CFO Alex Sink: ‘Florida Vets Connect’ Now Helping Veterans Receive Benefits Information
CONTACT: Jerri Franz or Jayme O’Rourke, (850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today reminds Florida Veterans that ‘Florida Vets Connect’ is now in operation. The program, a joint initiative of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) and the Florida Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), is designed to recognize Florida’s veterans and provide them with information about the benefits they may be entitled to through their brave service to our country.
“It is especially fitting as we go into the July 4th holiday weekend, that we should do everything we can to honor the service of our veterans who’ve sacrificed so much for our country,” said CFO Sink. “The new Florida Vets Connect initiative will make it easier for Florida’s veterans to receive the benefits they may be entitled to through their brave service.”
The program will now allow veterans to voluntarily identify their veteran status when applying for or renewing a driver license or ID card. Their contact information will then be used by Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to ensure Florida’s veterans are provided information about the benefits to which they may be entitled.
At no cost to taxpayers, ‘Florida Vets Connect’ utilizes driver license offices as an intake point to gather information on veterans not currently in the state system. The DHSMV will collect, store, and make this information available to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The program began yesterday as part of the regular DHSMV July system update.
According to 2010 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data, Florida’s veteran population totals over 1.68 million but the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs only has accurate contact information for approximately 700,000 veterans living in the state. Nationwide, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine reported more than $22 billion in veterans' pension funds go unclaimed annually.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services and serves as the State Fire Marshal. A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO. As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices.