Veterans Resources

Memory Care Resources for Veterans

Receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating for both seniors and their loved ones.  And while the news itself can be overwhelming, getting the right diagnosis is also the first step in receiving the right care.  From therapies to medications, new and innovative treatments are being developed all the time to improve the quality of life of those living with memory impairment.  Understanding the disease and getting the right treatment as soon as possible is the best way to ensure that patients lead the best lives possible.  Click below for help with understanding and dealing with the disease.

Fixes Could Cut Months Off Wait For Vets’
Fire-Damaged Service Records
(an article from the Military Times written by Leo Shane III – Oct. 20, 2023)

Frequent mistakes by veterans benefits staffers are adding months of waiting time in some
routine record requests made by elderly veterans, a department watchdog warned this week.  Officials from the Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s office said improvements in training and protocols could cut down those wait times by several months, but only if VA leaders put more emphasis on fixing the problem.

At issue are requests for military records from the National Personnel Records Center that were damaged in a massive fire in July 1973. The disaster partially or completely burned about 18 million official Defense Department personnel files, and has for decades led to a host of problems obtaining veterans benefits for those individuals.

On average, veterans filing for disability benefits wait 146 days for their cases to be completed, according to VA data.  But for veterans whose records were damaged in the NPRC fire, that delay jumps to about 450 days because of the complexity of reconstructing records and determining individuals’ eligibility.

But the new inspector general report found that as many as 80% of those damaged records requests are being handled improperly by department staffers.  Correcting some of those mistakes — things such as checking for backup copies of the files and making timely follow-up requests — could cut wait times by up to 73 days.

“Veterans service representatives generally informed veterans of the actions necessary
to complete a record request for fire-damaged or destroyed records,” the report stated.  “However, they did not always complete required follow-up procedures, such as calling the veteran.  “VBA staff are not performing the steps in the order prescribed by the manual.”

Part of the problem is that the damaged records requests only represent a small fraction
of the total claims inventory VA staff handle annually.  Total disability claim filings approached two million cases last year, while claims involving fire-damaged records total only a few thousand each year.

Still, the added wait is potentially more harmful to those veterans than others.  The inspector general’s report said the average age for veterans requesting fire-damaged records is 87.

VA officials said they are working on solutions. They hope to implement new training and procedures early next year, according to a statement from Under Secretary of Benefits Joshua Jacobs to the inspector general’s office.

The inspector general’s report said those changes need to happen as soon as possible to “ensure these veterans receive compassionate service in a timely manner.”

The full report is available on the inspector general’s website.  To see it Click Here.

PACT Act – What Is It and How To Apply 

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA healthcare and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.  This law helps provide generations of Veterans and their survivors with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.  The Act:
• expands and extends eligibility for VA healthcare for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam era, Gulf War era and Post-9/11 era.
• expands eligibility for benefits for Veterans exposed to toxic substances.

Veterans can apply online at:
Or you can call the toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387 Mon – Fri, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.
For more complete information and details, click the image above to view and download the full page PDF information sheet, and print it out on your home printer.

A Warning From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

If you receive a suspicious e-mail from the Department of Veterans Affairs,

The VA does not send e-mails asking for personal information, threatening e-mails, or e-mails claiming to take adverse actions on claimants or beneficiaries (jail or lawsuits).
If you receive any of these e-mails or are in doubt about any communications appearing
to be from the VA, please contact VA directly at 1 (800) 827-1000.

Phishing is a type of cyber-attack where the attacker sends a message designed to deceive
a person and convince them to reveal sensitive information to the attacker.  It is the most common means attackers use to gain unauthorized access to a device to obtain sensitive information.

Phishing e-mails can come from an unfamiliar sender or familiar looking sender with an e-mail address that is off by a few letters.  Additionally, phishing e-mails can include large or “too good to be true” offers or attachments.

The VA takes the security of Veterans seriously.

Legal Services for Veterans in Sullivan and Orange Counties

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley wishes to raise awareness of the wide range of free legal services they provide which include, but are not limited to, representation and/or advice in:
• Housing
• Foreclosures
• Child Support
• Consumer Issues
• Elder Law (e.g., preparation of wills, advanced directives, etc.)
• Domestic Violence
• VA Benefits
• Social Security and SSI Disability Claims
• Advocacy for Children
• Protection and Advocacy for People With Disabilities

Vets (or family members of Vets) in need of legal services should contact their main intake line at 877-574-8529.  If you have any questions or need information/assistance, contact:

Deanna Arden – Staff Attorney
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
Veterans and Military Families Advocacy Project
60 Erie Street – Suite 201
Goshen, N.Y.  10924

Are You Enrolled on The Roll of Honor?

If you or someone you know is a Purple Heart recipient and is not enrolled in The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, please go to their website at or phone them at (845) 561-1765 or 1-877-28HONOR.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, NY is the only facility in the nation dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the stories of our nation’s service men and women who have been killed or wounded while serving in the United States Military.  We rely on family, friends and Purple Heart recipients to share their stories with us.  We need your help to build the Roll of Honor database containing these stories.
To learn more about the Hall of Honor, share your story and FREE enrollment, visit our website at or call The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at (845) 561-1765

DoD Extends Limited Online Military Exchange Privileges to Vets

The Department of Defense announced a policy change that will extend limited online military exchange shopping privileges to Honorably Discharged Veterans of the military.  The Veterans online shopping benefit will be effective this Veterans Day, Nov. 11th.
For more information visit the Department of Defense website by clicking here.

Free Van Service to Castle Point VA Medical Center

There’s a free van service to Castle Point VA Medical Center on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Van arrives at the Medical Center at 9:00 AM.
Van departs the Medical Center by 2:00 PM sharp.

For Reservations, call (845) 291-2470

If you would like a copy of this schedule, CLICK HERE for a printable version.

Here are the pick-up locations and time schedule.

 Location  Departs  Address
Port Jervis
7:30 AM
VFW Post 7241 – 46 Barcelow Street
VFW Post 3175 – 1316 US Highway 6
8:00 AM
American Legion Post 151 – 185 Wawayanda Avenue
8:15 AM
Shop Rite Supermarket Parking Lot
8:40 AM
Rec. Dept., Activity Bldg. at 375 Washington Street
30 Matthews Street – Parking Lot
American Legion Post 214 – 71 Forester Avenue
Greenwood Lake
CVS Pharmacy Parking Lot – Windermere Avenue
American Legion Post 488 – Lakes & Heaton Roads

* Pick-up times to be determined per trip.

On Wednesdays the van goes to the Bronx VA Medical Center.  Pick-ups are in Newburgh and Middletown ONLY, and pick-up times to be determined per trip.
Van departs Bronx VA Medical Center by 3:00 PM sharp.

For Reservations, call (845) 291-2470

  • Vans do not run on county holidays.  Vans can make ONLY authorized stops.
  • Veterans are responsible for their own transportation to and from pick-up points.
  • Veterans with mobility problems should arrange to bring an escort.
  • No tipping or other fees permitted.

This van service is offered FREE OF CHARGE as a courtesy to Orange County Veterans.