VA Claims & Separation Benefits
As the largest organization of combat veterans, we understand the frustrations that can arise when transitioning out of the military or filing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The claims process can be confusing and one that service members and veterans shouldn't try to navigate alone. That's why the VFW's National Veterans Service (NVS) was established to help all veterans, service members and their families.
NVS consists of a nationwide network of VA accredited service officers and pre-discharge representatives who are experts in dealing with the VA and are the key to your success. Our cadre of highly-trained and professional advocates help veterans cut through bureaucratic red tape. VA reports veterans represented by the VFW have recouped more than $9 billion in earned benefits, including $1.6 billion in new claims in fiscal year 2019 alone.
VFW Service Officers are trained experts, helping veterans develop their case with ease by reviewing and applying current law, pertinent legislation, regulations and medical histories. As skilled professionals, we assist in filing for disability compensation, rehabilitation and education programs, pension and death benefits, and employment and training programs. Furthermore, we won’t hesitate to request hearings before the VA and the Board of Veterans Appeals to present oral arguments when needed.
VFW Service Officers are with America's veterans every step of the way once they're ready to file a claim. This is a service the VFW is proud to offer -- free of charge -- to anyone seeking assistance with the claims process.
Learn more about Veterans Affairs benefits and what to expect after you file a claim.
In 2001, through a cooperative initiative with the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the VFW Pre-Discharge program was established. This program ensures separating and retiring active-duty military personnel receive assistance in obtaining their VA entitlements and benefits upon discharge.
VFW Pre-Discharge representatives guide military personnel through the VA claims process and can assist with the preparation and submission of forms and evidence to VA prior to separation from active duty. They can also answer questions about VA benefits and entitlements.
Our Pre-Discharge offices are located on or near major military installations across the country. If you are within 180 days of discharge, you can contact a VFW Pre-Discharge representative to get the process underway. Here's an easy checklist of what you should bring to your appointment and more information on what to expect at a compensation and pension exam.
For more information contact your Dept of NY VFW Service Officers:
Director: Thomas Todaro, 716-857-3403, Thomas.Todaro2@va.gov
Western NY: 716-857-3403
VFW DSO: Colin Anderson, Colin.Anderson@va.gov
VFW ADSO: Norm Machelor, Norman.Machelor@va.gov
Eastern NY: 518-626-5687
VFW DSO: John Bartow, John.Barto@va.gov
Claims Consultant: Destiny Ramos, Destiny.Ramos@va.gov