Some Veterans report challenges meeting monthly bills: Are you one of them?


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Are you an active duty service member or Veteran?  If so, make your voice heard by taking less than 10 minutes of your time to complete this voluntary, anonymous and confidential survey .

The National Disability Institute (NDI) has been working closely over the past several years with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and VA to identify opportunities to improve the overall financial wellness of Veterans, service members and their families.  We ask you to take this survey to help us better understand how to help members of our military and veteran communities to connect to and benefit from proven, trusted, and reliable no-cost services within their local communities.

Why take this survey?

We want to help service members and Veterans connect to and benefit from local community-based tax and financial services. We know that more than a third of Veterans and their families report post-deployment challenges in meeting monthly expenses and paying bills. Many Veterans report not being aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit or the 300 free Volunteer Income Tax Coalitions nationwide that provide trusted tax services.

This year’s survey was improved through Veteran focus groups conducted with our partner, the Internal Revenue Service. While the DoD Senior Steering Group Transition Assistance Program provided written feedback on the survey, which was greatly appreciated, please be advised this is not a government survey.

Who we are and what we do

National Disability Institute (NDI) is a respected, national nonprofit, headquartered in Washington, D.C.  NDI has successfully partnered with many federal, state, and local organizations to build a better economic future for Americans with disabilities. NDI has worked with numerous Veteran partners including Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (American Job Centers), VA Medical Centers, VA Resource Centers, and numerous Veterans service organizations to build information and knowledge regarding free tax preparation options, valuable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, and financial literacy.  In 2015, IRS and VA signed an memorandum of understanding with NDI as a named partner and a series of meetings were held to explore how to expand NDI’s successful tax model for service Members, Veterans and their families. For this survey, we have conducted focus groups with Veterans and consulted with the IRS to ensure we are capturing data that is relevant to the financial well-being of service members and Veterans.

Based on your survey responses, we can work together to make services like leads to job placement, medical financial assistance, housing assistance and more available to service members , Veterans, and their families. Having a better understanding of and data around the financial service needs of Service Members and Veterans is a first step in improving policies and improved services.

Please SHARE this survey link with your fellow service members and Veterans. The more people who partner with us, the more we can help. The survey is only intended for individuals who have past or present military service experience.

Thank you for again for taking the time to complete the survey, and thank you for your service.

If you would like more information regarding National Disability Institute or have additional questions, please visit us at www.realeconomicimpact.org  or contact us at kmetz@ndi-inc.org.


IMAGE: Katie MetzKatie Metz is the manager for financial empowerment and inclusion at the National Disability Institute

 

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Benedict Sonz    

    Increase VETERANS DISABILITY COMPENSATION PAYMENTS !!!!
    Active duty us military have received pay increases every year for years. DISABLED VETERANS haven’t received an increase in VETERANS DISABILITY COMPENSATION PAYMENTS for years.

    1. Julie Evelyn Haraughty    

      I agree with you. The cost of living goes up every year but the government doesn’t care enough about their disabled veterans to give them a raise.

  2. Raymond Cyr    

    I am living on VA disability, and yet I have been turned down for social security 5 times. Soc. Sec. doesn’t think that having a service connected disability is actually disabled If a Veteran is disabled he/she should automatically get their Soc. Sec.

  3. Isaac Gearring    

    I agree with the previous comment that the Veterans Disability Compensation needs to be increased due to the high cost of living. The Veterans Affairs need to stop denying earn benefits to veterans who rightfully earned them.

  4. Gary Lewis    

    We desperately need an increase in our beni fits! The cost of living has gone up for everything including food, utilities, Champva and anything else you can think of!! We need an increase immediately and a decent one not 2%

  5. CRAIG DOORNEWEERD    

    I LOST MY JOB DUE TO MY DISABILITY, I CANNOT PASS THE NEW GUIDELINES FOR A VISION TEST. I APPLIED FOR UNEMPLOYABILITY COMP AND WAS TURNED DOWN. IM 67 YRS OLD BLIND 20/200 IN MY LEFT EYE . I GET HEADACHES BECAUSE OF THE STRAIN IN MY RIGHT EYE,GOING DEAF BUT THE V A SAYS I CAN GET A JOB ANYWHERE. I HAD A GREAT JOB BEFORE I WAS DRAFTED , WENT BACK TO GET MY JOB BACK WHEN I WAS RIFFED OUT OF THE ARMY BECAUSE THEY COULDNT USE A ONE EYED MECHANIC GUESS WHAT NEITHER COULD MANY OTHER OF THE COMPANIES I TRIED TELL THIS GOVERNMENT TO STOP GIVING MONEY TO THE COUNTRIES THAT HATE THE UNITED STATES BUT LOVE OUR HARD EARNED MONEY AND HELP THE VETS THAT SERVED TO KEEP THIS COUNTRY FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Richard Lee Brown    

    Disability claim has taken over 4 years. I am in pain and cannot work a full time job with my medical conditions sustained from active duty military. I served US Air Force for 33 years. Please help

  7. Joe Dragon    

    You’re gonna find somebody to help us fill out tax forms? That’s terrific. Thanks so much Katie.

    1. Richard Keeling    

      Yes Joe, we can assist you with free tax preparation.

  8. Frank Eric Mosley    

    I assume this is not for the forgotten overseas veterans.

    “We ask you to take this survey to help us better understand how to help members of our military and veteran communities to connect to and benefit from proven, trusted, and reliable no-cost services within their local communities.”

    My story has been told for over nine years in the U.S. away from my family only to get 20% disability, not even enough to pay for medication overseas now that I am back with my family. Because of the lack of service with the Social Security Office and VA fighting to see which one will service the veteran, which told me that I did not qualify for benefits because I was short 10 months of working, I only have work all my life since age 14. But no I will not waist my time trying to explain what has been told over, over, over, and over again.

  9. willam annussek    

    I have skin cancer, I go to a non va dr. the va dose pay for it. do I have a disability ?

  10. Adrienne Logan    

    It’s good to see that the “sandbox” veterans are getting decent benefits, especially in the GI Bill area, as well as being prepped on stuff like resume writing before ETS. The Vietnam era vets were treated poorly by the VA for their benefits, I got a “SEE YA” and handed my DD214 and bus money home and that was it when I ETS’d. No outprocessing briefing whatsoever on what my VA benefits were, including for PTSD and sexual trauma treatment. Agent Orange was finally recognized as a poison for Vietnam vets who were in the jungles over there, but there was also chemical contamination at many military bases, especially Ft. McClellan, AL, where Monsanto gave Anniston residents $700 MILLION in compensation, while Ft. McClellan folks who drank and bathed in the same water and worked around the military base (chemical school, MP school and WAC training) were there, where chemicals were haphazardly stored and buried instead of being properly disposed of, got ZERO attention by the VA for subsequent illnesses after being stationed there. There isn’t even a VA list for vets who were stationed at Ft. McClellan for consideration. Veterans from this time period have had to fight for everything with the VA. It would be nice to see disability payments increased to reflect the realistic cost of living.

    1. Jay Beasley    

      I was stationed at Ft. McClellan, AL from August 1985 until October 1985. I still have issues related to my time there but, like you said, no special considerations for those of us who were exposed to the unknown hazards. I marched all over that post, drank the water, and bathed in it. I don’t think the soldiers and civil service folks that were on the post should be excluded from the same restitution proceeds that the residents of the city of Anniston, AL received. Furthermore, I believe the entire VA disability claims system is antiquated and does not adequately address the types of medical conditions veterans from the Vietnam era to present suffer from. We need to continue to flood our politicians’ in-boxes flooded with demands for a complete overhaul of the rating system. So many veterans can no longer function to the required level to maintain gainful employment but are CONTINUOUSLY DENIED Individual Unemployability when they meet the Schedular criteria. The “Deny until they die” mentality of the VA must be abolished.

  11. Christina Hutson    

    When I moved to no back in 97 I tried to get a job but every job I applied for turned me down due to seeking medical help. Being a disabled veteran is hard on me trying to meet my requirements of paying bills. I do good of paying bills and maybe have 20.00 dollars left. Sometimes I have to go 2 wks without going anywhere due to being broke or hardly eating. No one around here will help if you have an utility bill out of your reach to pay and when my VA found out they sent me the same form that they denied me just 2wks before I thought it was funny they said I could get help through them but they were very wrong at there perception cause they don’t. All I need is to get my life back in order and I’m working on it cause what I found out they don’t care bout veterans or even people out of work they help who they what to help that’s period. We need a pay increase like the other veterans stated to help us out cause we’re on our own . God Bless

  12. Alan Richard Hunzicker    

    Horror stories of the treatment of Veterans by the Commie Bureaucrats within the VA hang them for Treason. The Politicans involved with not providing for the Veterans should be dumped out over the Everglades.

  13. Donald Thompson    

    Very sad that our disabled veterans have to beg for help . Money is set aside for other useless cause ; such as free plane rides and many other benefits that tax payers pay for . Help the disabled they helped when ask .

  14. Stacy Mulhollan    

    I agree with all the above comments. Please increase disabilty benefits. Social security disability denied x5 also (Florida).

  15. John Paul Cruz    

    I agree with all the Veterans

  16. H Rodriguez    

    I’m tired of doing surveys that had taken me nowhere. Just be realistic and figure that we fought to preserve our FREEDOM. For you to sleep at night sound and safe and for you to be able to raise your kids without a worry of some foreign jack***s coming about to take that away from you. If you need a stupid survey to realize that then you guys ain’t really looking to taking care of us or our family needs. I have lost countless jobs for the past 20 years because of my PTSD but you guys keep saying that its all in my head. Shoot I was only 19 when I went to the Persian Gulf and Bush Senior sure didn’t mind me protecting the country. Now turn around and do whats right without asking.

  17. Bernard D Stewart    

    I have a back injury that occurred on a US.Navy ship,I am retired Navy,I received a 10% if my memory is correct that was in 1994! i’m not working because of that! can you Help,the VA has changed! My friends and I retired military guys believed that most of the staff do not care! I do hole we are wrong! Can you please tell me what to do concerning my back problem.Thank You.

  18. duane    

    Good Lord, if you’re waiting for the v.a. and have a serious disability, you will die prior to receiving help. As a former gov’t employee and veteran both, I can tell you the v.a. is a gov’t agency and its employees work for that entity not the veteran. Their benefits, i.e., bonuses, come from the government just as mine did while employed as a government employee. Ironically, however, the v.a. employees will receive benefits by saving their agency money. How do they do this? Absolutely, A is the correct answer. Turn the veteran down. Deny his claim and you have saved the government money, therefore, you have done a good job. Good for you, you get a bonus. (redacted) the veteran, you just denied his claim. How do you feel now, (redacted) hat? Well, you should too.

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