Safety net benefits and entitlements represent a lifeline to an improved standard of living and quality of life for many veterans and their families.
Benefits aren’t a handout. They represent part of the sacred trust and commitment this nation makes to young men and women when they enter the service — once they return safely they are owed a debt of care, compensation and proper treatment.
“We need to make every service members’ return home a soft landing,” said FastYeti Incorporated Co-CEO Linda Rix. “Even the smallest of benefits can mean a better standard of living for a veteran and their family. Benefits improve the quality of life. And that is a debt we owe every veteran.”
And while safety net benefits still can have holes, as the recent wait times scandal at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics demonstrates, when working properly, the safety net helps sustain the 22 million veterans and tens of millions more who are dependents and beneficiaries of those veterans.
What is vitally important is improving the access to safety net benefits for the total population of veterans and beneficiaries, some nearly 54 million strong. According to reporting by McClatchyDC, nearly 60 percent of veterans are unaware of benefits they are entitled to receive; 40 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans also fall into that category. And just 23 percent of current veterans are receiving benefits from the VA.
The mission of VetsHQ is to help ensure America’s commitments to veterans and their families are honored. It’s important to reach those millions of heroes without benefits, end their crisis of access and allow them to take control of their own personal financial security, their future and their family’s well-being.
“VetsHQ tips the scales in favor of a underserved veteran community,” said Rix. “The current process keeps veterans and their families at arm’s length — and at the mercy of a bureaucratic, cold, and indifferent process. VetsHQ is just the opposite. We democratize information about, and access to, benefits. Veterans are independent, strong, and motivated. VetsHQ provides the means to channel these attributes so veterans can take control of defining their needs and determining how those needs are best met.”
VetsHQ easy-to-use, interview-style assessment process represents the start of the safety net benefits for veterans and their families. Once they’re determined likely eligible for a particular benefit, they can work directly with a Veteran Service Organization’s service officer to get a claim certification date — important because regardless of any backlog in processing, that date represents the where any back pay is made.
Additionally, should veterans and families need it, VSOs like the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have programs that provide temporary financial assistance to help bridge the gap.