Pike County Veterans office reopens to public

Published 6:48 pm Thursday, May 7, 2020

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Veterans Affairs (ADVA) has reopened the department’s county-based veterans service offices that were temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

“We are  taking necessary steps to reopen the offices to deliver services while following protective measures that are in the best interest of public health and safety,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “Most county offices are providing services by appointment-only, and because of on-going preventive measures and due to limited space in some offices, walk-in appointments are suspended until further notice.”

The Pike County Veterans Affairs Office is located in the Pike County Courthouse, which, like many others veterans’ affairs offices, remains closed to the public. However, Pike County Veterans Affairs Officer Randy Ross, said he is at work at the Pike County Courthouse and available to take calls and also assist veterans and their dependents at the Veterans Affairs Office.

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“We are excited to be back in office and look forward to continuing to serve our veterans and their families at this location,” Ross said. “We might be able to provide some assistance by phone while other needs would best be addressed by in-office appointments. Appointments must be made prior to coming to the office and are scheduled for an allotted time. The number to call is 566-1780.”

The ADVA and its county offices continue to follow preventive measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. For in-office appointments, the county offices will follow protocols for protecting both employees and veteran clients, Ross said.

Veterans affairs service officers had been working from home and Ross said the training they received has been extremely valuable.

“We were often able to file claims from home and some of the claims went through rather quickly,” Ross said. “In the near future, the use of cameras and other technology will eliminate the need for some office appointments.”

Ross said he is looking forward to continuing to serve veterans and their families.

“They have served us and it is an honor to serve them,” Ross said.

The ADVA’s  county veterans service offices offer a vital service to Alabama veterans and their family members.

Ross said the ADVA assists veterans and their dependents with compensation and pension claim, educational benefits, VA home loans and referral services for needs such as temporary housing, healthcare, counseling and job placement.

ADVA operates 51 county veterans service offices, and as part of a 2019 initiative to expand services, the ADVA will open nine additional county offices in 2020. The department’s objective is to have a veterans service office in all 67 counties to serve the state’s more than 400,000 veterans.