Disabled American Veterans Re-establish Local Service in the Lehigh Valley
Carmen DeSanti, the chairman of the state’s Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Service Officer Program (the national organization separately provides national service officers at the Philadelphia VA Regional Office), is reestablishing direct, face-to-face service for Lehigh Valley veterans who wish to use the DAV for their Power of Attorney on a disability compensation or pension claim, or to seek benefits advice.
As a partial result of state Act 66 of 2007 funding and LVMAC membership beckoning, Mike Hallas, tel: 570-821-2520, will be at the Allentown VA Outpatient Clinic on the first Monday of every month, starting May 2012. We expect he will be there no later than 10:00 a.m. each time. While he is not yet an accredited service officer with the VA (something we consider important), that training hopefully will be completed by October and he is currently certified (a step lower), willing and able to help. He is a welcomed addition as a local community resource.
Mr. Hallas will accept clients on a walk-in basis, but appointments are always preferred, for these service officers can get busy — daily load ranges from 4 to 8 scheduled clients typically, in the four to five hours they are on site. A veteran does not need to be a member of the DAV, to receive service and the service is rendered free of charge (it is the same for all veterans service organizations). However, for him to be effective, you may need to help collect evidence to support your case — another reason to inquire before coming. At least, for the first visit, bring your DD Form 214, or its equivalent.
For a listing of other service officers serving locally, click here. [It is LVMAC policy to only assist and advertise those who provide a face-to-face service within the Lehigh Valley.]
As of 4 April 2012