What Exactly is the County Veterans Service Office?
A common misnomer is that the County Veterans Service Office are VA employees. The County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) and their assistants are actually employees of the county. In Wisconsin, each of the 72 counties has a CVSO Office that is responsible for assisting the veterans that reside in that specific county.
The CVSO office liaisons with the Department of Veterans Affairs on the veteran’s behalf and assists the veteran or their dependents on filing for Federal and State Veterans Benefits, obtaining healthcare, and providing resources for at risk Veterans. They also educate the Veteran on the benefits to which they are eligible.
Some of the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits include service-connected disability compensation, non-service connected disability pension, survivor’s pension, death benefits, burial benefits, headstones, education benefits, home loan eligibility, vocational rehabilitation, military documents, decorations or medals replacements, upgrading or correcting discharge documents, and any other available Federal or State benefits.
The CVSO office also assists in obtaining healthcare through the VA for eligible veterans. In Northern Wisconsin, there are three VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) that provide healthcare for the area; the Rice Lake VA CBOC, the Hayward VA CBOC, and the Twin Ports VA Clinic in Superior. These CBOCs provide primary medical care for local veterans. Any specialty care needed such as surgery, dermatology, oncology, internal medicine, etc., is provided by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. Several of the CVSO Offices in Northern Wisconsin also provide transportation for veterans to the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Washburn County provides transportation to the VA Minneapolis 5 days week on the Veterans Van.
The CVSO office can also provide assistance and resources to any at-risk Veteran which include temporary county level assistance in emergencies with housing, food, fuel and daily necessities.
It is important to remember that each veteran is different and not all will be entitled to the same benefit. Your local County Veterans Service Office can help find out what benefits are available to you and your dependents, and guide you through the process of obtaining these benefits.
Please contact the Washburn County Veterans Service Office at 715-635-4470 with any questions, we would love to hear from you!