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Home News County Veterans Service Officers Making a Difference to California Veterans

County Veterans Service Officers Making a Difference to California Veterans

The California Association of County Veterans Service Officers (CACVSO) announced that during fiscal year 2013-14, they assisted California’s veterans in filing claims with the federal government which resulted in payments of over $545 million according to recently released figures from the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This is an increase of over 23% from the $445 million that the county veteran service officers (CVSOs) brought in during fiscal year 2012-13” stated Chris Bingham, President of the Association and the Sonoma County Veterans Service Officer.

This increase can be attributed to several factors according to Bingham.

Increased state funding in FY 2013 to $5.6 million from $2.6 million.  The increased funding allowed us to increase our outreach activities and hire additional Veteran Service Representatives to assist Veterans in the VA Claim process.
Coordination with the state-funded CalVet Strike teams located at the federal Veterans Administration’s three regional offices in California.

Better claims reporting and tracking by CVSOs using the CalVet sponsored VetPro software program.

“CVSOs and the CalVet Strike teams work together to ensure that California’s veterans’ claims are fully developed so they do not become bogged down in the current Veterans Administration claims backlog that has been in the papers so much recently” stated Pete Conaty, the governmental advocated for CACVSO and other veterans organizations at the state capitol.

California has more veterans than any other states, but it has lagged behind other states until recently” stated Joe Wright, Kings County Veterans Service Officer.

“The increased state funding for CVSOs and the strike teams is really making a huge difference in increased federal payments to California veterans according to Wright.  Benefits are not automatic like Social Security and are awarded based mostly on wartime service or a result of injuries or illness suffered.

While we only track these benefits for a one year period, it is important to note that these monthly compensation payments continue each year until the veteran passes away” concluded Bingham.■

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