Welcome to the official website of Jefferson County New York

Recent Developments

  • As of August 11, 2019, the VA has updated portions of the Schedule for Rating Disabilities that evaluate infectious diseases, immune disorders and nutritional deficiencies. Claims for those conditions pending before 8/11/19 will be considered under the old and new criteria and whichever is more advantageous to the veteran will be applied. Claims filed after 8/11 will be considered under the new criteria.
  • Under a law passed in 2018, additional veterans will be granted access to commissaries and exchanges.  Effective 1/1/20, Purple Heart recipients, former POWs, vets with a service-connected rating and certain primary veteran caregivers will be granted access. More information is expected from DOD/VA as the start date approaches. Currently, it appears veterans will have to verify eligibility by providing their Veteran Health Identification Card.
  • The VA recently announced the establishment of the new Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence (AHBPCE) which is part of their ongoing efforts to help improve vet's health care. The Center will specialize in clinical and transitional research related to airborne hazards and burn pit exposure. 
  • During recent hearings on 8 VA health-related bills currently under consideration by Congress, officials representing the VA said that as long marijuana is federally illegal, the VA can't support the 3 bills promoting it's use. The VA's national director of suicide prevention said that while the department supports marijuana research, it opposes the bills.
  • On 4/17/19, Gov. Cuomo directed the Higher Education Support Corp. (HESC) to broaden the interpretation of eligibility for NY's Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship to include the children, spouses and financial dependents  of members of the Armed Forces that were permanently and severely disabled, or are missing in action while performing their military duties. Previously, the award only applied to the dependents of service members that were killed in a combat zone.
  • In 4/19, the VA concluded it WOULD NOT appeal a Supreme Court decision that granted Blue Water Navy veterans presumptive exposure to Agent Orange based on military service within the 12 mile "territorial waters" off the coast of Vietnam. These veterans can now file VA compensation claims for any of the health issues that have been associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Survivors of deceased Navy veterans MAY also be entitled to VA benefits and should contact our office ASAP to discuss eligibility.
  • In 3/19, the VA formalized an agreement with Medicare that allows VA to incorporate Medicare Part D provided prescriptions to be incorporated into the VA's drug safety monitoring systems. Since veterans can get prescriptions both organizations, this new access should "reduce potential for adverse drug interactions."
  • In 3/19, the VA stopped the annual submission of a completed VA Form 4140 for Individual Unemployability recipients. Now, the VA will conduct an annual income verification with the IRS to determine if a veteran worked and how much they may have earned.
  • The USO Transition 360 Alliance is an initiative to help US military personnel, and veterans that have been out of the service for up to 12 months, successfully transition into civilian life. RP/6, a partner organization, is located at the Ft. Drum USO at Bldg 10502 South Riva Ridge Loop. You can call (315) 777-8056  or (315) 777-8711 for assistance.
  • In March/2016, Secretary of the VA Robert McDonald decided to propose presumption of service connection for 8 conditions (kidney cancer, Liver Cancer, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Scleroderma, Parkinson's Disease, Aplastic Anemia / Myelodysplastic Syndromes) based on exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953-1987.