CONTACT: Jason Davis
Lane County Health & Human Services Interim Public Information Officer
Phone: (541) 246-2043
Cell: (503) 750-0982
Lane County Veteran’s Services Leads the State and the Nation in Entitlements Granted
Eugene, OR Recent Federal Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) benefit data showed Lane County Veteran Services Office (LCVSO) ranks #1 among all Oregon counties and #5 among all US counties that do not have an active military base in terms of compensation and pension benefits secured. In 2011 LCVSO advocated on behalf of over 9,000 veterans securing a total of $115 million in benefits, a full $5 million more than Oregon’s most populated county.
According to LCVSO Program Manager Joseph Reiley, LCVSO Officers are accredited VA representatives that advocate on behalf of veteran’s and their families to the Department of Veteran Affairs as well as help navigate the complex process of securing compensation/pension, education and medical care entitlements.
“Some benefits are eligible to all veteran’s and some require an adjudication process by the VA to determine eligibility, we help veteran’s through that process,” said Reiley.
Approximately 35,000 veterans call Lane County home and 25 percent of those individuals utilize LCVSO’s services. These are people who served in the US military and often times sustained an injury during service that impacts their current earning capacity. The VA’s adjudication process determines the correlation between their current injury and their military service. According to Reiley, this is important not only to secure the benefits for the vets but also to move them from community and state resources, such as the Oregon Healthcare Plan, to the VA health care they are eligible for.
Fortunately for veterans, in spite of recent countywide budget cuts the four person LCVSO team will go unaffected. The program submitted a budget reduction package, which would cut costs by 25 percent by eliminating one of the four LCVSO positions, but after deliberation the budget committee was able to allocate one-time funds to maintain the program’s current operations. Reiley and other County officials have seen support from all corners of the community, from the budget committee to County Commissioners.
“Our Veteran’s Services program and the fantastic success they’ve had is a real testament to just how much we value our vets here in Lane County,” said Sid Leiken, Lane County Commissioner.
This sentiment and the recent top ranking are good news for LCVSP but more importantly the health and well-being of Lane County veterans.
Lane County Human Services Division, including Lane County Veteran Services Office, is a division of Lane County Health & Human Services. Their programs and services help people in need in Lane County by meeting their basic needs, increasing their self-reliance, and build a safer community to live in by providing easy access to the human services they critically need. Learn more about Lane County Veteran Services Progam and Health and Human Services at: http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/HHS