EBENSBURG – The Cambria County Veteran Services Office filed the most veteran claims in the state for the third consecutive year.
A press release from Zackary Portser, director of Cambria County Veteran Services Office, says 883 claims were filed by his office through the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran Affairs from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.
Records maintained by the state show this is the third year in a row Cambria County filed the most claims in the state, representing 12.2% of all claims filed in Pennsylvania over the past year.
Cambria County’s filed claims that represent more than $10.4 million in compensation and pension dollars awarded to veterans and their families through the county last year. These latest numbers also represent a 67.2% increase in claims filed by Cambria County from the previous year’s reporting period.
Portser says the numbers are a result of a continued effort to inform current and previous service members of benefits that may be available to them, and the incorporation of electronic filing now available.
“Earlier this year, we held seven town halls around the county as part of our educational effort,” Portser said. “And, we intend to conduct another round of them this October. That effort, paired with the modernization of filing and tracking claims, has been a real game changer for our county.”
Cambria County Commissioners Thomas Chernisky, William “B.J.” Smith and Mark Wissinger said the effort to ensure veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned remains a top priority.
“Our veterans are such a strong pillar of our community,” Chernisky said. “We want to do whatever we can to make sure they have access to what’s been promised to them.”
“We’re fortunate to have a great team in our county’s Veteran Services Office,” Smith added. “They’re very passionate about their job and it shows.”
Wissinger said the latest report from the state is indicative of the county’s focus on doing everything possible to help those in the community who have spent time in uniform.
“Keeping our veterans and their families informed about possible services and benefits is the least we can do as a county,” he said.
A complete list of Pennsylvania’s monthly claims award reports can be found at the PADMVA’s website, www.dmva.pa.gov/veteransaffairs.