VA Offers Compensation to Area Veterans

Jeremy Miller, Prowers County VA and Vital Statistics Representative

Jeremy Miller, Prowers County VA and Vital Statistics Representative

Jeremy Miller, Prowers County Veteran’s Service Officer, provided statistics from a 2014 statewide financial assessment on compensations for Colorado veterans during his monthly meeting with the Prowers County Commissioners.  The expenditures from the National Center for Veteran’s Analysis and Statistics can be broken down county by county across the state.  This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction, Insurance, and Medical Care. Veteran population estimates and the number of unique patients who used VA health care services are also available.

“Prowers County has 816 veterans and in 2014, the VA expenditures came to $5.75 million,” he explained.  Of those, Miller stated that approximately $3 million passed through his office from various claims from the veterans.  He added that a lot of those expenditures are turned back into the local economy, with medical expenses taking a large portion of the payments, followed by other forms of compensation and benefits.  “We received the $2.9 million in 2014 and the year before it was $2.4 million so we were able to increase the benefits overall by $500,000,” he explained.  Miller added that $210,000 was applied to vocational and educational compensation and some of the expenditures were attributed to the new VA medical clinic in Lamar.

The Service Officer said that some figures may be high because of the manner in which the VA decides on compensation.  “If a claim was made for disability several years ago, and wasn’t awarded until just recently, say over a two year period, the payment to the veteran is made from the date of origin of the claim, so they may receive a lump payment of $15,000.”

The six counties in southeast Colorado have a total of 4,151 veterans who received a total of $36,192,000 in various compensation claims in 2014.  Otero County has 1,700 veterans who received $18.1 million, followed by Bent County with $6.7 million allocated to 549 veterans.  Prowers County was third with 816 veterans receiving $5.7 million.  Crowley County had 585 veterans for $3.6 million, Baca County with 390 veterans and $1.8 million in compensation and Kiowa County received $292,000 for its 111 veterans.

Miller added that he’s been working to let the area veterans know of the benefits they are entitled too, “Some have filed for their claims, but not everyone may be aware of what the VA can provide for them, they just may not know,” he added.  Miller can be contacted at his office at the Prowers County Annex at 719-336-2606.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEducationEmploymentFeaturedHealthLamarProwers County


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