County of Santa Clara Supports Veterans by Bridging Gap to Benefits

Office of Veterans Services staff help veteran families navigate complex system

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. — The County of Santa Clara Office of Veterans Services assists veterans and their families obtain benefits they earned from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The office is staffed with state and nationally accredited representatives experienced in navigating federal, state and local systems to help veterans file claims and get services. 

“It’s vital that our veterans and their families get access to the benefits they earned,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor, and Navy Veteran, Otto Lee. “With the high cost of housing and living in the area, we must streamline these services to ensure every veteran has access.” 

Veterans, their families and the public will have an opportunity during a Veterans Day celebration this month to meet County officials and learn more about the Office of Veterans Services. (See event information below.) The Office can help veterans obtain military records, file pension claims, enroll in VA healthcare, and offer myriad other assistance related to disability, the GI Bill, home loans, survivors’ benefits, and more. Staff can also refer people to mental health services, homelessness prevention programs and other social services through County systems. 

“There are a lot of resources for veterans in our community, and it’s our job to ensure they can easily access all of the networks, departments and services available,” said Office of Veterans Services Interim Director, Steve Fondacaro. “Our staff takes pride in helping veterans and their families navigate these complex systems. They are very knowledgeable of how the state, federal and local bureaucracies can work in partnership with each other, and they know who to contact when a client has a tricky problem that involves multiple agencies.”

Veterans and their families or dependents can make appointments for virtual sessions through Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Virtual “walk-ins” are also available every Tuesday (excluding holidays) from 8:45 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. During this time, veterans or their dependents are placed in private, half-hour sessions with representatives to discuss and begin the process to apply for veterans’ benefits.

For more information on the Office of Veterans Services and to make an appointment, visit the Office’s website, call (408) 918-4980, or e-mail [email protected]

Veterans Day Celebration
Veterans, their families and the public can learn more about benefits and meet County officials during a Veterans Day celebration on Thursday, November 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hellyer Park, located at 985 Hellyer Ave., in San José. A ceremony will begin around noon. Free food and drinks will be provided. 

People are encouraged to RSVP by calling 408-918-4980.

Veterans Day Celebration Flier with american flags, soldiers and details about a celebration at Hellyer Park on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA   
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits. 
 
Visit the County of Santa Clara at: https://www.sccgov.org 
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Media Contact: Quan Vu/Matthew Rudig, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, [email protected], (408) 299-5119

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