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August 27, 2010

Veterans Leader: Patients Should be Patient as New VA Clinic Gets Organized

OSWEGO - The director of the Oswego County Veterans Service Agency is encouraging veterans who use the new VA Clinic on Route 104 East to be patient in scheduling their appointments while new staff is being hired.

Donna Kestner said the federal Veterans Administration recently moved to a new location at Lowe's Plaza and the new clinic is not yet fully staffed. There have been some problems with appointments being cancelled and re-scheduled but Kestner said she expects any problems to be resolved soon.

"People need to be patient," said Kestner. "The agency is in the process of hiring new people. We're very fortunate to have a beautiful and spacious new VA clinic in Oswego County, and we're looking forward to working with the clinic care managers."

The local VA clinic was previously located at Seneca Hill in Minetto. Veterans need to complete a health care application and meet income guidelines to receive VA care. For information and assistance, call the County Veterans Service Agency at 315-591-9100. To make an appointment at the clinic, call 315-207-0120.

Kestner is also reminding veterans who have recently left the military that they have a limited amount of time to apply for "stop loss" pay.

"Members of the military whose service was involuntarily extended between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009 are eligible for retroactive stop loss special pay," said Kestner. "The average benefit is $3,700. They are entitled to $500 per month for each month that they served beyond their discharge date."

The deadline to apply is Oct. 21.

For information, visit the DOD Web site at http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0710_stoploss/ or contact the County Veterans Service Agency at 315-591-9100.


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