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Veterans Services Office stands ready to help

Veterans Services is the smallest of Henderson County’s 26 departments but one of the most important in regards to the services it provides.

The purpose of this department is to advise local veterans and their dependents of their entitlement under various federal and state laws, counsel them and actively assist them in obtaining federal and state veterans benefits. Shortly after World War II, Veterans Services became a county department.

Veterans Services Officer Mike Murdock has been overseeing this office since September 2003.

It is his job to educate and assist veterans and their families in obtaining U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, N.C. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense benefits.

He most commonly assists veterans and their families in claims for service connected with disabilities, which are claims for medical/physical problems which are the result of military service.

Since 2009 there has been a drastic increase in requests for assistance. The volume of requests for assistance increased by approximately 30 percent from 2008 to 2009, and 2009 to 2010 saw another 45 percent increase.

That level of increased activity continued through 2011, when more than 7,000 requests for services were taken over the phone and in-person.

Murdock believes the sudden increase is due to three main factors: the significant downturn in the economy, as there are more and more individuals seeking assistance in order to find ways to continue living their day to day lives.

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posted in: EmployerNews, News, North Carolina

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