Did you know Buncombe County offers a diverse and substantial amount of resources for our military veterans? “The bulk of our work is assisting veterans applying for service-connected disability compensation,” explains Veterans Services Director Heath Smith. “We also assist veterans and their dependents in securing any federal, state, and local benefits to which they may be entitled.”
If you qualify as a veteran, according to U.S. Veterans Affairs guidelines, then the County’s Veterans Services can offer assistance with the following:
- Disability compensation.
- Non-service connected pension via the Income Dependent Program.
- Enrollment assistance for health care services.
- Widow benefits like DIC, widow’s pension, and burial benefits.
- Homeless assistance with a variety of agencies such as VAMC and Homeward Bound.
- Education supplements through the GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Forever GI Bill, and other resources.
- Records assistance with National Personnel Records Center, DD214, and Service Treatment Records.
- Help with Certificate of Eligibility for VA-backed home loans.
- State benefits such as tax exemption, license plate, hunting and fishing licenses, scholarship.
The Veterans Services office is staffed by nationally trained employees with a focus on advocating for veterans and a track record of successfully representing vets. Smith notes the case of a Vietnam veteran’s widow who was previously denied benefits tied to her husband’s service. With the assistance of the County’s Veterans Services, the widow was able to find proper service documentation, earn $30,000 in back pay, and secure nearly $1,300 in monthly benefits.
“Our sole purpose is to advocate on behalf of Veterans and their dependents,” says Smith. “Come in and let’s talk. You may be surprised on what benefits you could be eligible to receive.”
And if you or any veteran you know are hesitant to access resources, Smith wants the community to know it’s a welcome, understanding environment. “We strive to be the gold standard of Veterans Service. I would like our office to remain an open door for veterans from all walks of life; a place where veterans know they will receive outstanding service in a welcoming environment,” notes Smith.
Are you or someone you know in need of resources available to qualified veterans? If so, please contact Buncombe County’s Veterans Services.
Online: Click here.
Phone: (828) 250-5726
Address: 40 Coxe Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801