2018-01-10 / Editorial

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Editor:

It is my pleasure to report on the operations and activities for the Waynesboro Veteran Service Field Office for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service for FY 2017.

Our mission is to serve Georgia Veterans, their dependents and survivors in all matters pertaining to Veterans’ benefits. The Waynesboro Field Office is located at 715 W. 6th St., Waynesboro, GA 30830, and is responsible for the counties of Burke and Jefferson.

Many of our clients encounter numerous and complex problems relating to veterans benefits. A large part of our time is spent counseling and assisting them in resolving their problems. The necessity for personal assistance to eligible beneficiaries filing claims with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, results from the legal principal that no veteran benefit is awarded automatically. All benefits to which a veteran or his dependents may be entitled must be applied for. The Georgia Department of Veterans Service provides free representation and advice regarding all state and federal veterans' benefits.

The 2017 annual report is available on our website, https:// veterans.georgia.gov. We have more than 699,000 veterans currently residing in Georgia. There are several states that have approximately the same number or a higher number of veterans as Georgia. The following numbers show that these direct FY 2017 monetary payments dramatically indicate the “extra” effort and service our department provides to Georgia veterans and their dependents.

The veteran population for Georgia in FY 2017 was 699,322 with the compensation and pension totaling $3,528,819,000. In Vi rginia: 729,398 – $3,154,782,000; New York: 806,827 – $2,567,691,000; Pennsylvania: 845,507 – $2,621,747,000; Ohio – 796,267 – $2,412,518,000; and Illinois: 646,939 – $1,847,960,000.

Burke County’s veteran population was 1,566 for FY 2017 and the county received a direct payment of $8,138,000. Total expenditures (including compensation and pensions, construction, education and vocational rehabilitation/employment, general operating expenses, insurance and indemnities and medical care) were $22,805,000. The Waynesboro Veteran Service Office continues to be instrumental in assisting recipients in our area to receive direct VA monetary payments from compensation and pension.

Your confidence in the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and support of this office is greatly appreciated. Please be assured of our desire to be of service at all times to you, our veterans, their dependents and survivors.

Carol D. Crawford

Office manager,

Georgia Department of

Veterans Services

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