Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 27, 2012

Personnel increased at Veteran Services

Record amount of claims strains office.

Kokomo — The Howard County Veteran Services Office received a boost in personnel funding Tuesday from the county council to help keep up with a record number of active claims for veterans’ benefits.

Council approved an increase from $3,500 to $12,000 to allow a part-time employee to work four days a week all year instead of only a couple days from April to November.

It was one of the smaller amounts council doled out Tuesday, but it drew the biggest response from the crowd, many of whom were veterans who packed the meeting to support the budget increase.

The group clapped and cheered after council unanimously approved the appropriation.

“I’m grateful that the council gave me the part-time position,” said Veterans Service officer Bob Ladd. “It means a lot to me.”

Ladd said there are currently around 3,000 active claims at the office – the highest amount he’s ever seen.

Last year, he said 1,830 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan returned to Howard County, some of whom have already filed claims.

The main reason for the increase in benefit applications, however, is recent legislation that covers more injuries and conditions for Vietnam vets, Ladd said.

Another reason is the decade-long war in Iraq.

“It’s been 10 years now, and a lot of the injuries and exposure to battle environments are kicking in,” Ladd said.

Oddly, the uptick in benefit applications comes as the number of out-of-county claims has decreased in the last couple years.

In 2009, county veterans received $16.2 million in benefits through the office and out-of-county veterans received $22 million in benefits.

Ladd said that number has decreased due to the ability to submit claims online, but noted a number of veterans from surrounding counties still use the Howard County office to file.

With the record number of active claims making their way through veteran services, Ladd said the part-time employee will free up other personnel to work on benefit applications.

“This will allow those people to do the job they were hired to do,” he said. “This should relieve the stress a little bit.”

• Carson Gerber, Tribune reporter, may be reached by calling 765-854-6739 or via email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bona Vista to build new $1.23 million housing development Bona Vista Programs has announced it plans to build a new $1.23 million housing development in downtown Kokomo to accommodate people with disabilities. The new 6,500-square-foot housing unit called Elmwood Trails will be located at 1101 N. Buckeye St

    July 24, 2014

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash A 26-year-old Burlington woman is being accused of driving drunk causing the death of a Frankfort man in a May 2 accident near the Howard-Tipton county line. Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson on Wednesday charging he

    July 24, 2014

  • Lake Co. judge strikes down Indiana right-to-work INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012. Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras determined the law violates the state co

    July 24, 2014

  • Kokomo man charged with sexual misconduct with a minor Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old girl.Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on

    July 24, 2014

  • Howard County rejected for state preschool pilot Howard County is not among the five counties selected for Indiana’s new preschool voucher pilot.Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties will roll out the program in 2015. Eighteen counties, includi

    July 24, 2014

  • Peru dam Who should fix the dams? PERU — Who has jurisdiction over six dams located in the Hidden Hills housing addition just north of Peru, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or the people who own the land?It’s a question with a lot riding on it — more than $1.5 million, in

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kokomo Airport runway extension nearing completion After more than a decade of waiting, a runway extension project that will allow the Kokomo Municipal Airport to attract new business will soon be prepared for takeoff.The project, which will extend the airport’s main runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000 f

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents organize outreach for fire victims Josh and Courtney Justice lost everything they owned Tuesday afternoon after a fire ravaged their home in Indian Heights. The community has been reaching out to help replace some of what was destroyed. Just hours after the blaze displaced the Justice

    July 23, 2014

  • Man jailed on sex charge Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old. Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on the

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries