RELEASE: Gottheimer Holds Veterans Resources Fair to Help North Jersey Veterans with Critical Resources, Benefits

Apr 11, 2022

Joined by Local Organizations and Agencies Helping Address Veterans’ Issues

Above: Gottheimer with North Jersey veterans during his Veterans Resources Fair.

PARAMUS, NJ — On April 9, 2022, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) held a Veterans Resources Fair to connect North Jersey veterans with more than a dozen local, state, and federal agencies and community organizations, to help veterans and their families access critical resources including health care, employment opportunities, benefits, education, and more. Our nation’s brave veterans deserve to have access to the benefits and resources they’ve fought for.

Gottheimer was joined by Bergen County Veterans Services, the Bergen County Board of Social Services, the Bergen County Housing Authority, Ramapo College, Bergen Community College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Bridge Medical Center, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, the NJ Division of Taxation, the NJ Division of Unclaimed Property, the NJ Department of Treasury, the VANJ Health Care System, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Gottheimer and his casework team were in attendance, speaking with veterans and their families to help address issues like cutting through red tape to access Social Security, VA benefits, past service medals, and more.

“There is nothing more important in this job than my responsibility to have the backs of those who have served our great country. Whether that’s at the VA, a mental health issue, or helping a veteran get a job when you come back home,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I want to impress upon everyone here that my door is always open for any issues that you may have. We are always available to help with things such as cutting through red tape to access Social Security, VA benefits, and more.”

Gottheimer continued, “Our fight for our democracy and our veterans is far from over, and I will never stop fighting for veterans. It is our duty as Americans not only to honor our veterans — all soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women, and Coast Guardsmen and women — but to do everything we can to fight for them — so they have the care they need, the benefits they were promised, and the support we all owe them.”

Since coming to Congress, Gottheimer has been fighting to ensure that veterans have access to the resources they earned. The first piece of legislation Gottheimer passed in Congress was to expand hiring of post-9/11 veterans, and he has also led legislation signed into law to address veterans and National Guard suicide. 

Gottheimer has cut through red tape with the VA Community Care Network so that eligible North Jersey veterans are able to receive referrals for health care services at ImageCare Centers across the Fifth District and at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. — allowing for shorter drive times and greater access to care.

Just last month, working with members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Gottheimer helped pass the Honoring our PACT Act in the House of Representatives, to help veterans exposed to burn pits and toxic exposure — covering veterans dating back to 1991 and Operation Desert Storm, and through our more recent post-9/11 conflicts. Included in this bipartisan bill were Gottheimer’s key provisions to address the mental health impacts of burn pits for veterans and to ensure VA information on toxic exposure illnesses is published in multiple languages, to help even more of our North Jersey residents, like Korean American, Chinese American, Latino veterans, and so many more. 

Additional legislation Gottheimer recently fought for to help our nation’s veterans, service members, and their families includes:

  • Boosting Education Access: The bipartisan Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act to help expand access to G.I. benefits for members of our military who serve in the National Guard and Reserves, as they do not receive the same access to vital G.I. Bill benefits.
  • Expanding Mental Health Care Access: The bipartisan Student Veterans Counseling Centers Eligibility Act which will expand access to mental health services for veterans utilizing their GI Benefits at colleges and universities through established Vet Centers.
  • Boosting Education Access to Veteran Families: The bipartisan Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act which will require public colleges and universities to provide in-state tuition to the survivor families of service members who die or become disabled, or who were previously not eligible to receive VA education benefits.  
  • Supporting Veteran Families: The bipartisan Protecting Moms Who Served Act which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a maternity care coordination program that coordinates, supports, and trains community maternity care providers to serve the unique needs of pregnant and postpartum veterans.

“Our goal in Bergen County Veterans Services is to help every Veteran in the County achieve mental and physical security,” said Shaun Hutchinson, Acting Director of Bergen County Veterans Services.

“VA New Jersey Health Care System is to collaborate with Representative Gottheimer’s Office and other community partners to bring needed benefits and services information directly to veterans in Northern New Jersey,” said Dave Brimmer, Coordinator of Community Outreach in the Office of the Director of the VA New Jersey Health Care System (VANJHCS)

“Legal Services of New Jersey coordinates and supports the statewide Legal Services system, which provides free legal assistance to low-income New Jerseyans, including veterans, for their civil legal problems. Through its work, LSNJ strives to secure substantive and procedural justice for those living in poverty. The Tax Legal Assistance project within LSNJ provides assistance with federal tax matters. This includes collections, US Tax Court cases, audits, issues with stimulus funds and most matters having to do with the Internal Revenue Service,” said Marcia Suarez, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

“The Department of the Treasury and the entire State of New Jersey sincerely value the sacrifices of our military veterans and active service members. While we can never fully repay these sacrifices, we are working diligently to make life easier for the military community, including easing financial burdens through tax benefits and other programs, and providing services to help ease the transition to civilian life. We encourage everyone to check out our website for more information on these critical resources,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.

Watch video from Gottheimer’s Veterans Resources Fair here.

Below: North Jersey veterans visiting the Veterans Resources Fair. 

Below: Gottheimer visits local groups at the Veterans Resources Fair.

 Below: Gottheimer meeting Bergen Community College Public Safety Officers

A group of men standing next to a police car

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