The People Behind Dallas County: Lavette Domineck
This story is part of the Dallas County Messenger’s series showcasing the people serving Dallas County. Lavette Domineck is an Assistant County Veterans Service Officer working in Dallas County’s Veteran Services Office.
Lavette Domineck is a Dallas County Assistant Veterans Service Officer who serves as the Vice President of the Northeast Chapter of the Veteran County Service Officer Association of Texas (VCSOAT). Lavette played an instrumental role in securing 10 Veterans’ receipt of 100% military service-connected disability ratings. This award represents a dollar amount of over $3,100 of monthly tax-free income for the impacted Veterans. It also includes 100% eligibility for education benefits for any dependent of the Veterans and a 100% exemption from state/county property taxes for the noted Veterans who are homeowners. In Oct. 2019, Lavette successfully opened the first Dallas County Veteran Services Satellite Office at Dallas County’s District 1 Road & Bridge Office in Garland, TX. This made it more convenient for Veterans in east Dallas County to meet with her to develop their U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit claims for submission. Working from this Office, Lavette can more readily provide services to Veterans who are being seen at the new Garland VA Medical Center, which is the new hub for the Dallas VA Medical Center at which female Veterans are offered expanded health-care options. Read the Dallas County Messenger’s conversation with Lavette below.
Explain your specific role at Dallas County.
As is mandated by the State of Texas, as an Assistant County Veterans Service Officer, I assist eligible Veterans and their surviving spouses and dependents with filing claims; I educate them on local, state and federal benefits; and I direct them to appropriate resources and benefits for which they may be eligible. Additionally, I am in the process of completing training to represent Veterans at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hearings.
What motivates you to continue serving as an Assistant County Veterans Service Officer?
The reason that I’m so passionate is because I am a female Veteran myself. I know what it’s like to struggle trying to find one’s place back in society, especially as a female Veteran, as female Veterans have been underserved for so many years. In my current role, I can use my expertise to expand upon the services we provide and reach as many Veterans as possible. Knowing that I can change a Veteran’s life literally overnight by providing these services is what motivates me to get out of bed every morning.
What would Dallas County residents be pleasantly surprised to learn about the Veteran Services Office?
All of the Assistant County Veterans Service Officers from our Office, including the Lead Assistant County Veterans Service Officer, have at some point in their careers been awarded the “Outstanding Officer of the Year Award” presented by the Veterans County Service Officers Association of Texas (VCSOAT). Our Office is the only one in this specific area of the State of Texas that can make this claim.
Of what accomplishments are you most proud?
During my eight-year tenure, I have helped ensure many Veterans receive 100% military service-connected disability ratings. This rating is life changing from a monetary-value perspective, but also, it assists Veterans with daily activities of life and equips them with aids such as education benefits (which may now be transferred to their children), full medical benefits including dental and vision and exemptions from property taxes.
What’s an example of a creative solution that the Veteran Services Office deployed to improve a Dallas County process or help a Dallas County resident?
As part of our Office’s COVID-19 pandemic response, we acquired and implemented the VetPro application to facilitate remote case development for the Dallas County Veterans Community. This system allows us to better service Veterans’ needs by permitting them to sign documents from literally anywhere (i.e., at home, at a Starbucks, while traveling, etc.), upload the documents to VetPro and then send them to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronically in real time.
What is your favorite part of working for Dallas County?
Due to my knowledge and training, I am entrusted with the flexibility to do my job independently without constant oversight and/or supervision.
This conversation is edited for clarity.