November eleventh marks the day of remembrance for the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces and their families. Veteran Services, part of the Department of Human Assistance, works every day to not only honor vets but provide a variety of services.
“Sacramento County’s Veterans Services unit works to ensure that the men and women who have served this country are receiving the benefits to which they are entitled, and to remind them that their time served in the Armed Forces has not been forgotten,” said Paul Lake, Director of the Department of Human Assistance (DHA).
The Unit, established in 1946, provides benefit entitlement and case management services, and advocates on behalf of veterans to access their State and Federal benefits. Veterans Services Representatives assist with filing claims and providing assistance when claims are denied. DHA assisted more than 6,000 vets with more than 1,000 claims in 2012. With those claims, DHA helped local veterans received $1.2 million dollars in retroactive benefits.
The program also administers the College Fee Waiver Program for veterans’ dependents. Spouses, unmarried surviving spouses, and children of deceased or disabled veterans are eligible to apply. Qualification relieves dependents of paying any mandatory tuition and fees while attending a California community college, California State University, (CSU) or University of California, (UC). In 2012, families received $ 4.2 million dollars in assistance within the College Fee Waiver Program, providing thousands of families with the ability to achieve their educational goals.
Benefits for Vets:
Disability compensation benefits
VA medical care eligibility
VA life insurance
Help with burial costs
Requests for military records
Pre-registration to special events
The County also supports and honors vets through its Veterans History Project, a volunteer based program that is dedicated to videotaping the personal stories of veterans and civilians involved in American wars of any era – from World War I through the most recent conflicts in Iraq. Read more about Veterans History Project.
“We still have veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars who haven’t accessed their full benefits, and as they age, they need them even more. We also have an ever-increasing group of young veterans who have been in harm’s way in recent conflicts for our country. It is important that all of our veterans know their rights and are getting the help they need,” Lake added.
To learn more about Veteran Services, or to find out if you qualify for the College Fee Waver Program, visit the SacCounty Veteran Services Page.