Dyker Heights

V.A. reps set up shop in Donovan’s offices

Congressman calls it ‘a step in the right direction’

December 12, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan recently held a round table discussion with veterans in Dyker Heights. Photo courtesy of Donovan’s office
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Military veterans in Southwest Brooklyn in need of government assistance won’t have to go far to get help. As part of a new outreach initiative, U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have worked out an agreement to have caseworkers stationed in the lawmaker’s Brooklyn and Staten Island district offices one day a month.

VA representatives will meet with local veterans at scheduled times to resolve outstanding issues related to VA benefits and services, help file claims, answer questions and provide case and appeals updates.

“This is a step in the right direction for the VA. Complaints about customer service and delays have persisted for years and the men and women who served our country deserve quality, efficient treatment. Hopefully, this new outreach initiative marks a new responsiveness from the VA. I encourage all veterans and their loved ones who need help accessing benefits to reach out to my office,” Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) said in a statement.

Sue Malley, regional director of VA’s New York office, described the initiative as “an effort to reach more veterans out in the communities around the greatest city in the world and improve their access to VA benefits.”

Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island veterans who would like to meet with the VA to discuss a pending case or open a new case can contact either one of Donovan’s offices to schedule an appointment.

Each veteran will be allotted a one-hour time slot for a personal meeting.

Donovan’s Brooklyn district office is located at 7308 13th Ave. The phone number is 718-630-5277.

The Staten Island office is at 265 New Dorp Lane. That phone number is 718-351-1062.

The new arrangement came about following a veteran’s roundtable that Donovan held last month at a Knights of Columbus hall in Dyker Heights to discuss issues facing the veteran community and to gather information to shape future legislative proposals.

Another veteran’s roundtable will be held on Staten Island in 2017.

Donovan said Congress is taking steps to improve services to veterans.

In September, Donovan voted to support the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016, a bill that seeks to streamline the VA’s disability benefits appeals process and provide additional authority to reprimand VA employees for bad performance and misconduct.

Donovan also voted to support legislation that provides additional resources to treat veterans with Hepatitis C, a disease that he said has struck the veteran population particularly hard.

 


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