Resources for Veterans and Their Families

National and local programs for health, housing and financial help

Veterans of the United States military face a host of challenges during their service and for the years to come afterwards. 

We compiled these national and local state resources that assist with a range of issues so that you can seek the kind of help you need. 

Key Issues Facing U.S. Veterans and Their Families:

  • 30% of active duty personnel and reservists deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan require treatment for a mental health issue, but only half of those veterans returning from deployment receive any such treatment.2

  • As of 2017, over 1.2 million veterans live at or below the federal poverty level.1

  • A study from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority found that veterans are 40% more likely than civilians to be underwater on their home and 28% more likely than civilians to have made a late home payment in the past year.3

The Challenges Ahead for Veterans

Transitioning to the civilian world is not always easy, as many veterans struggle to find adequate employment, affordable housing, comprehensive health care and more.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 18.2 million veterans in the U.S. as of 2017.1 Unfortunately, the obstacles that lie before many of America’s service members and retirees are numerous.

Mental Health

Many of the scars left by combat are mental and emotional.

It’s estimated that 30% of military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan return home with a mental health issue, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Only half of those returning veterans receive any treatment.

Even more troubling is that an average of 20 veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S.2

Physical Health and Disabilities

According to census data, there were over 4.1 million veterans living with a service-connected disability in 2017.4 A “service-connected” disability is a result of injury or disease that was incurred or was aggravated during active military service.

Substance Abuse

The psychological stress of combat – coupled with long deployments and frequent moves – can strain family relationships. It can also lead some veterans towards alcohol or substance abuse upon their return to civilian life.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that around 7% of U.S. veterans have a substance abuse disorder, and more than 40% of veterans struggle with alcohol abuse at some point in their life.5

Employment

Big strides have been made in recent years regarding the employment rate for veterans.

The jobless rate for veterans hit a low of just 2.9% in March 2019, compared to a peak of 9.9% in 2011.6 However, around 326,000 veterans were unemployed in 2018, with 60% of those being age 45 or older.7

Some potential contributing factors include lack of education and work experience, along with mental or physical health impairments.

Housing

Some of the factors that contribute to veteran unemployment can also lead to homelessness.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that nearly 40,000 veterans are currently homeless.8

Finances

A 2017 analysis revealed that military veterans are more likely than non-veterans to experience credit problems, underwater mortgages and late house payments.3

Veterans Affairs Benefits and Medicare

Close to 50% of American veterans (over 9 million people) are over age 65.

If you or a loved one are a veteran nearing age 65 or older, you may want to consider your health care coverage options, which may include:

  • Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits
  • TRICARE
  • Medicare

If you only have VA insurance benefits, you are limited to receiving covered health care services only at VA facilities. If you also enroll in Medicare Part A hospital insurance and/or Part B medical insurance (Part B is optional), your health care provider options open up to include more hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and other providers who accept Medicare.

If you are not on active duty and are entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A, then you must also enroll in Medicare Part B in order to keep TRICARE coverage.

You must also be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B (together known as Original Medicare) in order to have TRICARE For Life. The lone exception is if you are the spouse of an active duty service member, in which case you do not need to enroll in Medicare Part B.

National Resources for Veterans

Mental Health

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line is a free and confidential hotline lending support to veterans 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The line may be reached at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or 1-800-799-4889 for the deaf or hard of hearing. You may also send a text message to 838255.

Support is provided by qualified VA responders, and veterans are free to call on behalf of themselves or another veteran for whom they are concerned. If you or another service member are at risk for suicide, a trained responder will help you through the crisis and make sure everyone involved is safe.

If you or the service member you’re concerned about is not at immediate risk for suicide, the trained responder will still listen and offer support. You get to decide how much information you want to share. 

Military OneSource

Military OneSource provides non-medical counseling services to veterans. Counseling services are free, confidential and provided by trained counselors experienced in military life.

Sessions are available by phone, in-person, live chat or video chat. Trained counselors can help talk through a number of issues with you, such as:

  • Stress or anger management
  • Marital issues
  • Parenting challenges
  • Adjustment difficulties when returning from combat
  • Coping with loss and grief

  Disability Benefits and Other Financial Assistance

Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides monthly compensation to veterans, their surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents as a result of an injury, disease or death suffered during active service.

Depending on your situation, you or your loved ones may qualify for compensation such as the following:

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)  

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is a non-profit charity that helps veterans and their families and survivors with benefits claims.

DAV also offers employment resources and transportation services, among other resources.

American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA)

The American Legion sponsors a Temporary Financial Assistance program that awards cash grants to minor children of American Legion members. The money is designed to keep children in a more stable environment by helping with shelter, food, utilities and health expenses.  

Additional financial assistance resources for veterans include:

Substance Abuse

The Veterans Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program provides medical, social, vocational and rehabilitation therapy to veterans battling alcohol and drug dependency.

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides scientifically proven services for veterans in need of substance abuse treatment that includes therapy and medication.

Additional substance abuse resources for veterans include:

  Employment Services

There are a number of programs designed to help veterans transition from the battlefield to the workforce. Services can include job training, employment matching and recruiting, apprenticeship programs and more.

You can find employment assistance resources from some of the following organizations:

  Housing

The VA helps veterans and surviving spouses achieve homeownership courtesy of a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs. VA Home Loans are provided by banks, mortgage companies and other private lenders, and a portion of the loan is guaranteed by the VA.  

Another resource is the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency and supportive housing for veterans.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also offers the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The SSVF awards grants to local non-profits and other groups that help low-income veteran families who are living in or transitioning to permanent housing.

These local groups can help eligible veterans and their families with outreach, case management, and other VA benefits such as:

  • Health care services
  • Transportation services
  • Legal services
  • Child care
  • Housing counseling

Additional housing resources for veterans include:

  Education

The GI Bill has helped millions of veterans attend college since World War II. The program can cover up to 100% of the cost of tuition and up to $1,000 per month in living expenses.

The Yellow Ribbon Program can also help qualified veterans attend institutions of higher education as part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Community for Accredited Online Schools contains an expansive section dedicated to veterans. This includes information about academic benefits in each state, financial aid and scholarships, help selecting a school and more.      

Financial Management

The Department of Veterans Affairs Financial Counseling Service assists qualified veterans and their beneficiaries with financial planning and online will preparation at no cost.  

The Department of Veterans Affairs Fiduciary Program utilizes fiduciaries – typically chosen by the beneficiary – to help veterans who are unable to manage their financial affairs due to injury, disease, illness or age.  

Family members or friends will usually serve as fiduciaries, but the VA will looks for qualified individuals or organizations when friends and family aren’t able to perform the required duties.

Health Care

Many veterans are eligible for health care benefits through the VA, which has more than 1,200 facilities across the U.S. and consistently ranks among the nation’s leading providers of care.

TRICARE also provides comprehensive health care insurance to many veterans and their families all around the world.

State Resources for Veterans

Select your state

 

Alabama

Alabama Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Alabama Veteran’s Benefits

Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Alabama

Priority Veteran

AlaVetNet

VeteranAid.org - Alabama

Alaska

Alaska Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Alaska Veteran’s Benefits

Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Alaska

Homeless to Independence

VeteranAid.org - Alaska

Alaska Veterans Foundation

Arizona

Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Arizona Veteran’s Benefits

Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Arizona

VeteranAid.org - Arizona

Arkansas

Arkansas Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Arkansas Veteran’s Benefits

Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Arkansas

VeteranAid.org - Arkansas

California

California Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

California Veteran’s Benefits

California Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in California

VeteranAid.org - California

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Southwest

Colorado

Colorado Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Colorado Veteran’s Benefits

Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Colorado

VeteranAid.org - Colorado

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Colorado Branch

Connecticut

Connecticut Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Connecticut Veteran’s Benefits

Connecticut State Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Connecticut

VeteranAid.org - Connecticut

Delaware

Delaware Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Delaware

VeteranAid.org - Delaware

District Of Columbia

District of Columbia Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Washington, D.C. Office of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Washington D.C.

Florida

Florida Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Florida Veteran’s Benefits

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Florida

VeteranAid.org - Florida

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Florida

Georgia

Georgia Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Georgia Veteran’s Benefits

Georgia Department of Veterans Service

Directory of American Legion Posts in Georgia

VeteranAid.org - Georgia

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Southeast

Hawaii

Hawaii Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Hawaii Veteran’s Benefits

State of Hawaii Office of Veterans’ Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Hawaii

VeteranAid.org - Hawaii

Idaho

Idaho Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Idaho Veteran’s Benefits

Idaho Division of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Idaho

VeteranAid.org - Idaho

Illinois

Illinois Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Illinois Veteran’s Benefits

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Illinois

VeteranAid.org - Illinois

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Illinois

Indiana 

Indiana Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Indiana Veteran’s Benefits

Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Indiana

VeteranAid.org - Indiana

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Ohio & Indiana

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Mid-States (Clark and Floyd counties)

Iowa

Iowa Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Iowa Veteran’s Benefits

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Iowa

VeteranAid.org - Iowa

Kansas

Kansas Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Kansas Veteran’s Benefits

Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Office

Directory of American Legion Posts in Kansas

VeteranAid.org - Kansas

Kentucky 

Kentucky Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Kentucky Veteran’s Benefits

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Kentucky

VeteranAid.org - Kentucky

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Mid-States

Louisiana 

Louisiana Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Louisiana Veteran’s Benefits

Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Louisiana

VeteranAid.org - Louisiana

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA North Louisiana

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Greater Baton Rogue

Maine

Maine Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Maine Veteran’s Benefits

Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Maine

VeteranAid.org - Maine

Maryland

Maryland Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Maryland Veteran’s Benefits

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Maryland

VeteranAid.org - Maryland

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Massachusetts Veteran’s Benefits

Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Massachusetts

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Massachusetts

Michigan

Michigan Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Michigan Veteran’s Benefits

Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Michigan

VeteranAid.org - Michigan

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Michigan

Minnesota

Minnesota Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Minnesota Veteran’s Benefits

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Minnesota

VeteranAid.org - Minnesota

Mississippi

Mississippi Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Mississippi Veteran’s Benefits

Mississippi Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Mississippi

VeteranAid.org - Mississippi

Missouri

Missouri Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Missouri Veteran’s Benefits

Missouri Department of Public Safety Veterans Commission

Directory of American Legion Posts in Missouri

VeteranAid.org - Missouri

Montana

Montana Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Montana Veteran’s Benefits

Montana Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Montana

VeteranAid.org - Montana

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Northern Rockies

Nebraska

Nebraska Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Nebraska Veteran’s Benefits

Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Nebraska

VeteranAid.org - Nebraska

Nevada 

Nevada Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Nevada Veteran’s Benefits

Nevada Department of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Nevada

VeteranAid.org - Nevada

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

New Hampshire Veteran’s Benefits

New Hampshire State Office of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in New Hampshire

VeteranAid.org - New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Jersey Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

New Jersey Veteran’s Benefits

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in New Jersey

VeteranAid.org - New Jersey

New Mexico

New Mexico Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

New Mexico Veteran’s Benefits

New Mexico Department of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in New Mexico

VeteranAid.org - New Mexico

New York

New York Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

New York Veteran’s Benefits

New York State Division of Veterans’ Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in New York

VeteranAid.org - New York

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Greater New York

North Carolina

North Carolina Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

North Carolina Veteran’s Benefits

North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in North Carolina

VeteranAid.org - North Carolina

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Carolinas

North Dakota

North Dakota Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

North Dakota Veteran’s Benefits

North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in North Dakota

VeteranAid.org - North Dakota

Ohio

Ohio Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Ohio Veteran’s Benefits

Ohio Department of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Ohio

VeteranAid.org - Ohio

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Ohio & Indiana

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Oklahoma Veteran’s Benefits

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Oklahoma

VeteranAid.org - Oklahoma

Oregon

Oregon Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Oregon Veteran’s Benefits

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Oregon

VeteranAid.org - Oregon

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Pennsylvania Veteran’s Benefits

Pennsylvania Office for Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Pennsylvania

VeteranAid.org - Pennsylvania

Supportive Services for Veterans Families - VOA Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

State of Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Rhode Island

VeteranAid.org - Rhode Island

South Carolina 

South Carolina Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

South Carolina Veteran’s Benefits

South Carolina Division of Veterans’ Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in South Carolina

VeteranAid.org - South Carolina

South Dakota 

South Dakota Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

South Dakota Veteran’s Benefits

South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in South Dakota

VeteranAid.org - South Dakota

Tennessee

Tennessee Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Tennessee Veteran’s Benefits

Tennessee Department of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Tennessee

VeteranAid.org - Tennessee

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Mid-States

Texas 

Texas Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Texas Veteran’s Benefits

Texas Veterans Commission

Directory of American Legion Posts in Texas

VeteranAid.org - Texas

Utah

Utah Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Utah Veteran’s Benefits

Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Utah

VeteranAid.org - Utah

Vermont

Vermont Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Vermont Veteran’s Benefits

State of Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Vermont

VeteranAid.org - Vermont

Virginia

Virginia Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Virginia Veteran’s Benefits

Virginia Department of Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Virginia

VeteranAid.org - Virginia

Supportive Services for Veteran Families - VOA Chesapeake

Washington

Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Washington Veteran’s Benefits

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Washington

VeteranAid.org - Washington

West Virginia 

West Virginia Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

West Virginia Veteran’s Benefits

State of West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance

Directory of American Legion Posts in West Virginia

VeteranAid.org - West Virginia

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Mid-States

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Wisconsin Veteran’s Benefits

State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Directory of American Legion Posts in Wisconsin

VeteranAid.org - Wisconsin

Wyoming

Wyoming Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Wyoming Veteran’s Services

Wyoming Military Department - Veterans Services

Directory of American Legion Posts in Wyoming

VeteranAid.org - Wyoming

Supportive Services for Veteran Families – VOA Northern Rockies

 

 

Sources

1. United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Accessed April, 2019, from https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/17_1YR/DP02.

2. Mental Health First Aid USA. Veterans and Military. National Council for Behavioral Health. Retrieved April, 2019, from www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/veterans-military.

3. Fay, Bill. New Study: Veterans More Likely to Suffer Credit Problems, But Save More. (Dec. 15, 2017). Debt.org. Retrieved from www.debt.org/blog/new-study-veterans-more-likely-to-suffer-credit-problems.

4. United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Accessed April, 2019, from https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/17_1YR/B21100.

5. AddictionResource.com. Veterans and Addiction: The Many Sides of the Problem. Retrieved April, 2019, from addictionresource.com/addiction/veterans-and-substance-abuse.

6. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Table A-5. Employment status of the civilian population 18 years and over by veteran status, period of service, and sex, not seasonally adjusted. (Updated Apr. 5, 2019). Retrieved from www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t05.htm.

7. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment Situation of Veterans Summary. (March 21, 2019). Retrieved from www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm.

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