Auto Adaptive Equipment Program (AAE)-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
For eligibility questions, please contact VBA at: 1-800-827-1000
A request form can also be downloaded and either faxed to 517-284-5297 or emailed to MVAAResourceCenter@michigan.gov.
Requesting an Expedited DD-214
For urgent DD-214 requests (e.g. upcoming surgery, funeral, etc.) or to request an expedited DD-214 after hours or on holidays, visit the National Archives website or call 314-801-0800. Requests may be made using eVetRecs or by downloading the Standard Form 180 (SF-180) to Request Military Records.
The nature of the emergency must be provided in the "purpose" section of the SF-180 which can be faxed to 314-801-0764.
Education & Training-Federal & State
Post-9/11 GI Bill
The Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
Legacy Educational Benefits
VetSuccess on Campus:
Current Michigan locations include Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo Valley
Community College, Kellogg Community College, Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, and Washtenaw Community College.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
MVAA Veteran-Friendly School Program
Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program
The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant (CVTG)
Note: Select students and families and then MI student aid programs
Employment Programs: Federal & State
Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
Note: Select toolkit to translate military occupations to civilian
Verification of Military Experience and Training
Veterans Preference for Federal Jobs
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program
Homeless Veteran Community Employment Services
MVAA Veteran-Friendly Employer Program
Pure Michigan Talent Connect
Customer Service Center 1-888-522-0103
Workforce Development Agency
Reemployment Rights for Veterans
For more information, call the Veterans’ Hotline at 1-800-642-4838.
Michigan Rehabilitation Services
TTY: Dial 711 and provide toll-free number
Service-Disabled Veteran Business Owners
For more information, contact 1-517-388-6012.
U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration
Helmets to Hardhats
Troops to Teachers
1-517-241-7045 or 1-866-801-0007
FREE Acupuncture Treatment for Vets (KALAMAZOO ONLY)
VA Veterans Choice Program (VCP)
US Veterans now qualify for 100% covered acupuncture treatments through the Veterans Choice Program.
Health & Energy Acupuncture is excited to be able to service our veterans who have given so much to our country.
In the midst of the opioid crisis, the mainstream medical community and our government, have recognized the use of Acupuncture in treating chronic pain. Acupuncture is an alternative therapy in traditional Chinese medicine and has been practiced worldwide for more than 3000 years.
If you are a veteran and are interested in acupuncture for your pain management:
1. Contact your VA doctor
2. Your doctor will review your conditions
3. Your VA doctor will determine your eligibility
4. The VA doctor will give you a referral or authorization
For more information visit:
VA Benefits and Health Care website
You can always call our office at 269 345-7075. Our staff would love to answer your questions.
Free Income Tax Preparation
Ft Custer Cemetery
- Gravesite in any of our 135 national cemeteries
- Government headstone or marker
- Burial flag
- Presidential Memorial Certificate
- Burial with the Veteran
- Inscription on Government headstone or marker
- Burial, even if predecease the Veteran
Basic Eligibility Requirements
- Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who dies on active duty
- Any Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
- National Guard members and Reservists with 20 years of qualifying service, who are entitled to retired pay
- Adult Dependent Children
- Parents of KIA (Corey Shea Act)
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NationalCemeteries
Gold Star Spouses Update: Available VA Benefits
During World War I, Americans hung blue stars in their windows for every family member serving in the military. If a loved one died in service, a gold star replaced the blue one. Since then, the Gold Star has symbolized the spouses and family members of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Every year on April 5, America salutes these spouses on Gold Star Spouses Day. If you are a survivor of a fallen Veteran or service member, you are not forgotten. VA provides a variety of benefits that can help you navigate life after your loss. Available benefits include:
Education and training. Survivor’s and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program may be able to help you pay for school or job training through a GI Bill program.
VA home loan guaranty. You can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to help you buy, build, repair or refinance a home. You may also qualify for a VA-backed home loan if you are having trouble paying your mortgage.
Life insurance. You may be able to convert a spousal Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policy to an individual policy within 120 days from the date of your loved one’s passing.
Pre-need eligibility determination for burial in a VA national cemetery. VA can help you plan ahead to make the burial process easier for your family at that time.
Burial benefits and memorial items. You can apply for help paying burial costs, request memorial items or learn about grief counseling and transition support.
Survivors Pension. Survivors Pension offers monthly payments to qualified surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children of wartime Veterans who meet certain income and net worth limits set by Congress.
Compensation for surviving spouses and dependents. You may qualify for a tax-free monetary benefit called VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC). Visit https://www.va.gov/disability/dependency-indemnity-compensation/ to learn more about the documents you will need to apply for VA DIC.
There are some specific eligibility requirements for each of these benefits, so be sure to check out the full list of family member benefits at https://www.va.gov/family-member-benefits/#benefits-for-spouses,-dependents,-and-survivors to find out which benefits you may qualify for and how to access them. VA recognizes the sacrifices Gold Star spouses have made for their country. To honor the legacy of your loved one, VA continues to ensure that you and your family receive the benefits and services you have earned.
(Source: Vantage Point | April 5, 2021)
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs
Contact: Mary Lamparter
Heroes to Hives
Heroes to Hives is a unique program offered through Michigan State University Extension that seeks to address financial and personal wellness of veterans through professional training and community development centered around beekeeping.
Adam J. Ingrao, PhD
Heroes to Hives (facebook.com)
The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
Michigan Military and Veteran Resource Sharing 2021
Michigan Military and Veteran Resource Sharing 2021: Learn about resources for the military and veteran community on the First Thursday of each month. Each session will be highlight different topical resources. You do not have to attend all sessions, attend as many as fit into your schedule. Once you register, you will receive a reminder each month. If you can not join the online session, there is a telephone call in option in your confirmation email. Attendees will have an opportunity to network in the chat box. To register, please contact April Clipper if you have any questions email@example.com
Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF)
Emergency Assistance Form:
Military Survivor Benefits Update: S.1669/H.R.2214 | Survivor Comfort Act
Bipartisan legislation to correct a financial injustice for new survivors was introduced in the Senate on 18 MAY, joining a House bill on the issue introduced in March. The Senate version of the Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act (S.1669) was introduced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Elizabeth Warren (DMA). Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Michael Turner (R-OH) introduced H.R. 2214 on 26 MAR.
When a retired servicemember passes, the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) recoups the last month of retirement pay. This action often adds terrible financial stress to a grieving widow. The Military Survivor Comfort Act would allow survivors to avoid this immediate recoupment (and possibly overdraft fees) and instead gradually repay the amount over the next 12 months. They also would have an opportunity to request debt forgiveness through DoD. “Too many surviving spouses are financially caught off guard when their servicemember passes,” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), president and CEO of MOAA.
“DFAS recoupment of the last paycheck can empty a banking account for a grieving survivor. MOAA strongly supports Senators Portman and Warren’s introduction of the Military Survivor Comfort Act that will ease the financial burden with a gradual repayment and option to appeal for debt forgiveness.” Portman said overdraft fees should be “the last thing families of veterans and retired servicemembers need to worry about after the death of their loved ones,” adding that the bill “would end DoD’s practice of taking back benefits without account holders’ knowledge and avoid any unnecessary financial hardships for grieving military families during an already difficult time.” Warren said the bill “stops the Defense Department from inflicting unnecessary financial hardships on our military families during a loss,” and that the service of her three brothers helped make her aware “that the sacrifices of veterans and their families should never be diminished by the insensitive practice of reclaiming retirement benefits.”
Some surviving spouses are caught off guard by all the notifications and transactions required when their servicemember passes. Forgetting to notify DFAS can result in large fund recoupment that could easily empty a banking account for a new survivor. The gradual repayment and option to appeal for debt forgiveness has support across military and veterans service organizations. Many of those groups are part 53 of The Military Coalition (TMC), which represents a combined 5.5 million members of the uniformed services community.
You can read the TMC’s letters to House and Senate members in support of this act. Add your voice to this effort by contacting your lawmakers today. This you can easily do by clicking on https://takeaction.moaa.org/moaa/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=511506 and forwarding the preformatted editable message to your legislators asking them to aloe gradual repayment of the amount over the next 12 months and have an opportunity to request for debt forgiveness through DoD.
(Source: MOAA Newsletter | Mark Belinsky | May 25, 2021)
Phone-based Mindfulness Meditation Classes
Talons Out Honor Flights
Traumatic Brain Injury Update: Vets Urged To Pledge Posthumous Brain Donations
With athletics and military service in his past and present, Alex Balbir knew that traumatic brain injury could be lurking in his future. So a few years ago Balbir pledged to donate his brain to posthumous research into traumatic brain injury in veterans. As independence services director for the Jacksonville-based Wounded Warrior Project, he is now asking other veterans to do the same.
The nonprofit, which serves wounded veterans and active-duty military personnel, has launched a partnership with the Boston-based Concussion Legacy Foundation to boost research into traumatic brain injury in veterans and help determine the best ways to diagnose and treat the disorder. “This is an opportunity to advance research … It may not help an individual right now but it may help future generations,” said Balbir, who is currently an active-duty reservist. “I may be fine. But we need to investigate what could happen to people like me.”
Traumatic brain injury can stem from a “violent blow or jolt to the head or body” or from an object, such as a bullet or shrapnel, impacting brain tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic. The damage may be minimal and temporary but can also produce long-term complications such as physical, sensory, cognitive or behavioral symptoms, according to Mayo. Symptoms can be immediate or appear years later and can be risk factors for suicide. “Spreading the word is vital,” Balbir said.
“Working with the Concussion Legacy Foundation can help us learn better ways to care for and treat these invisible wounds.” The foundation’s Project Enlist was developed to increase the number of veteran brains donated for research on traumatic brain injury, chronic traumatic encephalopathy — brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head trauma — and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Studying veterans’ brains can help determine if repeated traumatic brain injuries in combat and in training lead to long-term health issues. Research is also necessary to help health care providers correctly diagnose traumatic brain injury and PTSD, which require different treatments, Balbir said. Posthumous research is underway at the Veterans Affairs-Boston University-CLF Brain Bank and other leading brain banks. “We don’t have all the answers for veterans right now,” said Chris Nowinski, the foundation’s co-founder and CEO. “Brain-bank research is an essential step in developing effective treatments … so we can protect and support the heroes who courageously fight for our nation.”
The Department of Defense reported roughly 400,000 cases of traumatic brain injuries in service members in the last 20 years, according to the Wounded Warrior Project. In the nonprofit’s 2020 Annual Warrior Survey, at least one in three reported experiencing a traumatic brain injury during their military service. After U.S. military involvement in conflicts in Irag and Syria, among other locations, “we are starting to realize the long-term consequences,” Balbir said.
For the NFL, that realization came to the forefront in 2013 with the league’s nearly $1 billion concussion settlement with former players who claimed that years of hits on the field caused traumatic brain injuries that led to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The same year a PBS television series Frontline aired a two-hour investigation: League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis that also pumped awareness. The NFL has since instituted a series of rule changes in an attempt to reduce violent collisions and a five-step protocol for concussed players before they can return to the field. Player concussions dropped by 5 percent in the 2020-21 season, the third consecutive year when the NFL has had a reduction in concussions.
“Making veterans aware of the research opportunity is more difficult than it is with athletes because sports media has done an incredible job covering CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy] issues in sports,” Nowinski said. The Wounded Warrior partnership, he said, is “going to make an enormous difference” in recruiting veterans. And one veteran and family joining the cause often lead to their friends and colleagues joining as well, particularly “people who have lost someone they care about … who suffered a long time,” he said. Project Enlist is also seeking pledges for posthumous brain donations from people who are not veterans. Their brains would be used as a control group to make comparisons and for genetic studies, Nowinski said. “You can’t do genetic studies without thousands of brains,” he said. Currently about 80 percent of the brain donations are the result of pledges made before death. In other cases, Nowinski approached families after veterans died.
CONCUSSION LEGACY FOUNDATION/PROJECT ENLIST
Veterans who want to pledge posthumous brain donation or want more information should go to concussionfoundation.org/programs/project-enlist. Other people who want to make a pledge should go to concussionfoundation.org/get-involved/research-registry.
WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
To donate, volunteer or get more information, contact the nonprofit at 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville FL, 32256; (877) 832-6997; or go to woundedwarriorproject.org.
(Source: The Florida Times-Union | Beth Reese Cravey | March 26, 2021)
Visit and like Tribe Talks on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TribeTalksProgram
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Copay Update: American Recovery Plan Impact
VA Copay Update: American Recovery Plan Impact
VA co-payments received between April 6, 2020, and September 30, 2021, will be waived, refunded, or forgiven under the American Recovery Plan. The VA is canceling and refunding copayments for the following benefits:
All medical care received through VA between April 6, 2020, and September 30, 2021
All prescription medications received through VA between April 6, 2020, and September 30, 2021
It is hoped that this will help Veterans and their families during this challenging time. If you’re a Veteran who receives care through VA, here’s what this means for you: If you received a statement with copayments for services or medications received on April 6, 2020, or later, we’ll remove these copayments from your account. You won’t have to pay these copayments. If you already paid any copayments for services or medications received on April 6, 2020, or later, we’ll send you a refund.
If you have unpaid copayments for services or medications received before April 6, 2020, we won’t require or expect you to make payments on your account until October 1, 2021. We won’t add any interest or fees to your accounts. And we won’t take any collection actions on these specific copayments. If you’d like to voluntarily make payments during this time, you can. But we won’t require or expect payments until October 1, 2021. Find out how to pay your VA copay bill.
VA doesn't need anything from you at this time to process your refund. They ask for your patience as they adjust statements and process refunds. Updates will be provided on when to expect refunds to start.(Source: VHA Co-Pay Recovery Act | https://www.va.gov/health-care/copay-rates | April 1, 2021)
VA Crisis Line
VA Form 10-10EZ
When to use this form
Use VA Form 10-10EZ if you’re a Veteran and want to apply for VA health care. You must be enrolled in VA health care to get care at VA health facilities or to have us cover your care at a community care provider (an approved non-VA provider).
Downloadable PDFDownload VA Form 10-10EZ (PDF)
You can apply online instead of filling out and sending us the paper form.Go to the online tool
VA Form 10-10EZ (esp)
Instrucciones y Solicitud de Beneficios Medicos
Para que los Veteranos soliciten su afiliación al sistema de atención médica de VA. la información proporcionada en este formulario será utilizada por VA para determinar si usted reúne los requisitos para recibir beneficios médicos.Download VA Form 10-10EZ (esp) (PDF)
VA Form 10-10EZR
Health Benefits Update Form
Use VA Form 10-10EZR if you already receive VA health care benefits, and you need to update your personal, insurance, or financial information.Download VA Form 10-10EZR (PDF)
VA Medical Center Caregiver Support
Eligibility for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) has expanded.
Review the fact sheets to learn more about the expansion.
- Caregivers PCAFC - Application Process Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Caregivers PCAFC - Expansion Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Caregivers PCAFC - Eligibility Criteria Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Caregivers PCAFC - Legacy Participant Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Caregivers PCAFC - Monthly Stipend Fact Sheet (PDF)
Fact Sheets available in Spanish & Tagalog/Filipino.
There are several steps in the application process that determine if you qualify.
National Caregiver Support Line: 1-855-260-3274
VA Medical Foster Home Caregivers Needed
Veterans Benefits & Services Booklet for Michigan Military Veterans
Veteran Benefits Briefing 101
Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP)
What types of education and training programs does VRRAP cover?
VRRAP covers education and training programs approved under the GI Bill and Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) that lead to high-demand jobs. These include associate degrees, non-college degrees, and certificate programs. The Department of Labor determines what’s considered a high-demand job for VRRAP.
What benefits can I get through this program?
If you’re eligible for VRRAP, you can get:
- Up to 12 months of tuition and fees, and
- A monthly housing allowance based on Post-9/11 GI Bill rates
Warrior Set Free
• Encouragement • Guidance • Comradery • Engagement
Set Free Ministries
700 36th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548