Veterans benefits

Vacaville crowd learn about veterans benefits – The Vacaville Reporter

Are you a military veteran?

Chances are you will receive benefits and Ted Puntillo, Director of the Solano County Veterans Services Office, can help you.

Puntillo addressed a crowd gathered Tuesday at Pacifica Senior Living in Vacaville to learn more about the matter.

“That’s the barrier that keeps people from getting their benefits,” he advised. “They just don’t know about it.”

Puntillo is passionate about helping veterans, as he is one himself. An Army veteran, he served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.

Many vets, he said, serve, get fired, and move on. Benefits, whether financial or medical, can make a difference in their lives.

To be eligible, veterans must have served in wartime, Puntillo explained. They could receive compensation or retirement benefits.

To determine eligibility, veterans must have their DD214 release form. Everything, it seems, rests on this document.

Qualified veterans can receive all types of medical benefits, he said, especially for military-related injuries.

Many veterans have hearing problems, he added, as an example, and can receive care, including hearing aids. At the time, he explained, servicemen did not wear earplugs in the field during firearms training.

“Everything the army does is noisy,” he said.

Puntillo also talked about death benefits, benefits for families, and for veterans and spouses in care facilities.

Rosa Gracida with Pacifica expressed her gratitude for Puntillo’s presence. After a parade for a resident’s 100th birthday (he was also a veteran), community members began calling him for benefits information, she said. So she called Puntillo and organized the event.

“Today is not about ‘How do I get people into memory care,'” she said. “It’s about ‘How can I pay for this.’ We are better together.”

With so much information to take in, Puntillo said he relished the contact with the community.

“If you served in the military, call me,” he said. “You may have advantages that you don’t know about.”

Puntillo also announced that he would retire by the end of the year. Ryan Labar will replace him, he said.

Puntillo can be reached at 784-6590 or [email protected]

More information can also be found at www.calvet.ca.gov or by calling 800-952-5626.