Veterans Service Agency
The vision of the Veterans Service Agency (VSA), in partnership with the Veterans Affairs both federal and state, as well as other county agencies and departments, is to provide all veterans and their dependents with the benefits they have earned; strengthen the county's economic base; engender the veterans and veterans organization trust; expand community outreach; and enhance the quality of life of the Nassau County veteran community.
The VSA serves veterans as an advocate for compensation, pension, education and training, vocational rehabilitation, and additional benefits for survivors, burial, and hospital care. The agency provides free transportation for veterans to either the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in Northport or the VA health clinic in East Meadow. The program is staffed by 45 volunteers, who assist the veterans in getting the health care they require. The VSA provides returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with information on the GI Bill, employment opportunities, VA claims, and referrals.
The VSA also assists with federal, state, and local benefits, which the veteran may be entitled to receive. Specifically, state benefits may include various tuition assistance awards for the veteran and his or hers siblings, along with annuities for the veterans or their spouse who may be blind. There are many local benefits that veterans are entitled to receive, including veterans tax exemption, obtaining documents, assisting with appeals, employment counseling, and discharge upgrading.
To be an advocate for veterans, their spouses and dependents with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, New York State, and Nassau County.
VSA accomplishes its mission as it works to:
- Guide the veteran through the entire procedure from the claim application to the adjudication and, if necessary, the appeal process.
- Provide advocacy services for veterans, their spouses and dependents making it easier for claims and earned benefits to be administered.
- Educate veterans and their families on their veteran's benefits.
- File claims for veterans and/or their families to increase the dollar amount received by Nassau County veterans.
- Allow veterans, who are currently receiving Department of Social Services benefits, to receive VA benefits instead.
- Transport veterans to the VA hospital and/or clinic.
- Advise veterans going through VA Board of Veterans appeals.
- Reevaluate and upgrade the processing of claims and administering of earned benefits.
- Increase outreach to the community, thereby encouraging a greater number of veterans to file for benefits.
- Coordinate staff visitation to veterans organizations in the community to explain benefits and assist with filing VA claims. Thus far 20,000 veterans claims have been filed and $3.5 million in cash awards from the Department of Veterans Affairs.