We at VT get numerous requests for assistance from Veterans and families about VA Claims, Appeals, or inquiries about VA benefits in general.
To my knowledge there are only about two or three of us on staff who are familiar enough with the VA to get in trouble, but none of us are trained VA Claims assistance officers or Veterans Service Officers.
In most cases, beyond responding with general advise, we are going to end up referring you to an established Veterans Service Organization recognized by the VA to handle claims assistance or sponsorship.
For example, although I worked for the VA for four years way back in the day, had a career in filling our paperwork, and doing investigations, including adjudicating other people’s claims (not for VA benefits), I still felt it necessary to get a VSO to endorse or sponsor my VA Claim for political clout if nothing else. I picked the American Legion, but I knew which form to fill out to appoint the Legion my sponsor (on paper) without having to interact with a Legion Vet Service Officer.
I would NEVER recommend that for someone not familiar with the VA system. As a Life Member of both Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) I can assure you that if you are not able to get ready access to VA Claims assistance from your country Veterans Service Officer (unless the County has cut back on them due to economic hard times), or to a local VSO chapter, hall, or social club.
Well, if you know where to look, and where to go, I know of at least one Veterans organization who brings such services as close to your front door as possible.
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has Mobile Service Vans or Trucks sponsored by Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company that comes to a Harley Davidson Dealership nearest you. Furthermore, the VA Claims service and advice is FREE, you do not have to join the DAV, and you do not even have to buy a Harley chopper.
Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News
The Disabled American Veterans – Harley Heroes Tour
If you want straight answers about rights and benefits you earned through your military service to our country – as well as FREE, PROFESSIONAL VA CLAIM ASSISTANCE from a highly trained expert,
It’s coming your way! A fully equipped DAV National Service Office (NSO) on wheels will make a stop at a location near you to help with your benefits at NO COST TO YOU.
For a schedule and list of locations closest to you, go to:
The work of NSOs extends well beyond their offices and extends deep within the veterans’ community.
Part of their outreach activities involves DAV’s Mobile Service Office (MSO) Program. This program is designed to educate disabled veterans and their families on specific veterans’ benefits and services.
This outreach program generates considerable claims work on behalf of veterans and their families. NSOs, often aided by Department and Chapter Service Officers, travel to communities across the country to counsel and assist veterans with development of evidence, completion of required applications and prosecution of claims for veterans benefits administered under federal, state and local laws.
A DAV National Service Officer (NSO) is regorously and professionally schooled in the full range of benefits for military veterans and retirees – will provide you the best counseling and claim filing assistance you can get from any source, anywhere. Like you, this NSO is a Veteran.
Because the DAV is a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to serving you, NSOs have only one goal; making sure you get all the benefits and services your EARNED. Considering Veterans part of the Harley-Davidson family, the company’s Foundation shares this goal.
The DAV’s Mobile Service Office (MSO) program was revitalized in March 2001 and is the most extensive outreach effort in the history of our organization. Thanks to the generosity of a $1 million pledge from the Harley-Davidson Foundation in 2007, the DAV expanded the sites visited by the MSO to include Harley-Davidson dealerships, where benefits assistance is offered to veterans of all generations in communities where they live.
Let me repeat, the help offered under the Harley’s Heroes Tour is completely FREE…just like all DAV services to Veterans and their families. DAV membership is not required!
These distinctive- looking and well equipped “offices on wheels” eliminate long trips some veterans in smaller towns and rural communities must take to visit our National Service Offices. The MSO program enhances DAV service to more veterans and their families.
PLEASE BE ADVISED: When you come to the DAV Service Office location, bring your VA Claim number (if you have one), Social Security Number, and any other pertinent documentation to support your claim.
If for some reason you cannot get to a location nearest you contact David Bilnovich, DAV Supervisor at (216) 522-3507 for more information about how to access DAV Claims assistance.
Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner.
My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me.
Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000.
I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house.
I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.
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