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Military & Veterans' Issues

Veterans Can Get In-Person Help With Benefits Claims At Drive Thru Event

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The coronavirus pandemic has left many elderly, underserved, and homeless veterans with few options to file for veterans benefits. They simply don't have the technology.

The Bexar County Military and Veterans Services Center (BCMVSC) will host its first “D-Day” or document drop-off day, on Dec. 4 from 9 a.m.-1:00 p.m. outside the center. BCMVSC normally requires appointments for veterans benefits counseling and service referrals.

The Texas Veterans Commission, Audie Murphy Memorial VA Hospital and other VA benefits have either closed, gone to minimum manning, or have moved their services entirely online since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s left many veterans without options to file their claims paperwork, according to Karen Rolirad, executive director of BCMVSC.

“We want to have an opportunity to reach individuals that do not have email, that do not have fax machines. You're talking about the elderly population, the underserved, the homeless population. This document dropoff event really focuses on them,” she said.

On Dec. 4, a team of county veteran service officers will be onsite to collect Veterans Administration disability claims and appeal documents.

“If a veteran has a claim or an appeal, they can drop their documents off," Rolirad added. "We're going to scan everything and give it back. But we'll have it in our system. Then at a later date, we're going to call the veteran up and say, ‘Hey, we're working through your claim, here is what we have, and we're going to be able to file your claim.’”

Veterans should bring the following documents to start the process: Form DD-214 or equivalent, listings of service-connected disabilities, dates and locations of medical treatments received, and medical records.

County Clerk Lucy Adame-Clark and the “Records on the Run” mobile satellite office will be on hand to assist veterans with registering their DD-214 and filing other paperwork.

To minimize the risk of COVID-19, all veterans will be required to wear a mask and remain in their vehicles.

The document dropoff will take place in the BCMVSC parking lot at 1422 E Grayson St., West Grayson Street Building, Ste. 400.

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