Vets Receive $4.7M in Benefits Through County Veterans Affairs

Nearly $4.7 million in federal and state financial support was secured for local veterans through the York County Department of Veterans Affairs in 2014-2015, according to state figures.

York County veterans in 2014-2015 received $4,684,586 in benefits through the county Veterans Affairs Department, according to year-end figures compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

An increase of $101,763 from 2013-2014, York continues to rank among the top Pennsylvania counties in terms of the benefits secured for veterans. It was fourth in 2014-2015, and has secured a total of $25.9 million for York County veterans over the last six years.

The Pennsylvania DMVA in September is expected to present York County Veterans Affairs with its fourth consecutive Five Star Service Award in recognition of the agency’s efforts to recover benefits for veterans.

There are approximately 40,000 military veterans living in York County.

“All veterans should call or come to our office before seeking benefits,” said Phil Palandro, director of the York County Department of Veterans Affairs. “Our staff will do everything possible to ensure veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned through service to our country.”

The figures reflect benefits delivered through the county VA office to people who are seeking medical help for various duty-related illnesses, injuries and other compensation they are due because of their service to our country.

Palandro said benefits recovery naturally increases and decreases each year depending on the needs of local veterans. The County remains at historically high benefit levels due in large part to an increase in assistance sought by Vietnam War veterans, primarily for service-related illnesses, he said. A growing portion of activity is also due to applications from veterans who have recently returned from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with sustained community outreach activities.

“We’re honored as a County government to assist our exceptional local veteran community,” said York County Commissioner Doug Hoke. “It’s the least we can do given the sacrifices and risks they’ve taken on our behalf.”

Palandro stressed that the county Veterans Affairs office is not affiliated with federal or state veterans’ affairs agencies. The York County Department of Veterans Affairs is a County agency whose goal is to serve as an advocate for local veterans with the state and federal governments.

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