VA’s VAntage Point blog has the latest information on hurricane impact to VA facilities and services. For those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, click here. For information on Hurricane Irma, click here.
For additional information on disaster assistance available to Veterans, download the VA Disaster Assistance brochure (PDF file)
VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration has mechanisms to help Veterans receive their benefit payments if their normal mail cannot be delivered:
- Veterans can sign up for direct deposit on eBenefits.
- Veterans can call 1-800-827-1000 to sign up for direct deposit.
- The Direct Express Cardless Benefit Access program is offering beneficiaries who use Direct Express and reside in the affected area the option to obtain cash without their card, up to $1,000.
- The service is being offered free of charge; however, due to system limitations, a fee will be charged and then refunded to the beneficiary. The beneficiary will be asked to go to a MoneyGram store to retrieve the funds. If the beneficiary is unable to locate a MoneyGram store in operation in his/her area, the funds will be placed back on the Direct Express card.
- MoneyGram agents will require ID before releasing funds. They will accept a passport, driver’s license, military identification card, social security card and/or state identification card. The beneficiary must also have a MoneyGram reference number (provided by the Direct Express Call Center).
- Contact the Direct Express Call Center toll-free number, 1-888-741-1115, and offer to transfer the caller. Callers must choose the “Direct Express Cardless Benefit Access” option on the IVR.
VA has guidance in place for Veteran borrowers who are participating in the VA home loan program and have experienced a natural disaster. Click here to download a PDF with information.
Vocational Rehab: Veterans participating in VR&E services programs may be eligible for up to two additional months of the Employment Adjustment Allowance, if they are displaced from their home as a result of a natural or other disaster. Veterans should contact their assigned VR&E counselor for eligibility questions/criteria at their local regional office. Nearest facilities can be found here: https://www.vets.gov/facilities/.
GI Bill: VA will consider school attendance as continuous and payments will not be affected. Read more on VBA’s Facebook page.
Automobile Adaptive Allowance: VA may provide or assist in providing eligible Veterans with a second automobile or other conveyance when:
- The first vehicle purchased with VA financial assistance is destroyed as a result of natural or other disaster;
- The destruction was not the Veteran’s fault, and
- The Veteran does not receive compensation for the loss from a property insurer.
- VA will make the payments to the seller, as the law prohibits VA from making payments for automobile/conveyance grants directly to Veterans. There isn’t a web page specific to natural disasters and this benefit. There is, however, general information on automobile allowance here.
Veterans Crisis Line: If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran experiencing mental distress, the Veterans Crisis Line provides 24/7 top-tier mental health support at 1-800-273-8255, press 1. (1-888-628-9454 Español). Veterans also have to option to chat online with a crisis counselor via web at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net.
For the latest on VA’s response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, read more here on VAntage Point.