War takes a toll on families. Therefore, to ensure the families of service members and Veterans have programs that meet their needs, the Department of Veterans Affairs has joined the White House and other federal agencies to strengthen services for family members.
In late 2009, this began as our Department, the White House, and all other federal agencies committed to addressing the challenges that face the families of active-duty personnel, Veterans, reservists and National Guardsmen in a new Interagency Policy Committee on Military Families. The plan was announced today, and it’s something in which we’re very excited to participate. Learn more about the initiative.
And if you’re new to VA, you should know about some of the services we offer:
- Health Care – The Civilian Health and Medical Program of VA, or CHAMPVA, acts as health insurance for spouses and dependents of Veterans with total service-connected disabilities, along with family members of Veterans who die from those disabilities;
- Support for Low-Income Vets – VA funds allow community-based groups to help Veterans and families at risk of becoming homeless. Assistance may include rent, utilities, moving expenses, child care.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation – Monthly payments, now set at a minimum of $1,154, are given to survivors of people who die on active duty, inactive-duty training or from service-related disabilities;
- Educational Benefits – VA provides educational assistance to spouses and children of Veterans with permanent and total disabilities, or the family members of Veterans who die from their disabilities;
- Post-9/11 GI Bill – Since August 2009, certain Veterans and active-duty personnel have been able to transfer their educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill to spouses and dependents;
- Fry Scholarships – Children of service members who died on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill; and
- Home Loan Guaranty – Eligible spouses of military members and Veterans who die from a service-related disability may be eligible to purchase homes with a VA home loan guaranty.
L. Tammy Duckworth is a former VA Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.