Annville, PA - Over the last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has handled more than 1,000 veteran queries a month and helped to connect veterans to nearly $1 billion in compensation and pension benefits earned through their service.
“DMVA is proud to serve our veterans by connecting them to the programs and services they earned while serving our nation,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “As we approach Veterans Day, we want Pennsylvania veterans and their families to know that their needs are our priority, and we take that seriously every-day, all year long.”
“Reaching the $971 million mark in Fiscal Year 2022 is an 18 percent increase for DMVA from the previous year,” said Joel Mutschler, director, Bureau of Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration, and Outreach. “Considering that Pennsylvania’s more than 700,000 veteran population is the fourth largest in the country, this has been a tremendous undertaking by DMVA staff and county veterans affairs partners.”
DMVA also handles queries from veterans or family members looking for lost or misplaced military paperwork, often needed to begin the process to file claims or receive benefits. The DMVA has averaged more than 700 such requests each of the past three years.
Contributing to DMVA’s recent increased queries and claims work has been the new federal Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The Act expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
“We have worked to submit all benefit applications to include PACT Act related claims to the federal VA expeditiously because we know how important it is to veterans and their families to get answers and receive benefits quickly,” said Mutschler. “We credit our success to having a knowledgeable staff and extensive outreach that includes hosting five veteran discussions throughout the commonwealth this year.”
Mutschler said the agency’s success can also be attributed to PA VETConnect, an outreach program that enables the DMVA to concentrate services from within communities where veterans live.
The engine driving this program is an outreach team blanketing the commonwealth and connecting veterans to the best possible resources. The PA VETConnect network includes more than 2,000 resources and assisted about 1,400 veterans over the past year.
To request assistance, or for more information about PA VETConnect or other DMVA programs and services, visit www.dmva.pa.gov.
You can also learn more about the DMVA by following us at www.facebook.com/padmva or www.twitter.com/padmva.
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