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Veterans Benefits Discussed at Community Council Meeting

The Levittown Community Council met on Monday. Credit: Nicole Murphy
The Levittown Community Council met on Monday. Credit: Nicole Murphy
Story by Nicole Murphy.

The Levittown Community Council gathered Monday evening at Levittown Memorial High School to discuss the upcoming holiday season and host a presentation on veteran's benefits.

A counselor from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs joined the Community Council to offer insight on the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, offered through the Veterans Benefits Administration.

"It's a program designed to take service connected disabled veterans who have an employment handicap and get them back into the world of work or stabilize their jobs," said the counselor. "We have a lot of veterans coming in whose current duties are killing them. If they had another degree, maybe they'd get a promotion or a new job."
 
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"You have to be a service connected disabled veteran, either 20 percent with an employment handicap or 10 percent with a severe employment handicap," he added. "The severe employment handicap does not have to be service connected. There could be other issues, like getting hurt outside the military or problems like a substance abuse issue."

The program is based upon the veteran's interests, aptitude and abilities with hopes of matching each individual's personality with a fitting career path.

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"They come into our office and we give them an interest inventory, a math test and a reading test, and a general knowledge test," the representative explained. "It takes about four hours and then we score the test and write a report. We sit down with the veteran after and see how they did and where their interests lie."

The representative was working in the law enforcement field when he realized his age and physical capabilities were putting a strain on his performance. He said the fact that he could turn to the Department of Veterans Affairs changed his life for the better and he would encourage any veteran, disabled or not, to do the same.

"There are so many aspects of Veterans Affairs. Years ago it was just Veterans Administration, but now it's three different organizations. There's the Veterans Hospital Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration where I work and the Veterans Cemeteries. There are medical benefits that all veterans are entitled to, and if more veterans are registered in the area, the Veterans hospital will receive more money."

The Levittown Community Council will be holding a Holiday Get Together on Monday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m. at the Porto Fino Restaurant, located at 3355 Hempstead Tpke. in Levittown.

The cost to attend is $25 per person, and includes a full dinner. Space is limited, so please RSVP by Dec. 5, by emailing levittowncouncil@yahoo.com or calling 516 796-3392.

Editor's Note: The subject of the story wished to remain nameless.

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