Originally, the VA had 50 Mobile Vet Centers, all of which would travel the country offering a number of services to former service members including veteran counseling, family counseling, veterans’ disability information, veterans’ pension information, medical screens, information about PTSD and depression, and information about traumatic brain injury.
Now, the VA has added an additional 20 Mobile Vet Centers to its fleet at a cost of just over three million dollars. In 2011, the fleet participated in an estimated 3,600 events across the country and also served in the VA’s emergency response program.
All in all, Veterans Affairs has 300 vet service centers that served over 190,000 veterans last year. With the growing fleet of mobile service centers, the VA hopes to reach out to more families and veterans who may have trouble traveling to larger towns and cities for bereavement counseling, health information, and disability benefits information. In the next five years, the VA also hopes to add a number of veteran shuttles that will transport veterans between veteran offices and services in urban areas.
The new mobile veteran clinics will serve as far away as Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.