The San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs is successfully using a combination of technology and resource availability to assist local veterans.
As a result, a record number of veterans are being serviced in the county resulting in the department ranking highest in the state in fiscal year 2020-21 for securing more than $45 million in new benefits for local veterans.
Veterans service officers are working with veterans through phone and electronic exchanges to secure a variety of benefits such as disability compensation claims, pensions for wartime service, and college tuition/fee waivers from federal, state and local agencies.
“Our staff work hard to represent veterans and help them get all of the benefits to which they are entitled,” said Edward Amaya, Interim Director of San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs. “We are committed to serving our veterans and their families in any way that we can.”
Another example of the Department’s support of local veterans includes participating in hiring events like the West End Hiring and Record Clearing event held Thursday, May 12 at the Anthony Munoz Community Center in Ontario.
“It was a successful event helping businesses and those seeking employment, expungement, childcare, and veteran benefits information,” the department reported. More than 185 job seekers participated in the outreach effort where 42 employers discussed job opportunities with their organizations.
More health conditions may be eligible for benefits
A number of veterans continue to suffer from illnesses resulting from their service. Many of these former service members may now be eligible for health benefits they could not qualify for previously. This is because last November, the VA added bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism to the list of medical conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange.
The department also added asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis (to include rhinosinusitis) on a presumptive basis based on particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas. For those who think they might be eligible for these or other benefits can call (909) 382-3290 of visit the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at SBCounty.gov/VA.