Beginning In March, Bath And Highland Veterans Can Get Assistance A Little Closer To Home
Staunton, Va – Beginning this month, a helpful service for veterans is starting back up again in Bath and Highland Counties. John Layman, a Veterans Claims Agent with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services will be making monthly visits in the area again.
“Well we provide a free service to help veterans and their dependents, anything pertaining to VA claims,” says Layman. “We help them with enrollment at the VA Medical Center, compensation, pension claims. We get a little bit involved with some educational claims.”
Layman has been on the job for 28 years and he used to make the trip to Bath and Highland monthly. But budget problems back in 1990 eliminated the visits.
“There’s been a lot of interest among the Governor and the State Legislatures to try to expand our outreach to the outlying areas, especially with a lot of our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming back,” says Layman.
Layman is from the Veterans’ Services office in Staunton, where there is also a VA medical center clinic. He reminds those that want to meet with him in Bath and Highland to bring active duty separation papers or their DD214. If you want to apply for a needs based pension, which is based on gross annual income and out of pocket medical expenses, you will need that documentation also.
“They can contact the VA directly, but anytime you’re dealing with the federal government you know you have to cross all the i’s and dot all the t’s,” says Layman. “It is help and guidance in trying to do the claims correctly and see what documentation that the VA needs to have the claims work properly and to get the full benefit to them.”
On Wednesday March 14, Layman will be at the Bath County Courthouse in the Treasurer’s office from 9am until 11am. That afternoon from 1 until 3 he will be at the Highland County Library. He will stay later if needed.
Layman plans to continue this same schedule for visits, the second Wednesday of every month. For more information, you can reach John Layman at 540-332-7840.