Southampton, NY - August 7th, 2013 - On August 6, County Executive Bellone, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced that a Joint Service Agreement has been approved by the County to provide a Suffolk County accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to Southampton Township. The VSO will facilitate access to counseling and assistance services for eligible veterans, their spouses, dependents and survivors by an accredited. This officer will help to facilitate access for east-end veterans to services and resources available to veterans.
“This joint agreement will help to provide improved services to veterans and save taxpayer dollars,” stated County Executive Steve Bellone. “Those who have served our country deserve our support and this initiative will help to provide services the veteran’s community needs and wants. I am proud to partner with Legislator Jay Schneiderman and Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst to take this important step towards shared services. Working smarter and more efficiently is paramount to good government. When municipalities have the opportunity to share services and resources it’s a win for everyone involved.”
This Agreement was approved unanimously by the Suffolk County Legislature on July 30th and is in effect from August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2016 with two one-year options to renew the agreement not to exceed 5 years. The VSO will be assigned by the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency and will serve the town of Southampton at Town Hall and other designated town facilities.
“I think it is incumbent on us as the leaders of local government to ensure that our veterans and their families can readily access the services and benefits they deserve, said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. “ This arrangement will make access to these services more convenient for a number of our veteran residents – particularly those who find it difficult to travel.”
“This is a perfect example of different levels of government working together to provide services that our citizens deserve and need,” said Legislator Schneiderman. “Providing our veterans with the help they need is both an honor and a pleasure. Having a county Veterans Service Agency officer in Southampton Town Hall is a great improvement in services for all East End veterans.”
The veteran’s services provided by the agreement include:
- Assistance to determine qualification for any Veterans’ Affairs (“VA”) benefits
- Identification and assistance with the preparation and submission of benefits applications for interested veterans in the community, including Pension, Compensation, Aid and Attendance (A&A) or other benefits
- Assistance to veterans who have questions regarding issues such as benefits, applications, various VA forms, eligibility and payment issues
- Answering questions and/or providing relevant information to residents and families regarding VA related topics
- Assistance to veterans in the community in responding to VA related inquires
- Tracking applications and reporting updates to facilities and residents/family members as necessary
The point of contact for Veterans in the Town of Southampton is Community Outreach Coordinator, Virginia Bennett. Those veterans seeking assistance can contact Virginia at (631) 702-2423 to confirm weekly schedule and locations for the Veterans Service Officer who will rotate between Town Hall and the various Senior Centers throughout the town.
Photo Courtesy of Suffolk County.