LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Thursday encouraged all Michigan veterans to make sure they are receiving the benefits they earned serving America.
“We owe our liberty to the enormous sacrifice of our veterans and their families, who put their country before themselves. It is a debt we can never fully repay,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We have made significant strides to express our deep appreciation for the service of Michigan’s veterans in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, many Michigan veterans do not know what is available to them, think they missed the opportunity to apply years ago or are unaware that they are even eligible for benefits.”
The state’s two-year-old Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is dedicated to improving customer service to the state’s more than 660,000 military veterans.
“One thing the new agency is doing is helping connect veterans with an accredited veterans service officer who can assist them in filling out and submitting benefits claims,” said Bob Williams of Benton Harbor and appointee of Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund board of trustees. “With a renewed emphasis on submitting fully developed claims — which are processed more quickly — the agency is achieving real results for our veterans. Prior to the agency’s launch in 2013, only 7 percent of claims were fully developed. That number is now 42 percent.”
Proos said, “Getting a benefits checkup is important for every Michigan veteran. It can help make sure that our veterans are up to date on the benefits they earned through their dedicated service.”
Michigan veterans can get a check on benefits by visiting www.michigan.gov/veterans or by calling 1-800-MICH-VET.
Southwest Michigan veterans can also contact a local veterans services office: Berrien County Veteran Services at (269) 983-7111 Ext. 8224 or firstname.lastname@example.org; the Cass County Veteran Affairs Department at (269) 445-4472 or email@example.com; and St. Joseph County Veteran Affairs at (269) 467-551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.