Ending Veteran and Veteran Family Homelessness: The Veterans Benefits Administration Moving Forward

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1 Ending Veteran and Veteran Family Homelessness: The Veterans Benefits Administration Moving Forward Robert T. Reynolds, Director, Benefits Assistance Service VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION February 22, 2013

2 ACCESSING VA BENEFITS & SERVICES HOMELESS VETERANS OUTREACH COORDINATORS (HVOC) Homeless Veterans Outreach efforts continue to increase. FY 2011: 9,006 hours to over 38,251 homeless Veterans FY 2012: 12,061 hours to over 51,481 homeless Veterans FY 2013 Q1: 3,119 hours to over 16,033 homeless Veterans An HVOC is represented at each VA Regional Office to conduct outreach to homeless Veterans and manage the processing of homeless Veterans claims. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 1

3 ACCESSING VA BENEFITS & SERVICES WEBINARS Successfully completed two VBA Overview Webinars to various non profit organizations including homeless providers. Webinars included information on Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Service and the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. Developing additional VBA benefit-specific webinar sessions such as fully developed claims. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 2

4 ACCESSING VA BENEFITS & SERVICES ebenefits Joint VA and DoD online portal for Servicemembers, Veterans, and family members to manage their VA benefits. Some main features include: Apply for VA benefits Check benefit claim status Request military service records (DD-214) Career Center VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 3

5 ACCESSING VA BENEFITS & SERVICES ebenefits CON T Training Veterans Health Administration homeless coordinators on ebenefits. Easier access to homeless resources for ebenefits users through use of homepage carousel linking directly to VA homeless page. Developing capabilities for homeless and at-risk Veterans to look-up homeless resources specific to their community. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 4

6 ACCESSING VA BENEFITS & SERVICES PARTNERSHIPS U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes Job Fairs Veterans Service Organizations Claims and Hiring Fairs National Veteran Small Business Conference, Open House and Hiring Fair VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 5

7 TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION & EMPLOYMENT (VR&E) Assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment. VR&E services are for Veterans with service-connected illnesses and injuries who: May not be able to work right now and need rehabilitation services Need specialized training and/or education Need flexible work arrangements Need help finding employment soon after separation Need rehabilitation to live more independently VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 6

8 TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION & EMPLOYMENT CON T Assists Servicemembers with making a seamless transition from military to civilian life. Servicemembers with severe injuries or illnesses may qualify for VA Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. If referred to a Physical Evaluation Board or going through the joint VA/DoD Disability Evaluation System, they may qualify for services to begin planning their transition to civilian life. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 7

9 TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (VRAP) Offers up to 12 months of retraining assistance to unemployed Veterans between 35 and 60 years old. Additional eligibility criteria includes: have an other than dishonorable discharge; not eligible for any other VA education benefit program; not in receipt of VA compensation due to individual unemployability not enrolled in a federal or state job training program VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 8

10 TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CON T Education programs must be: Offered by a community college or technical school Lead to an Associates Degree or Certificate Train the Veteran for a high demand occupation (determined by DOL) DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 9

11 TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CON T Participants must attend full-time in order to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty program ($1,564 effective October 1, 2012). Veterans can apply through the ebenefits portal. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 10

12 HELPFUL RESOURCES VA Benefits VA s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans AID-VET ( ) ebenefits VRAP VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 11

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