Veteran Services

There is no greater sacrifice than that made by service members, who are willing to give their lives and health defending the freedoms and beliefs for which America stands. That sacrifice is also shared by their families. President John Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Serving our veterans is one of my priorities - from engaging with the Veterans Administration on their behalf to ensure continuity of benefits and care, to advocating and supporting legislation to improve and modernize our VA system.

Working with liaisons and County Veteran Service offices on your behalf, we have gotten more than $15 million returned to you by the federal government in compensation, pension and other retroactive payments.

  • Trying to get a response from the VA on a claim or appeal?

  • Do you have benefits that haven’t been awarded or have stopped?

  • Need help getting an appointment?

  • Need assistance getting VA payment for eligible equipment or devices?

Please contact my local office at 352.241.9220 or email me!

Please also complete this Privacy Act Release Form and fax or mail it to my office. This completed form is required in order for us to make inquiries on your behalf.


Expanded Healthcare Benefits

Legislation that expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances was signed into law in 2022. While there is no deadline to apply for new benefits, claims for retroactive benefits must be submitted by Wednesday, August 9.

To file a claim or apply for benefits, click here or call 1-800-698-2411.

Even if you have been previously denied benefits or are uncertain if a medical condition is linked to service, it is recommended that you still apply. 


How I Can Help

+ VA Benefit Claim

My office submitted an inquiry on behalf of a constituent with a claim stemming from his Agent Orange exposure. We provided the VA regional office working the issue with evidence which would hopefully meet the VA’s criteria to expedite the claim. In a follow-up email, it was learned the VA was moving on this and expected to have it completed within 90 days. Three weeks later, my office checked again to see if everything was still moving forward, allowing for the claim to be completed within the 90 days. At that time, the VA reported the rating decision had been made, and the notification letter had gone out to the veteran.

+ Scheduling Medical Apt through Choice Program

A constituent contacted our office with trouble scheduling a non-VA surgery through the Choice Program. The VA had already approved the surgery, but the federal contractor for the Choice Program, Health Net, was unresponsive to the provider’s request to schedule it. Our office contacted the VA, which subsequently scheduled a three-way call between the constituent, the VA and Health Net and resolved the issue.

+ Benefit Checks or Eligibility Assistance

A veteran had received an award with an effective date of 2009, and while he had received a retro check, he felt it was not accurate. Because both combat related compensation and concurrent retirement disability pay were involved, a request was made to DFAS for an audit of the veteran’s account. We continued to follow the audit and found it had stalled when a required step had been overlooked at DFAS.  The agency fixed this error and we learned that just over $150,000 had been direct deposited into the constituent’s account.

A veteran's pension been terminated and notified of a debt of almost $17,000 would have to be repaid. We contacted Pension Management Center on her behalf and were able to provide a timeline of events regarding her eligibility. This information allowed PMC to not only eliminate the debt but also send a nearly $1,000 check to the constituent.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ How do I apply for a Veteran ID Card (VIC)

You can apply directly through the VA by following this link. If you have any questions or run into issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 352-241-9220. Trained staff members are available to assist you.

+ Do I qualify for VA benefits?

My staff is happy to ask for information or a status report on a pending case or ask for clarification on the reasons for denial. For new applications, your county Veteran Services Office is ready and able to help.

+ How can I get help with the processing of my VA claim or appeal?

I am happy to submit an inquiry on your behalf and monitor the processing of your claim. In some cases, such as terminal condition, we can request the process be expedited. If you would like assistance with a claim or appeal, please print out the Authorization Form and fax or mail it to my office.