Veterans from WWII to today are seeking assistance 

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Veterans Services Office celebrates its first anniversary on Friday, Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day. Freeholder Amy A. Mallet, who steered the initiative, says the office has been an absolute success.

“Our dedicated veterans’ service officers have helped veterans and their families gain access to more than $175,000 in benefits that they are entitled to but had trouble getting on their own,” Mallet said. “This money is keeping people in their homes and saving lives.”

The county’s Veterans Services Office, CVSO, was created at no additional cost to taxpayers by training existing staff from the disabilities office and using existing office space. Currently, two veterans’ services officers meet daily with veterans to help them fill out paperwork and better understand the programs and services that they have access to as a result of their service to our country.

“Whether coming home from a current conflict or a member of the greatest generation or any veteran in between, we must do everything we can to show our gratitude to these men and woman and their families,” Mallet said.

In its first year of operation, the CVSO has:

  • filed 180 compensation and pension claims with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of veterans with 33 of the cases adjudicated by the VA so far;
  • scheduled another 40 appointments to file claims with the VA;
  • processed 1,112 unduplicated, incoming requests for information and assistance;
  • referred veterans from World War II to the present day to counseling and resources for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, service connected disabilities, peer to peer support and more.

“Veterans report that they are very pleased to have a local full service Veteran Service Office in Monmouth County,” Mallet said. “Instead of having to travel to Newark, local veterans and their families are able to ask for and receive the help that they need closer to home.”

The majority of veterans who have filed claims served “In Country” in Vietnam. Their claims range from service-related PTSD to illness and diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.

The veterans’ services officers have also assisted World War II veterans with compensation claims and counseling referrals for untreated PTSD due to combat engagement with enemy forces more than 65 years ago. Many of these veterans are now in their late 80’s and early 90’s. 

“Most recently we have begun seeing young veterans who grew up in Monmouth County,” Mallet said. “They are beginning to visit the office and file claims for PTSD and other service connected disabilities.”

Many veterans are referred by the CVSO to the Vet2Vet program for peer supportive services for PTSD, depressions and other adjustment issues.  All veterans in need of counseling are referred to services with no cost and with little or no wait time.