County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Nick Stefanovic, director of Monroe County Veterans Service Agency, announced record-setting 2017 performance indicators for the VSA, including number of claims filed, total benefits received and average benefits per claim.
“Monroe County is committed to serving those who’ve served us by helping our local veterans secure the benefits they’ve rightly earned and very much deserve,” Dinolfo said. “In 2017, our VSA redoubled its efforts to assist veterans in filing claims with the VA, and clearly that effort has paid off. In fact, last year we achieved an all-time record level of benefits secured for veterans who call Monroe County home. I’m proud of Director Stefanovic and our entire VSA team for the outstanding work they did in 2017, which has continued into this year.”
VSA filed 986 claims approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2017, an increase from 716 in 2016. The total benefits claimed by the county’s VSA was $4.24 million in 2017, an increase from $2.93 million in 2016. On average, veterans who had claims approved received almost $5,000 in benefits they had earned but never received.
Dinolfo and Stefanovic issued a renewed call for local veterans to schedule a free consultation with VSA. Consultations last an hour, and assist veterans in determining if they are receiving the entirety of the benefits they earned during their time of service.
“We have heard from some veterans who are hesitant to come in for a consultation, or maybe feel they haven’t earned it,” Dinolfo said. “To those vets, I promise you this — if the VA determines you are eligible, then you have earned those benefits, period. Whether you served in combat or peacetime, overseas or at home, you’ve sacrificed for our nation and this is one small way for our nation to give back. Often, a life-changing award is only one free consultation away.”
To schedule a consultation, call (585) 753-6040 or visit the office at 125 Westfall Road, Rochester. Visit monroecounty.gov/vsa-home for a summary of potential benefits.
“At the VSA, our door is always open,” Stefanovic said. “Schedule your consultation, have a cup of coffee and let us walk you through the process to see if you’re receiving everything that you have earned.”