BY JOHN H. RILING III, CHAIR
The Veterans Benefits Committee has seen many changes to the work performed by the national staff and the Veteran Service Officers due to the quarantines put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Most Veteran Service Officers have been working from home. How much this will affect future work is yet to be seen. In the business world there has been a movement to have staff work remotely on a regular basis.
To work entirely offsite is very hard for a Veteran Service Officer because so much has to be done in person. Interviews are the backbone of helping veterans. They always lead to a quality claim or appeal. Quality, not quantity, is the unspoken motto of VVA’s Veteran Service Officer program. The VA Regional Offices in Detroit and Cleveland have been open to staff but closed to the public. At this point, no word has been given about when they will reopen, but we hope it will be soon.
Interesting facts from Felicia Mullaney, director of VVA’s Veterans Benefits Program: The VBP represents more than 77,000 veterans and family members of all eras. Thanks to the VBP’s advocacy, more than $80 million in benefits is paid every month. Claimants in 27 states and Puerto Rico are represented by local VVA VSOs. Claimants in the 23 remaining states and the Philippines are represented by the VBP national office at the AMO. The staffs at all of our VSO programs work hard every day for veterans.