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Mission Statement


Veterans Services strives to always continue to maintain its “veteran first” motto and the goal “to apply specialized knowledge in the best way suited to meet the needs of every individual veteran or dependent who comes to the office for assistance.”

FY 2015-2016 Accomplishments

  • Conducted more than 204 unique client interviews with veterans and dependents
  • Handled more than 620 phone and e-mail contacts
  • Performed an additional 546 client support activities which encompass all other activities besides claims and appeals
    • These activities typically include such items as military record requests, VA home loan guarantee applications, G.I. Bill education benefit applications, VA life insurance applications, death notifications, VA cemetery and government headstone requests, income verifications and VA health care enrollments and VCAA Veterans Claims Assistance Act
  • Attended an accredited Florida Department of Veteran Affairs training and accreditation conference, one FDVA Women Veterans training conference, 28 meetings with local Veteran organizations, conducted eight speaking engagements and performed 28 outreach benefit processes for disabled veterans who did not have the physical ability to visit an office. Received national accreditation from five veteran service organizations.

Veterans Services Statistics

  • There are 41,641 veterans in Escambia County according to the most recent Department of Veterans Affairs reports.  Veterans and their related benefits and entitlements continue to have a major financial impact in our area. 
  • Total expenditures by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Escambia County equaled $283.73 million.
  • Escambia County Veterans and their dependents received cash payments of $173.6 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
  • Costs associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs' Education, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services exceeded $27.14 million.
  • There are over 1,700 military retirees living in Escambia County zip codes bringing in over $34,000,000 annual taxable income (about $20,000 per retiree).

Client Services

  • 620 Total Client Contacts
    • Total number of contacts, including telephone, e-mail, seen in office
  • 340 New Clients
    • Clients who have not been seen before or clients who have not been seen in the last 12 months
  • 824 Total Claims Assistance
    • Total new claims and return visits because of development of new information
  • 204 Total Unique Clients
    • Total number of unduplicated clients
  • 3.03 Average Contact per Client
    • Total client contact divided by total unique clients

Community Relationships

The VSO and the following community partners meet on a monthly basis to share information on Veteran programs and to address the current needs and to solve the many issues related among our Veteran community:

American Red Cross, Panhandle Warrior Partnership, Florida Department of Veteran Affairs, Florida Veterans Foundation, USO, VET Center, Veteran Service Organizations, Waterfront Mission, UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center, PSC Upward Bound, VA JACC, and Career Source Escarosa
Marine Aviation Memorial Tower

Veterans Services Aids Surviving Spouse of Vietnam Veteran

The VSO assisted and completed a clear and unmistakable error claim for a surviving spouse of a Vietnam Veteran who filed for Agent Orange/Lung Cancer service connected claim, but died before a decision from the VA Pension Management Center.  I assisted widow in filing a substitution of claimant and Dependency Indemnity Compensation Claim.  She received the decision denying her because he did not have boots on the ground in Vietnam but was a Blue Water Navy veteran.  The VA was not aware or had the proper evidence proving his See Bee Unit was aboard a qualifying ship.  I requested his Military Records from NPRC and provided them to VA with documentation establishing Boots on the Ground to complete a notice of disagreement claim for the widow’s benefit. After the award was adjusted to her benefit, based on the VA error, the widow received a retro payment of over $6000 from the effective date of claim which was able to catch up her medical bills and now is in receipt of a monthly tax free income of $1254 which assists her in quality of life and help pay for the medical care she now requires.

Senior Peacetime Veteran: The VSO completed a successful Debt Management Waiver claim for a senior peacetime veteran who owed the VA over $25,000 through a past divorced agreement who was unaware the VA loan laws. The Veteran filed a recent initial hearing disability claim, which probed the VA to identify the Veteran had a debt and was going to take all his rating money to repay the money owed. The veteran was confused, in denial and did not have the appropriate knowledge of the VA home loan laws to settle his stressful situation. He currently is remarried, going through many financial hardships and experiencing medical operations based from current disabilities. After CVSO placed the request with collected evidence for his claim, the Veteran was approved the dept waiver from the VA Debt Management Center which eliminated the substantial debt, restored his credit and not disrupt his $263 VA disability monthly payment. The veteran was so grateful and had a peace of mind with his current spouse after their decision from his assistance received. Since then, I assisted him with an increase award based on the worsened severity of current medical issues.

Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran: The VSO assisted a current Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran with his initial fully developed claim through the St. Petersburg Regional Office who was experiencing family stress, social and employment impact and requested experienced assistance for help understand how to file a claim according to the Code of Federal regulations. After requesting records, identifying the disabilities and needs, collecting all viable evidence required by medical and legal regulation and laws. The veteran received a positive favorable rating decision of 60% disable which resulted in a first month retro payment of over $4000 based on effective date of claim and a monthly tax free monthly benefit of over $1400.00 dollars based on his dependents and current disabilities. He currently has the relief to know the government appreciates his military service from his service connected compensation and can successfully start to enjoy increased family social and employable stability. From my service to the veteran and his family, he informed me how grateful he was to have met the CVSO, and acknowledge he would always recommend the department for care, trust and positive experience he received during the entire process before and after.

204

Unique interviews conducted with veterans and dependents

824

Claims assisted

620

Total client contacts