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Washington County grant to boost veterans services

Washington County will receive a $17,500 grant from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs to increase veterans services.

The County Board agreed to accept the grant Oct. 8.

During the 2013 legislative session, the structure of the County Veterans Service Officers grant program administered by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs was modified and the state funding increased. Now all 87 Minnesota counties will receive a $7,500 base grant. In addition to the base grant, each county will be eligible for an additional amount based on the county’s veteran population as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Washington County is eligible for an additional $10,000 based on the population of 16,453 veterans who reside in the county, bringing the total grant for 2013 to $17,500.

The grant will allow the Washington County Veterans Service Office to pay for medical expenses for veterans seeking second opinions on previously denied Veterans Administration disability claims, sponsor a Veterans Job Fair, provide outreach to the county’s veterans, assist with the reintegration of combat veterans into society, prevent homelessness among veterans, and enhance the operations of the county’s veterans service office.

In 2012, the county received funding for similar purposes.