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Veterans Affairs office overwhelmed with burial requests and misinformation about benefits

Veterans Affairs office overwhelmed with burial requests and misinformation about benefits (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

The number of veterans in Horry County is growing and so is the number of families that do not know what benefits they are eligible for when a veteran dies.

According to the last census, Horry County has 30,000 veterans and that number keeps growing.

"Five counselors and myself, a total of six, handling basically 15,000 files, and it's growing everyday," said Veterans Affairs Director for Horry County Ronald Elvis.

The Veterans Affairs Office of Horry County helps with patient care and federal benefits.

"The worst part of this job is to deal with a family and us have to tell them that the veteran's not eligible for what they thought they were eligible for," said Elvis.

What a family gets for burial compensation is based on how long a vet served, if they were in combat and how the veteran died.

"Every veteran that's discharged honorably is authorized a $300 burial benefit," said Elvis.

Elvis asks veterans and their families to reach out to his office before someone dies.

"We ask that they get involved at the first diagnosis or first sign of any kind of trouble," said Elvis.

To set up an appointment with the Horry County Veterans Affairs Office, you can call (843) 915-5480 or reach out through Horry County's website.

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