Veterans Service Agency serves county’s veterans

JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency is professionally staffed by a team of veterans who stand ready to offer a variety of services to the estimated 12,000 county veterans and their families of all wars and conflicts as well as peacetime service.

The department’s mission is to assist veterans, dependents, and surviving spouses in the completion of applications for federal and state benefits for areas involving pensions, disability compensation, home and education loans, grants, burial allowances, scholarships, memorial ceremonies and all other services that need professional assistance and guidance. In 2012, the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency assisted 1,817 veterans and 649 veteran dependents in completing applications for federal, state, and local benefits.

“The department does more than just regular office appointments” said Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency Director Doug Diers. “Our Department will visit veterans and families at their private residence, at medical hospitals, or at nursing facilities.”

The County Officers are recognized under federal law by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide legal representation for individuals in matters relating to VA law. With counselors available in both the North and South section of the county, personal one-on-one counseling and commitment is provided to ensure the highest level of service is available within the limits of the resources. By virtue of their accreditation, they have access to a nationwide network of accredited representatives who are able to provide expanded assistance, even before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, D.C.

The agency provides daily professional interaction with elected officials, federal, state, and private agencies, community and veterans groups, and the general public. The office provides briefings and speeches in both the formal and informal group settings providing information about benefits and to answer veteran’s questions or concerns.

“I feel our Department is able to make a real difference in our County Veteran’s lives,” said Diers. “We are able to use our military experiences and educational background to help our fellow veterans and their dependents receive everything they have earned and deserve.”

To schedule a briefing or to find out more about the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency and what they offer for veterans, please call 363-3842 for the Dunkirk office or 661-8255 for the Jamestown office. To stay updated on current information from the department and the military community, visit the “Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency” Facebook page.