Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Announces Veteran Outreach Series

Free Pension Benefits Briefings Available to Veterans and Family Members.

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Photo by: Suffolk County

Suffolk County, NY - August 24, 2018 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announces multiple outreach events throughout the fall designed to give substantial information regarding disability and pension claims, including eligibility requirements and benefits, for Suffolk County veterans. The Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency (VSA) collaborates with other county agencies, such as the Suffolk County Office for the Aging and the Department of Social Services, to inform veterans of potential benefits that may be available to them and to assist them in applying for them, including the VA’s “best kept secret” — pension funds available for the widows of veterans.
The Veterans and Widows program includes Pension with Aid and Assistance. To qualify, the veteran or widow must require the assistance of another person with their daily living skills (such as bathing, dressing, eating, or administering medication) and they must be paying a caregiver (family members may qualify) or live in an assisted living facility.
“The Veterans Service Agency (VSA) brings a wealth of information to our residents,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “Our veterans have served the American people with honor and sacrifice. It’s important that we support their service when they come home by not only making sure they know what is available to them, but helping them to access those resources.”
“Suffolk County VSA is a valuable resource to the community,” said Director of Suffolk County Veteran Services Tom Ronayne. “Tasked with serving not only veterans but also Active Duty military, National Guard, Reserves, family members, dependents and survivors, we extend well into the community. County Executive Bellone has been very effective in advancing the philosophy that we owe our very best to those who have and those who continue to serve this great nation. Through VSA, and in partnership with many other county agencies, we accomplish much of that.”
“The Office for the Aging’s mission is to assist older residents remain independent and safe in their homes and communities for as long as possible,” said Holly Rhodes-Teague, Director of the Suffolk County Office of the Aging. “We have a long history of working with the Suffolk Veterans Service agency to ensure that older Veterans receive the community based services they need to stay in their communities near family and friends.”
Partnering with additional agencies provides added value to the population. For example, when working with the Office of the Aging, participation can be significant, as they share a large crossover of clients. Medicare, HEAP, Meals on Wheels, and other aging and senior-specific services and programs may apply to veterans as well. DSS often assists with more immediate benefits such as SNAP, emergency housing, childcare and other traditional DSS services. Together, the agencies work together to provide comprehensive services for those in need.
About the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency
The Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency is dedicated to ensuring that all veterans, both peacetime and wartime, receive the maximum amount of support, services and benefits they are due in the shortest amount of time. The Suffolk County VSA handles claims for benefits; compensation, health care, pension, housing, employment, education, burial benefits and a variety of other services. All Suffolk County Veterans Service Officers are veterans themselves who are devoted to assisting other veterans. Working with partner agencies including military organizations, the Office of the Aging, the Department of Social Services and non-profit organizations such as Beacon House, Long Island Cares, and Supportive Services for Veterans Families. In 2017, the VSA participated in approximately 25 outreach events. Their hope and intention is to continue to grow and expand that outreach each year.
Across all points of contact, including office visits, home visits, hospital visits, nursing home visits, correspondence and outreach, the Suffolk County VSA serves approximately 20,000 veterans and family members annually.
The outreach tour schedule is as follows: 
  • 9/13/18 – Atria Senior Living @ Bay Shore, 1PM-2PM
  • 9/13/18 – American Legion @ Patchogue, 8PM – 9:30PM
  • 9/24/18 – Town of Islip Senior Fair, Caesar Trunzo Senior Center in Brentwood, 9AM-3:30PM
  • 9/27/18 – Sunrise Senior Community @ East Meadow, 5:30PM-8:30PM
  • 10/3/18 – Sunrise Senior Community @ East Setauket, 1PM-2PM
  • 10/11/18 – Sunrise Senior Community @ West Babylon, 9AM-10AM
  • 10/11/18 – Sunrise Senior Community @ Dix Hills, 5:30PM-8:30PM
  • 10/15/18 – SCCC @ Ammerman campus, 11AM-12PM
  • 10/22/18 – SCCC @ Brentwood, 11 AM – 12 PM
  • 10/29/18 – SCCC @ Eastern campus, 11 AM – 12 PM
Suffolk County is home to the largest population of veterans in New York State, and has one of the largest veterans’ populations of any county in the United States.  With more than approximately 90,000 veterans who live in Suffolk County, the VSA takes their responsibility seriously in providing services for those who have sacrificed and risked so much for this country. For information on programs and services provided by Suffolk County, please contact the Veterans Service Agency at (631) 853-VETS (our Hauppauge Office at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway), or (631) 852-1410 (our Riverhead Office at 300 Center Drive), or via email at or