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News Release    

December 3, 2003


County Executive Urges Dutchess County Veterans to Update Registration
Veterans 65 and Older May be Eligible for VA Pension Benefits

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Acting Director of the Dutchess County Veterans Service Agency Nelson Eddy Rivera are urging area Veterans to update or register records with the County’s VA Office. “Our staff works hard to stay current and up-to-date with State and Federal issues of importance to our Veterans. Many times changes are made in Washington making Veterans eligible for benefits that they were not eligible for in the past,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We are finding an influx of non-service connected Veterans in Dutchess eligible for pension benefits if they are 65 or older and meet the VA’s income eligibility requirement,” he added.

“In traveling around the County visiting with the many Veterans organizations, I am finding many Veterans who think they are not eligible for VA benefits because they did not serve in a war,” said Rivera. “In many cases, as long as a person served in the military, not necessarily overseas, they may still be entitled to benefits,” added Rivera.

The Dutchess County Veterans Service Agency assists Veterans with routine service connected benefits but also deals with a variety of other issues to include Non-Service Connected Pension, Death Indemnity Compensation, Burial and Headstone Benefits, NYS Property Tax Exemption, Medical Care, GI Home Loan Guaranties, Vocational Rehabilitation, Educational Benefits, Discharge Upgrading and obtaining lost military separation papers, medals and/or awards. In order to find out one’s eligibility for benefits, the Veteran must first contact the Dutchess County Veterans Service Agency and file a simple registration form. “I cannot stress how important it is for our Veterans to be registered with the County, not only for them to find out if there are additional benefits out there they meet the criteria for but to have their information on file for the benefit of their spouses and dependents,” said Steinhaus.

To register, a Veteran’s Personal Data Information Sheet may be obtained via mail by contacting the Dutchess County Veterans Service Agency at 845/486-2060, via e-mail at veterans@co.dutchess.ny.us or by visiting them at 22 Market Street, 4th Floor, Poughkeepsie.


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