Veterans Service Office closed for holiday

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed at noon Dec. 24 through Dec. 28 in observance of this holiday. I will return to the office Monday, Dec. 29.

SC claims

Veterans with a partial VA rated service-connected disability should always consider a re-evaluation for a higher disability rating.

Typically a disability doesn’t get better with age, it gets worse. Often there are other disabilities that come about due to the original medical condition. For instance, if you have a disability for a bad back and your hips or legs are now bothering you, they may be related. Sometimes because of one condition, we change our pattern of walking, gait, or physical activity because of the original disability.

A medical condition that is aggravated or caused by an existing service-connected disability is referred to as a condition “secondary” to the original disability. These are the easiest to prove, since the original disability has already been approved by the VA.

If you are already VA service-connected disabled for one condition and you believe you now have additional medical issues you should consult with your VA primary care provider. Often a simple medical statement from the physician is enough to prove your claim.

I would urge any veteran with an existing VA rated service-connected disability to stop by and consult with me for a possible re-evaluation of possible additional claims.

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays — call Mike Dunaway, 247-2198 — and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays — call Harriet Mulnix (505) 793-1782.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.