Batchelder: Benefits being offered to veterans, families

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2017

With Veterans Day right around the corner, David Batchelder is hoping to promote the different items available for veterans and their survivors from the community to help with their personal lives.
Carter County’s veteran service officer recently provided the Elizabethton Star with an update Tuesday, Oct. 17, about resources available, ranging from shopping privileges to tax relief.
According to information provided by Batchelder, the Department of Defense will grant online exchange shopping privileges to veterans of all United States Armed Forces starting Veterans Day – Saturday, Nov. 11.
The DoD indicated that while shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products, it includes the Exchange Services’ “dynamic online retail environment known so well to service members and their families.”
“We are excited to provide these benefits to honorably discharged veterans to recognize their service and welcome them home to their military family,” said Peter Levine, performing the duties for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, in a press release issued by the department.
Levine added, “In addition, this initiative represents a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to help fund Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs in support of service members’ and their families’ quality of life. And it’s just the right thing to do.”
Veterans can visit to view different items available, serving as a suitable outlet for veterans coming home from service, or looking to get a headstart on the holiday season.
Another item available for veterans, Batchelder added, is property tax relief for surviving spouses of veterans whose death was deemed to be due to a service-connected disability.
“Even if a veteran was not 100 percent disabled at the time of their death, if the Department of Veteran Affairs determines that their death was service connected, the surviving spouse is eligible to apply for property tax relief,” Batchelder said. The officer added the amount of tax relief is based on the value of the home and may not reimburse all the property taxes paid.
“The homeowner must still pay their property taxes,” he said. “But will be reimbursed by the State of Tennessee once their eligibility for the program is confirmed by the VA.”
Other resources are available for veterans, and families, and can be utilized by working with different organizations or agencies, like the one provided by the county.
For more questions about the two topics or other veteran-based benefits, contact Batchelder at (423) 542-1824.

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