Francis Scott Key Post 11
Chair: Post Service Officer and assisted by the Post Chaplain
The American Legion was founded on Four Pillars of which Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation is one. This Pillar is composed of programs, services and advocacy efforts that improve the lives of those who served, along with their families and dependents. The Legion lobbies Congress for a well-funded, appropriately staffed VA that can handle benefits claims efficiently, quickly and accurately. Locally, Legion volunteers work individually with veterans to help them navigate the complicated benefits application process. As the VA backlog continues, The American Legion is leading a national conversation about accountability to veterans and reforms aimed at veterans receiving timely appointments and the benefits they earned throughout their service.
Since it was chartered in 1919, FSK Post 11 has had a continuous Veterans Affair Program covering all aspects of the needs of our Veteran’s Community. While there may have been specific committees to cover the most pressing needs, currently all of those fall under one Standing Veterans Affair Committee.
- Assist veterans in obtaining needed hospitalization, in the pursuance of claims and in obtaining other veteran’s rights and benefits
- Visit comrades who are sick or disabled
- Visit and comfort members of their families when sick or bereaved
Post Service Officer
The American Legion’s post service officer (PSO) is an elected officer of FSK Post 11. The PSO serves as a link between the veteran or dependent and a representative holding American Legion accreditation, and understands benefits afforded to veterans and dependents. However, the PSO is not authorized to file any claims on behalf of the claimant. PSOs serve as valuable resources to veterans in local posts to ensure that our veterans and their dependents receive their earned benefits. The PSO is a vital first contact for veterans.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits program was established to provide tax-free compensation for veterans suffering from chronic medical conditions determined to have been related to service in the armed forces. Disability ratings are wide-ranging and are assigned based upon the severity of the condition. The American Legion has over 2,500 accredited representatives nationwide who have been trained to assist veterans to navigate the disability claims process
The different types of claims that a veteran or family member may seek assistance with are:
- Direct service connection – a condition that is determined to have been directly the result of an incident/injury in service.
- Secondary service connection – a condition that is determined to have been caused by a previously service-connected condition.
- Aggravated service connection – a condition that is determined to have been exacerbated by a previously service-connected condition.
- Presumptive service connection – a condition that is assumed to have been caused by the nature of service, such as conditions associated with Agent Orange/herbicide exposure.
- Condition caused by VA treatment – a condition that was caused by “direct result of VA fault such as carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, or error in judgment, OR not a reasonably expected result or complication of the VA care or treatment, OR the direct result of participation in a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or compensated work therapy program.
The disability claims process can be complicated. Veterans and their dependents contacting PSOs will be referred to the local accredited representatives for assistance in their pursuit of their disability benefits, if they cannot be fully assisted by the PSO.