ASSISTANT DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICER

- 8/19/2021

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Location:      Albany VA Medical Center, 113 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York 12208

Starting:        Salary $36,000 progressing to $39,000 after 6 months

Benefits:       Vacation and Holidays, No Health Insurance, No Pension

NATURE OF WORK:

Manages the activities as assigned by the VFW Department Service Officer (DSO) at the Albany VA Medical Center, 113 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York 12208. Implement the VFW National Veterans Service Policy and Procedure and Department programs concerning veterans’ service.  Manages areas of responsibilities in providing professional veterans representation for fulfillment of federal, state [and local] government entitlements.  Assists veterans in the preparation, development, submission, and review of ratings on claims for veterans’ entitlements and benefits to the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Reviews veterans’ claims folders develop issues for use in the appellate process, counsel veterans on government entitlements.  Is the liaison with governmental agencies and provides assistance to the VFW National Veterans Service staff and accredited VFW service officers in policy matters pertaining to veterans’ entitlements and benefits. Assist with training assigned service officers and staff to ensure professionalism and maintain proficiency.  Provide input to the Department budget for the veterans’ services program through the Director of Veterans Service. Periodically travel is required to the New York City Regional Office and the Buffalo Regional Office to represent Veterans at VA hearings and preserve the office integrity. 

TYPICAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Processes inquiries from the veterans’ community concerning veterans’ benefits.  Ensures that the appropriate forms are accurately and timely submitted. Monitors claim progression, reviewing decisions to determine appropriate courses of action to resolve unfavorable decisions.

Researches and develops appeals through coordination, outside agencies, and expert witnesses.  Prepares statements on behalf of the veteran’s claim or appeal.  Assists the veteran in obtaining medical opinions from attending physicians and other health care professionals.

Reviews and incorporates statutes, regulations, judicial decisions, and governmental directives to ensure that veterans’ interests are articulated in accordance with VFW national mandates and the National Veterans Service Policy and Procedure.  

Maintains liaison with appropriate agencies concerning veterans’ entitlements and benefits. 

Provides advice and technical assistance on policy matters pertaining to those programs as they affect the mission.  Attends regular meetings of Department, District, and Post as directed.  Performs liaison to local government agencies on veterans’ legislative issues.

Develops, coordinates, implements, and maintains training programs for representatives within the Department.

Implements VFW’s veterans’ outreach programs to veterans’ facilities and military installations within the Department as directed. 

Attends conferences as directed with the requirement to articulate VFW policies concerning the veterans’ entitlements program.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES REQUIRED:

Advanced human relations and management skills are required.  This position requires knowledge of specific subjects to make the incumbent very authoritative in National Veterans’ affairs programs.  This typically includes public speaking on a subject, and the incumbent may frequently be called upon for views on special veterans’ issues.  Thorough knowledge is required on conducting interviews, completing veterans’ affairs forms, and understanding Title 38 United States Code, Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations, federal court decisions, and government statutes, regulations, directives, and publications.

It is necessary to have advanced knowledge of office equipment and particularly computers to include software applications, case management techniques, and other electronic applications used in a fully automated office.

Position requires VFW accreditation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, in accordance with the National Veterans Service Policy and Procedure and successful completion of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Training, Responsibility, Involvement, and Preparation of claims (TRIP) test.  Incumbent will, from time to time, be required to take recertification tests to monitor their proficiency in the laws pertaining to veterans’ benefits.

SCOPE OF POSITION:

Primary responsibility includes determining the proper application of laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to veterans’ entitlements and coordinating internal and external staff resources to solve issues in the best interest of the claimant.

Position is under the direct supervision of the DSO. 

Typical contacts are with members of the veterans’ community, the VFW National Veterans Service staff, VFW Department Service Officers, representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other legislative and federal/state agencies through written and oral communications 100% of the time.

Incumbent assists the DSO in the preparation of the annual budget.  

WORKING CONDITIONS:

Position functions in a typical office environment approximately 80% of the time.  Domestic and local travel is required approximately 20% of the time to participate in conferences and training programs, veteran’s affairs hearings, staff meetings, visits to military installations, and National Veterans Service and Department meetings, as directed. Travel will include visitations to the New York City Office and the Buffalo Office which may require overnight stays. All travel is scheduled and approved by the Director of Veterans Service and State Adjutant. 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

•           Sitting and/or standing for extended periods of time.

•           May be required to bend, stoop or reach in the distribution of mail or maintenance of files.

•           There is some carrying of items such as packages, etc. up to 25 lbs.

•           Mobility within the office including movement on one floor and workstations.

•           Repeated motions (i.e.-typing, reaching, bending, lifting, and carrying up to 25 lbs.).

•           Communication with other employees and clients.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS:

•          Our work is performed in a professional office environment. 

•                Extended use of electronic devices (i.e. computers, printers, copiers, scanners, telephones, and postage machine).

•                Use of cutting tools and equipment (paper cutter, scissors, etc.).

HOURS OF WORK:

•           Monday through Friday.

•           8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

MAJOR ACCOUNTABILITIES:

Ensures their conduct and professional services of the Department Service Office in the Albany VA.  This could include functioning as a VFW "test site” whenever the Department of Veterans Affairs is developing advanced claims processing initiatives, especially those on electronic claims processing programs and software applications.

The above duties are both general and specific in nature and are not intended to reflect all the duties that may be required of the incumbent.

Candidates:

•                Must be 18 years or older

•                Must hold an Associate Degree in Business Administrative, Human Relations, Marketing, Accounting, or similar areas of study from an accredited learning institution or five years’ experience as an Assistant Accredited Veterans Service Officer

•                Must be eligible to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars 

•                Must be a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars prior to being employed

•                Must be willing to take an initial and periodic drug test

•                Must submit to an initial and periodic background investigation. 

Estimated Start Date after October 2021

Persons interested in applying for this position should forward an up-to-date resume, cover letter and a copy of their DD-214 which shows eligibility to the Veterans of Foreign Wars via e-mail to Robert J. Mitchell, State Adjutant, at adjutantdny@vfwny.com  Department of New York Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Resumes must be received by the close of business September 15, 2021