Michigan Veterans Trust Fund has assisted veterans since 1946
LANSING, Mich. – From utility bills to home repairs to medical costs, the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund offers combat-era veterans and their families a way to overcome unexpected expenses and get back on their feet financially.
Take the 31-year-old Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who needed assistance covering household expenses for example. He was preparing to attend necessary in-patient mental health treatment with the VA – but would not attend if it meant falling behind in his bills. The Army veteran reached out to the MVTF and received a grant to cover rent, auto insurance and heat and electric bills.
Now, the veteran has successfully completed his treatment and is back at work. He credits the MVTF with helping him stay debt free while getting the help he needed.
Administered by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, the MVTF awarded more than $1.6 million in grants during fiscal year 2015, alleviating short-term financial emergencies for 1,489 veterans and their families.
“The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency exists to help our state’s veterans overcome obstacles and succeed in their civilian lives,” MVAA Director Jeff Barnes said. “The Trust Fund has a long history of helping veterans weather temporary setbacks and get back on their feet, and this year’s grants have continued that tradition of positively impacting the lives of Michigan veterans.”
Since 1946, the MVTF has been available to veterans who have served 180 days of active duty in a wartime era. Emergency grants are awarded when an unforeseen situation creates a temporary financial hardship. Applicants must be able to show they will be able to meet future expenses after the grant is approved.
Total grants of $6.5 million were distributed to more than 5,500 veterans between FY 2013 and FY 2015.
MVAA also administers the Michigan Veterans Homeowners Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to military service members and honorably discharged veterans affected by the housing crisis. MiVHAP was created in May 2013 when the Michigan attorney general set aside $5 million in funds specifically for service members and veterans.
Since the program began, MiVHAP has helped 773 veterans stay in their homes, make needed repairs or restore a home ownership opportunity lost to foreclosure. In 2015, 207 families were assisted by one-time grants.
With funds depleted, MiVHAP is no longer accepting applications, but veterans in need of financial assistance are encouraged to call 800-MICH-VET (800-642-4838) or visit MichiganVeterans.com to learn more about the benefits and services they’ve earned.
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