With over 3 million veterans living in Texas and Florida, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (“VA”) has taken several steps to ensure every veteran gets the resources he or she needs in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This blog outlines three ways the VA has attempted to assist Texas and Florida veterans in these challenging times.
1)Continued GI Bill Payments
VA has assured students using GI Bill payments to attend schools temporarily closed due to Hurricanes Harvey or Irma that attendance will be considered continuous and payments will not be affected. VA will not, however, continue payment if the school is open yet the student is unable to attend due to hurricane-related displacement. For specific procedures related to each type of GI Bill, please visit this link.
2)Automobiles Destroyed In Storm May Be Replaced
Any veteran who lost her or his vehicle due to hurricanes Harvey or Irma may be eligible for VA assistance in obtaining a second automobile if: 1) the lost vehicle was purchased using VA financial assistance; and 2) the owner did not receive compensation for her or his loss through her or his property insurer. For more information, please visit this link.
3)Mental Health Support
Natural disasters are exceptionally stressful events. The VA offers 24/7 mental health support through its “Veterans’ Crisis Hotline.” To access the hotline, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to speak with a counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454. Finally, if you are unable to access a phone, or if you prefer to chat with a counselor online, visit https://www.veteranscrisisline.net.
If you are a veteran or a qualifying dependent with questions or concerns about access to the above-mentioned services or any other VA benefits, including questions about appealing disability benefit decisions, please contact the office of Attorney Sean Kendall at any time by calling 877-629-1712.