2024 Veterans Service Officer Program

New York State Dept. of Veterans Services
Accredited Veterans Service Officer Training

In a significant stride towards continued empowering the veteran community, Veterans Rebuilding Life members: Christian Zamora, Susan Dachs, and Damia December, completed the Veteran Service Officer (VSO) training intensive, provided by VRL partners: the New York State Dept. of Veterans Services (DVS), instructed by the Deputy Commissioner for Program Development Benjamin Pomerance, Esq.

This comprehensive and accredited training program educates individuals about the intricacies of veterans’ benefit claims and compensation. Deputy Commissioner Pomerance is a seasoned expert o U.S. veterans law, advocacy, and training. Not only did he offer a deep dive into the legal and procedural aspects of veterans’ compensation, but he also provided solutions to common roadblocks many vets face.

A key takeaway was the emphasis on individualized support for veterans and their families. Understanding that each veteran’s situation is unique, attendees learned how to navigate the complexities of the VA process with expertise. They gained insights and developed coaching and advocacy skills under Mr. Pomerance’s effective instruction. This intensive training culminated in a final examination, which all three VRL members passed.

Deputy Commissioner of Program Development, Ben Pomerance led the training course.

Building on the foundation laid by the DVS training, VRL members took the initiative by completing an additional 40 hours of: TRIP (Training-Responsibility-Involvement-Preparation of claims). This advanced training is part of the VA’s transformation in progress initiative, and focuses on effective communication, case management, and advocacy for veterans.

After passing their requisite exams, Veterans Rebuilding Life members now include accredited Veterans Service Officers, capable of representing military veterans and their families in preparing and prosecuting claims and appeals before the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

From left: Benjamin Pomerance, Christian Zamora, Damia December.

Successfully passing the VA TRIP provides a deeper understanding of the veterans’ compensation system and refined advocacy skills. Veterans Rebuilding Life is better equipped to guide veterans through the complex process of accessing their entitled benefits. Veterans Rebuilding Life members will receive ongoing monthly training from DVS and collaborate closely with other network partners to successfully navigate the ever-evolving landscape of veteran healthcare.

VRL is dedicated to empowering veterans with support, resources, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. The organization’s volunteers play a pivotal role in this process by connecting veterans with essential services, including navigating the complexities of veterans’ benefits.

We must recognize the pivotal role that well-trained, compassionate advocates play in ensuring veterans receive the benefits they deserve. Christian, Susan, and Damia have significantly contributed to Veterans Rebuilding Life’s continued ability to empower veterans and their families.