St. Louis VA moves its benefits office from downtown to Overland | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis VA moves its benefits office from downtown to Overland

Nov 7, 2016

The VA is still working to get the word out to veterans that its regional benefits office has moved from downtown St. Louis to the Prevedel Federal Building at 9700 Page Ave. in Overland.

The VA closed its offices at 400 S. 18th St. on Friday afternoon and reopened Monday morning at the Overland location.  It was a massive move involving about 800 employees, along with representatives of Veterans Service Organizations like the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Gerald Frederick, a management analyst with the St. Louis VA, said the agency has been working with the media, partner agencies and service organizations to notify veterans of the move.

Veterans visiting the new facility on Monday were pleased with the availability of free and accessible parking at the new site, Frederick said.

“People haven’t had to search for parking, which was the most common complaint in the past,’’ he said.

A sign in the window at the old downtown office directs veterans to the new benefits office at 9700 Page Ave. in Overland.
Credit Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

But there were a few glitches. On Monday, the VA website still listed the downtown address, which led several veterans to show up there. A security guard and a large sign in the window directed them to the new location.

The website should have been changed Monday morning, Frederick said.

“If we’re not getting the message out to one individual, then we need to figure out how we fix that,’’ Frederick said.

By Monday afternoon, the St. Louis page on the VA's national website had been updated, but a directory guide on the website still listed the old location.

The General Services Administration made the decision to relocate the offices after its lease expired, Frederick said.

“GSA has a national program to move agencies that are not in federal space into federal space as their leases come up,’’ he said.

Veterans applying for benefits, such as disability benefits or vocational rehabilitation will need to go to the new location. The move does not affect medical services of the St. Louis VA’s Cochran or Jefferson Barracks medical centers.

The five-story Prevedel federal building was built in 1990, adjacent to the former Federal Records Center. It was named for Army Sgt. Charles F. Prevedel of St. Louis, who was killed in Vietnam. 

Follow Mary Leonard on Twitter: @MaryDLeonard