Help for veterans
The new Hamilton County veterans services officer will be able to provide help in such areas as:
* Service-connected disability compensation
* Dependency and indemnity compensation
* Improved pension program with housebound/aid and attendance
* Health benefits enrollment
* Burial benefits, flags, headstones, markers and military honors
* GI Bill, vocational rehabilitation and dependents educational assistance
* VA insurance programs
* File notices of disagreement and appeals (Form 9) for denied claims
* Order replacement copies of discharge papers, military records, service medical records and order replacement issue for medals earned.
Source: Tennessee County Veterans Service Officers Association
Hamilton County wants a veterans service officer to help veterans and their families make the most of their available benefits.
“This has always been a priority, because we’ve seen the need for it,” County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Friday. “This is the first opportunity we’ve had to find the money to do it.”
Hamilton is among only a handful of Tennessee’s 95 counties that do not have a veterans service office to help military veterans learn about and access benefits they earned by serving the nation.
The details of the newly created position and the qualifications for the job will be released Monday. Applications will be accepted for two weeks, Human Resources Administrator Alecia Poe said.
Eligible applicants must be honorably discharged from military service. A seven-member committee comprising five veterans and two human resources officials will consider the applications, Poe said.
Veterans service officer tasks include meeting with veterans and their dependents, conducting community outreach and interacting with governmental agencies.
The starting salary is $43,157 and the midpoint salary is $53,946, Poe said.
The veterans service officer’s main objective is to “maximize opportunities for veterans” and help them take advantage of benefits they might not even know they could be receiving, Coppinger said.
Coppinger also praised Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder for her enthusiastic support of the proposal.
“There are more than 25,000 veterans in Hamilton County and each one has a different story linked to their military service, unique needs and individual priorities based on the phase of life they are currently living,” Grinder said in a statement
“It takes a large amount of training and collaboration between the state and county to be able to serve our veterans of all eras and their families with high-quality and compassionate customer service,” she said.