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Making a positive impact, $267,909 claims award won for widow

photo of Sameul Perez, Jr.

A $267,909 claims retro payment awarded to a surviving spouse in January is the latest big success for TVC Team Impact Award winner Samuel Perez, Jr.

Great work and congratulations Samuel.


Perez, pictured, is an Air Force veteran and Hidalgo County Director of Veterans Services. His outstanding service to veterans, team development and improving the performance of his office, community involvement and leadership earned Perez the TVC Team Impact Award which was presented to him in February 2024.

Just prior to his award presentation, Perez learned that a surviving spouse of a Vietnam Army veteran he had been working with was awarded a retro payment of over $267,909 dating back to May 2006. Perez had been assisting the spouse on the claim since October 2016. The claim was for the veteran’s pancreatic cancer, which was eventually service connected to herbicide agent exposure during service.

The spouse had first filed for her benefits when her veteran husband passed away in May 2006.

“She filed 2006, was denied and she let it go,” said Perez. “She heard about our services and contacted me in 2016.”

Perez reopened the widow’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation claim in October 2016. “It was denied again,” said Perez. “I filed a notice of disagreement in November 2017 and we didn’t get the hearing until last year (2023).”

In June 2023, Perez took the claim before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Months later, on January 30, 2024, the BVA announced their decision to award the claim with a retro payment of over $267,909 dating back to her original filing in May 2006.

photo of Team Impact award presentation to Samuel Perez, Jr.

This award is just the latest example of Perez’s effectiveness, which was cited at his TVC Team Impact Award presentation. Pictured is the award presentation to Perez by TVC Executive Director and Army veteran Tom Palladino. Additionally, the award presentation noted the extra duties Perez takes and his mentorship to other Veteran Service Officers. Further it noted his outreach in speaking to community leaders and elected officials. His mentorship, leadership and outreach is reflected in that he is currently the Chair of TVC’s Veteran County Service Officer Advisory Board as well as the current President of the Veterans County Service Officers Association of Texas (VCSOAT).

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