial benefits (such as the GI bill), cemeteries, and the vet center. Ours is one of the best VA’s (in Livermore) in the country due to an association with Stanford. Two other nearby clinics are Monterey and San Jose. Vets must have an honorable discharge to be eligible for this service.  No computer system links them all together. However, our VSO is a county office, not affiliated with the federal VA.
         
 
         Mr Kaufman began by stressing that veterans are part of all of our lives. He first described the four branches of the VA: healthcare, benefits (such as the GI bill), cemeteries, and the vet center. Ours is one of the best VA’s (in Livermore) in the country due to an association with Stanford. Two other nearby clinics are Monterey and San Jose. Vets must have an honorable discharge to be eligible for this service.  No computer system links them all together. However, our VSO is a county office, not affiliated with the federal VA.
         Veterans earn benefits because they fought in a war.  A DD-214 is the basic document for getting started.  The VSO will help get it and order other records if needed.     
Disability compensation is available if vets need health care but their income is too high. Their condition must be caused or exacerbated by military service as well as presumptive conditions (also known as service connected disabilities). Each disabling condition is rated separately. Some presumptive issues include agent orange and gulf war issues and ALS.as well as PTSD.
         The PTSD system has changed how it processes these claims even if they have been denied for many years. There are many covered therapies for this. Mr. Kaufman noted that Operation Surface is actually here this weekend.
         Other benefits include vocational rehab, home loans and women’s veteran’s programs. There is also substance abuse and alcohol assistance as well as housing for homeless vets.
      For older folks the aid and attendance benefit might be useful even if the there is not a service connected disability. Some part of their term of service, however, has to be during a period of war.  To be eligible for this benefit he vet must be 65 or older or permanently disabled on SSDI or SSI.