For the latest reporting period, almost $7 million came into Humboldt County in the form of new or one-time veterans benefits. That’s a 25 percent increase over the previous year.
The VSO is a program of the Department of Health and Human Services. So far this year, the office has received approximately 1,600 contacts each month via email, in person and phone calls.
Veterans services officer Rena Maveety says staffers have been able to increase their outreach efforts.
”We’ve recently been offered space in the new Veterans Health Administration’s outpatient clinic in Eureka,” Maveety said. “We find it’s helpful for veterans visiting the clinic to have contact with VSO staff members so they find out what other benefits may be available.”
There are about 12,000 vets in Humboldt County. Among other things, the VSO has information available about compensation claims, survivor’s benefits, requests for military records, home loans and medical and education benefits. Most of the business is done in the Eureka office, but staff travel periodically to other parts of the county to meet with veterans.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs issues a report to the board of supervisors each year outlining the Humboldt VSO’s accomplishments.
”Your county veteran population deserves and has earned the right to continued high-quality representation in veterans affairs,” said Peter Gravett, Department of Veterans Affairs secretary.
VSO staffers are available to give presentations to other groups on how to access veterans benefits. For more information, contact the Veterans Services Office at the Humboldt County courthouse, 825 Fifth St., Eureka, or call (707) 445-7611.
Come in and meet veterans’ services representative Kristy Gierek, left, veterans’ services officer Rena Maveety, center, and office assistant Andrea Wrisley.