Vancouver resident Bill Allman’s work has been like a dream. He believes his dad would have been surprised at times by where his work has taken him.
Or at least the part about the White House.
Allman has twice visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., once in 2014 and once in 2016, to be honored for work he’s done to match military veterans with benefits. His dad, also named Bill, died in 2007, but Allman believes the White House visits would have caused him to quip: “What in the living heck? Is my son sitting there in the Oval Office?”
It has been quite the journey of honors and accolades for Allman, a former Vietnam veteran who started a Washington program in 2003 to notify needy veterans they qualified for military benefits, and get them off Medicaid programs. Allman found eligible veterans through the use of the federal Public Assistance Reporting Information System, or PARIS. But that journey will come to an end in December, when Allman retires at the age of 66 from his position as president of PARIS and program manager of the state Veteran Benefit Enhancement Program.
“When you see the faces of these people, it speaks volumes. You realize you’re doing God’s work,” Allman said of helping veterans.
Allman said the work has made him even more proud of being a veteran and explained that he wants the program to reach even more states, hopefully before he retires.
While it started in Washington, Allman’s program is now used in 32 states in some form or another, he said. Allman said it has lead to millions in Medicaid savings nationwide.
“I want to make sure I do everything in my power to make sure all 50 states have this program,” Allman said.
After retiring, Allman is considering volunteering with the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center, helping Clark College identify vets who are eligible for education benefits, or doing some consulting.
He said he just wants to continue to be useful.
“I’m not looking to hit the lottery and strike it rich, just looking at where I can help now,” he said. “I’m looking to make an impact.”