VA benefits office looks to get word out
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Officials from the Veterans Administration benefits office here want to honor the dead this Memorial Day by serving the living.
Staffers at the office, which has existed for just over three years, say they already see 400-500 soldiers a month, but want more to know about the services they provide. Officially, the office serves to help servicemembers who are leaving the military register for the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program.
But they can assist soldiers and retirees with questions on nearly any aspect of veterans benefits.
“The numbers go up and down throughout the year, but with walk-ins and appointments, we usually see about 450 people a month, and offer them information or help with processing,” said Erica Worthington, a supervisor at the office.
People separating from the military should visit the VA office between 90 and 180 days before they leave the peninsula. Officials will help with paperwork and applications necessary to qualify for various veterans benefits. Between 10 and 15 percent of servicemembers who leave the military qualify for a compensation program that pays them for disabilities or injuries which occurred during service.
Additionally, those leaving the military can qualify for education programs, vocational training programs, the Home Loan Guarantee program and various health care benefits, officials said.
The Yongsan Garrison VA office, in Building 4037 across from the Dragon Hill Lodge, is the only one serving the peninsula. In fact, Worthington said, it’s one of only two offices outside the United States, with the other in Germany.
The Yongsan office has six full-time staffers, she said.
The office is open weekdays, and appointments can be made by calling DSN 738-5121.