(AscendHealthy.com) – Those who have served our country learn some key skills and values during their service: perseverance, self-reliance, responsibility, and caring for others in their military community. With so many sacrifices and risks, veterans often live out their lives with life-changing trauma resulting from their experiences in global conflicts.
Because it is such a sacrifice and good deed to enlist and serve, America understands our obligation to protect and honor veterans by providing assistance and grant programs to aid them with necessities, such as housing, educational opportunities, and financial concerns.
Let’s take a look at the programs and opportunities you should consider applying for if you have served our nation.
Grants for Veterans
Grants are available to veterans on the federal, state, and private company levels. These grants are often aimed at helping veterans readjust to life as civilians following their service. This can look like taking time to adjust, finding a civilian job, and getting settled in a house.
There is a great deal of competition for these grants, but grants are available for housing assistance, education, finance, and more.
Financial Assistance for Veterans
Financial concerns are common for veterans who are unable to immediately transfer their skills as civilians or federal contractors. Fortunately, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is here to help — they’re a private organization intimately familiar with the needs of veterans.
The VFW provides individual grants up to $1500 to provide help for unmet needs. For a veteran to qualify, they should meet the following eligibility:
- Those discharged prior to September 11, 2021 must be living on a fixed income, facing an unexpected financial hardship. For this qualification, a fixed income includes VA compensation related to an injury or illness that resulted from military service.
- Those discharged on or following September 11, 2001 have to be suffering financial hardship that results from illnesses or injuries directly related to their military service.
- Those applicants currently in active duty must have a financial hardship due to a military pay error, medical discharge, or a current deployment.
There are some other stipulations for VFW grants, including the fact that civil, domestic, or legal issues must not be the reason for financial hardship. (This includes separation and divorce.) Mismanagement of finances or bankruptcy are also not qualifying factors.
To apply, the active duty serviceperson or veteran needs to provide copies of current bills as well as expenses like mortgage or rent, repairs to household, home insurance, car payments and car insurance, and utilities. They should also include daycare expenses, medical bills, and prescription copayment costs.
Even if you don’t qualify but find yourself in need, it’s a good idea to reach out to the VFW to find the support and resources you need, as well as the company of people who understand what you are going through.
There are also other programs that may be able to help:
- American Legion
- Disabled American Veterans
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Semper Fi Fund
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
- Air Force Aid Society
- Army Emergency Relief
State and local governments may also be able to provide veterans and active duty servicepeople with guidance or relief.
Housing Grants for Veterans
In 2021, almost 20,000 veterans were unhoused. Veterans make up 8 percent of the homeless population in America. Unfortunately, there aren’t many federal programs to assist veterans when it comes to housing. However, there are two assistance programs from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For those with disabilities stemming from military service, the Special Home Adaptation Grant (SHA) and Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH) may be able to help.
Housing aid for veterans usually falls to state or local governments and agencies as well as private aid foundations.
Veterans can also improve their lives with educational opportunities from the GI Bill, which enables them to receive higher education free or low cost in thanks for a veteran’s service.
If you’re a veteran or active duty service member in need of assistance, don’t wait for help. Contact the VA, your state and local government, and your local VFW today to get the assistance you need.
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