Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Acknowledges Success of Monroe County Veterans Service Agency

January 25th, 2023

Photo from press conference

VSA secured more than $6 million in retroactive payments for local veterans

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Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today recognized the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency (VSA) and its executive director, Nick Stefanovic, for continued success in advocating for local veterans. The VSA recovered more than $6 million in retroactive benefit payments from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for local veterans from June 2021 through June 2022. For context, New York State recovered $4 million during that time.

“In Monroe County, it’s our duty and privilege to serve those who served us. Whether it’s advocating for veterans benefits in the courtroom or by delivering vital services to veterans and their families, our Veterans Service Agency goes above and beyond to get our veterans the benefits they are owed and deserve,” said County Executive Bello. “Thank you to executive director Nick Stefanovic and the entire team for your incredible work to consistently succeed in winning difficult cases for veterans who have been refused vital benefits. It takes more investment and more effort but the results speak for themselves.”

The VSA has recovered more than $34 million in retroactive payments from the VA since 2015 by assisting local veterans who appeal their benefit settlement cases from the VA. These one- time, tax free payments bring immense economic gain to local veterans and their families.

During his tenure as County Executive, Bello has increased staffing in the VSA by 25 percent, including hiring more staff to assist with handling appeals.

“We can never thank our veterans and their families enough for the sacrifices they have made in defense of our great nation, and it is essential we provide them the highest level of care when they return home from their service,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “Thanks to the empathy and dedication of County Executive Adam Bello and Director Nick Stefanovic, we are blessed to have a Veterans Service Agency dedicated to ensuring our local service members have the needed healthcare and benefits they deserve. I'm grateful for all they do on behalf of Monroe County's veterans.”

“In New York State, the way that Veterans Services are provided is entirely up to County leaders. In Monroe County we believe that with the exception of frivolity, it is not our place to determine which veterans receive support and which don’t. We support them all and so we don’t turn down veterans’ request for assistance with appeals,” said VSA executive director Nick Stefanovic. “County Executive Bello’s vision is for all veterans to receive support and service, not just the ones with winnable cases. We are thankful for his strong support for our work.”

The Monroe County Veterans Service Agency is located at 125 Westfall Road in Rochester and can be reached at (585) 753-6040.