Whether the result of recent duties or long past military service, the door remains open for veterans to seek help and file a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) offers free, personal assistance to veterans and their families in all matters pertaining to veterans benefits.

The mission of the GDVS falls into two basic tasks: informing veterans and their families about veterans benefits; and directly assisting and advising veterans and their families in securing the benefits to which they are entitled.

Veterans and their dependents can receive personal assistance in filing for state and VA benefits at any of the 52 GDVS field service offices located across the state. GDVS Field Service Officers are fully accredited with VA. In addition to filing claims, service officers are available to explain veterans benefits policies and regulations.

Every claim submitted by a service officer is processed by VA and answered with an explanation as to why it was or was not approved.

Veterans and families that choose to dispute the results of their benefits claims also have a free and knowledgeable resource available through the GDVS.

The GDVS Appeals Division, located in the VA Regional Office Building in Decatur, monitors VA claims and assists with the preparation and presentation of appeals. GDVS Appeals Officers assist veterans with personal hearings before local VA officials and traveling review boards.

Georgians who are having problems getting into the VA healthcare system can rely on GDVS Veterans Field Service Officers to do everything they can to assist them. The GDVS works with VA to help Georgia veterans receive their needed care in a timely manner for new patients, specialty patients, mental health patients, and returning patients in VA medical facilities.

“Our goal is to provide Georgia’s veterans and their families with top quality service,” said GDVS Commissioner Mike Roby. “We explain in detail federal and state benefits and assist veterans and their families in obtaining them. Our veterans field service officers are certified, experienced personnel whose mission is to do just that – advise and assist veterans and their families.

“The VA pays a veteran exactly what he or she is entitled to by law,” Commissioner Roby said. “The GDVS wants to ensure Georgia veterans receive all earned benefits to which they are entitled.”

In addition to assisting veterans obtain benefits provided by the federal government, GDVS also administers benefits offered by the State of Georgia, including driving licenses, special motor vehicle license plates, discounted hunting and fishing licenses, discounts at Department of Natural Resources facilities, and Certificates of Exemption from payment of certain fees and taxes.

Commissioner Roby encourages all Georgia veterans, regardless of when or where they served, to visit a GDVS field service office for information concerning their possible eligibility for earned federal and state benefits and assistance in applying for them.

“Sometimes you don’t know what might be available unless you ask,” Commissioner Roby said. “We’re ready to answer.”

Contact information for GDVS field service offices is listed at veterans.georgia.gov/field-offices; veterans may also call 404-656-2300 for directory assistance.

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For more information on the content of this news release, please contact the GDVS Public Information Division at 404-656-5933 or gavetsvc@vs.state.ga.us.