Veterans Affairs

routt county veterans of colorado

Mon May 20

Good morning,

I am in the office until the usual 12N today. If you come by and I am not in the office, I'll be across the street in the Human Services offices taking care of some things and my cell # will be on a sign on the door. 

So please come by if you want to talk about your benefits or file a claim. I'm looking froward to being of service. 

Have a good day, 

Veterans Helping Veterans (5/20)

If you are veteran going through financial hardship - or you know one who is -there are a couple of programs designed to help out.

Free Dental Care for Veterans
Steamboat Springs dentist Dr Jim McCreight is providing free, need-based dental care to Routt County veterans.h. Dr McCreight, himself a veteran of the US Navy, will provide these services with his wife Wendy, also a dentist, in their Steamboat office.

The service is for veterans who do not have health insurance or the resources to pay cash for their dental care. Services are provided on Fridays, an appointment is required and you may call the office directly at 879-4703. 

Veteran's Assistance Fund
Steamboat American Legion Post 44 in conjunction with the Steamboat Ski Town Lions Club, has an assistance fund for veterans in need. It's designed to help veterans who need help providing basics for themselves and their families. It can also be used to assist in home modifications and repairs to help a veteran lead a higher quality of life, such as constructing a wheelchair ramp or remodeling a room to better accommodate and handicapped veteran.

Note: this is not a county program and is not directly connected to this office, I merely am the contact person for the American Legion and the Lions Club. 

Please, contact me for more information. There is help out there for our fellow veterans who need it. 

Benefit Spotlight: Our Burial Benefits (5/17)

The VA provides a variety of benefits for us and our families after we've died. There are certain active duty service requirements - generally 24 months - and eligibility requires something other than a dishonorable discharge.

Benefits include burial or internment at a VA cemetery and includes a headstone or marker, burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no charge to a veteran's family. Certain family members are also authorized to be buried at a national cemetery, as well. The VA also provides a flat-rate burial allowance under certain circumstances. Reservists are eligible under certain circumstances, too, though they generally had to have died on active duty or have to be receiving, or would would have been entitled to receive at age 60, retirement pay. 

An exception to this is burial at Arlington National Cemetery, which is generally reserved for those killed in the line of duty and those who won the Purple Heart or another medal for valor. 

More details can be found by clicking here.  

Something To Know: Requesting Records From VA (5/15)

If all you need to do is request records from the VA, like your DD-214, click here. It's a VA website that makes the process rather easy. 

Of course, if you'd rather have me help you do it, that's why I'm here. Please call for an appointment, or stop by. - gk

Progressive Insurance Keys To Progress Car Giveaway (5/15)

Progressive Insurance had been giving vehicles away to deserving veterans for most of this decade. This year's giveaways are on November 7 in all 50 states. Colorado's will be in Colorado Springs, though any veteran in the state is eligible. 

The vehicles have been refurbished (the National Auto Body Council is also a sponsor) and there are assorted requirements, as well. For example, a single veteran cannot make more than $24,980 a year, must have a clean driving record for the past seven years and will have to pass a background check. The veteran must also be able to afford to maintain and insure a car as well. There are some others, too. 

It might seem like a lot of hoops to jump through, but if you are a veteran and meet the guidelines, it cannot hurt to apply. I have complete information, plus applications, here at the VSO, so please call or visit. - gk

Something To Know: The Veteran's Crisis Line (5/10)

Fellow vet's,

If you are in crisis and are having thoughts of suicide there is help available, 24 hours a day from the VA, with trained professionals waiting to help. 

No military service is easy and some leaves scars that simply do not go away and an average of 22 vets a day kill themselves. We don't want this to be you. 

There are three ways to reach the Veteran's Crisis Line: 
800/273-8255, press 1
send message to 838255

Help Wanted: Security Officer, Yampa Valley Medical Center (5/8/19)

Fellow Vets,

YVMC is looking for a security officer, a position vets are rather qualified for. Now, the hospital contracts out their security, so do not call them looking for more information. The company is called HSS and they are out of Denver. 

They have three openings: one PT position with a flexible schedule, and two full-time, day shift positions and the FT positions come with benefits, too. 

More information can be found by clicking here.  

Something To Know: Online Help Exploring Your VA Benefits (5/8/19)

Friends, click here for a VA website that provides an excellent resource for exploring the benefits we've earned serving our country. It includes information on disability benefits, education and training benefits, and employment services, among others.

You can even apply online, though if you are not comfortable with that, please, come and see me. It's what I'm here for. 

Something To Know: Non-Service Connected Health Benefits (5/3/19)

A veteran who is employed but does not have health insurance and does not have a service-connected disability came in this week wondering if there were any VA medical benefits available to him. 

Indeed there are. The VA offers medical care to veterans without a service connected disability. Now, the services are not free and the cost depends on your income level, but the cost is very reasonable. I use it and am pleased with it. 

Of course, there is a form to fill out and approval is not instantaneous but it is available. It will require a trip to Grand Junction for your initial physical, but after that service are provided at the teleclinic in Craig. 

Click here for information and to apply.

A Reminder

If this is your first time filing a claim with the VA, please bring your DD-214 and be prepared to sign a power of attorney (POA) so I can act on your behalf. (That is all the POA allows me to do, act on your behalf. I can't access your bank account or do anything else.) Having these items will make things go smoother for us.

We do not have to file a complete claim on your first visit. We can file what's known as an Intent To File, which reserves your date of claim - the date which benefits are paid from - and gives you a year to file a completed claim. I am here to help you with all of this, at no cost to you.

Something To Know: Your VA Mortgage Benefit (5/1/19)

I haven't been on the job all that long, but already I've had a couple of questions about our VA mortgage benefit. It's a valuable and useful tool when buying a home. 

One thing to note is the VA does not lend you the money. It does, though, guarantee a portion of the loan, which will lead some lenders to offer more favorable terms, such as concessions on closing costs. It also allows you to buy with no down payment, which can be a significant barrier to new homeowners.

The benefit does not expire and can be used multiple times. You were given a form when you were discharged or resigned your commission or warrant detailing this benefit, though if you don't have this form your lender can get it.

It's a government program, so there are restrictions and whatnot, but any veteran purchasing a home will do well to consider using this benefit. My wife and I used for our purchase in 2014 and it made things a lot smoother. 

Click here (it's a VA website) for more information. 

Something To Know: Blue Water Sailors (4/29/19)

The Court of Appeals for the Fed Circuit (FedCir) recently ruled that Blue Water Sailors who served within 12 nautical miles (a bit more than 13-and-a-half land miles) of the Vietnamese coast are entitled to the same presumption of Agent Orange exposure that Brown Water Sailors are. 

If you were a blue water sailor who served within 12 nautical miles of the Vietnam coast, and you want to file a claim, or have a claim pending or already denied, please come to talk to me so we can discuss your options. 

Services Provided

I can help with the following. 

  • Filing VA claims and appeals
  • Healthcare enrollment
  • Nursing home care
  • Disability compensation
  • Pension
  • Education and training
  • Vocational rehabilitation and employment
  • Home loan guarantees
  • Life insurance
  • Burial benefits, headstones and markers
  • Survivor benefits
  • Replacement of military records, medals and awards
  • Employment Assistance

The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.
George Washington

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American Legion and VFW Posts in Routt County

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