Accessing Your National Service Officer
Badzmierowski is a senior benefits advocate at Paralyzed Veterans’ Boston National Service Office, one of many offices in the nation. “Make an appointment, or just come in,” he said.
Paralzyed Veterans of America's NSOs are trained professionals who can guide them through application for benefits, appeals, and the intricacies of the system to ensure they receive everything they have earned.
Badzmierowski added veterans “should never file a claim on their own—there’s no reason to do it.”
Our Veterans Benefits Department (VBD) has service officers across the nation who will assist any veteran and his or her family with the claims process—not just Paralyzed Veterans’ members. Over the past decade, VBD has helped veterans receive nearly $1.5 billion in benefit awards.
Badzmierowski said veterans should also talk with service officers when they’re planning to continue their education or buy a home because there of specific VA programs to help with these expenses. In addition, he added, there are VA benefits for spouses and dependents.
Basically, “any time there is a major life change,” is a good time to consult with a service officer, he said.
Perhaps most important, veterans should talk to service officers when they have a life-altering medical event, such as the onset of multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or a spinal cord injury, which often are recognized as related to military service. This is one reason Paralyzed Veterans maintains offices at VA facilities.
“We have expertise in (the Veterans Health Administration) that no other veterans service officers have,” Badzmierowski said. “It sounds biased, but it’s true.”
Patrick McCallister is a reporter in Florida and frequent contributor to PN Magazine.