This is a list of COVID 19 Resources for Veterans that you may find useful right now.
1. Virtual Care through VA Video Connect
Virtual care allows Veterans that live in the United States to connect to a VA provider via a phone call or video call. If you are experiencing COVID 19 symptoms, you can access your provider from your home. Visit the VA Video Connect home page for more information.
2. COVID 19 and Screening Tool
Though this next resource is not specific to veterans, it’s valuable for everyone. A COVID 19 and Screening Tool has been developed by Apple with the CDC to help you answer questions about yourself (or someone you know). You don’t need to place your personal information in the screening tool either. You simply answer a few questions about symptoms, travel, and location and are given a recommended action plan. Check out (and bookmark) the COVID 19 and Screening Tool.
3. Tips to Visit a VA Facility
If you want to be tested for COVID 19 at a VA Facility or need to visit one, read the VA blog post titled VA is ready for Coronavirus. This blog post prepares you for what to expect. Remember, you also have the telehealth option if experiencing symptoms by visiting VA Video Connect. The Centers for Disease Control also publish a priority COVID 19 testing guidance to healthcare professionals.
4. Veterans Career Resources
There are a few resources if you are in need of work or to cross-train into a new career. One resource is the Intermediate Care Technician (ICT) Program to hire former military in clinical settings that leverage your prior military experience. Another resource is the USAjobs.gov website. This is the United State’s federal government’s official job board. You can even upload your own resume to this site so people can find out.
5. GI Bill Information for Student Veterans
In response to COVID 19, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has a COVID 19 GI Bill blog post. If you’re considering going back to school, you can see if you’re eligible for the GI Bill. Then, you can use a handy GI Bill Comparison Tool. This tool lets you learn about educational benefits and school programs. Some service member’s dependents may also qualify to receive education benefits, called Chapter 35 benefits. Check out if your dependents are eligible for the GI Bill Program.
6. Aunt Bertha
You may not have heard of Aunt Bertha before, but Aunt Bertha is actually a website (AuntBertha.com) that easily helps you find resources in your area. Simply input your zip code on the home page.
Then, type the keyword ‘veteran’ into the search bar and choose the category of the resource you need. A list of available resources in your community will appear along with a map, description, and contact information.
Another resource similar to Aunt Bertha is 211.org which is offered by The United Way. 211.org is a confidential resource that has representatives available by phone, chat, and text 24 hours a day 7 days a week. According to their website, they can help you with:
- supplemental food and nutrition programs
- shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
- emergency information and disaster relief
- employment and education opportunities
- services for veterans
- health care, vaccination and health epidemic information
- addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
- reentry help for ex-offenders
- support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
- a safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse
7. Caregiving Help
Building Better Caregivers (BBC) helps those that give care to veterans or veterans who become caregivers themselves for a person that has a serious illness or injury. BBC is an online program that has 6, weekly self-paced lessons to take when it fits your schedule.
If you have a mortgage (whether a veteran or not) many banks during COVID 19 are allowing people to skip mortgage payments and may even allow you to skip car loan payments. If you need immediate help with finances, contact your bank to see if you can get relief this way. You may not know that the VA also has VA loan technicians you can contact to discuss your finances with before contacting your bank.
If you are a veteran in need of housing assistance. There is a program that combines HUD housing vouchers and VA support services to help homeless veterans and their families gain and sustain affordable housing.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, the VA-backed loan can offer low-interest rates and eliminate the need for you to come up with a down payment. Visit the VAs Home Buying Process page to learn more.
9. Stay Up-to-Date
Get your veteran’s updates in your email by signing up for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Newsletter. Do you prefer podcasts instead? Though not produced by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Borne to Battle podcast is produced by a Marine Corp Veteran and keeps you up to date on resources benefits the VA offers. In fact, the Borne to Battle podcast offers a special podcast on COVID 19. Last, CoronaVirus.gov also provides valuable information and news related to COVID 19.
10: Military and Veteran Crisis Line
The Department of Veterans Affairs also has a confidential (toll-free) Veterans Crisis Line staffed by trained VA responders. This resource is available to veterans and their loved ones. There are also a few methods to connect. By phone, you can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. You can also chat online by visiting VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. Finally, you can even send a text to 838255 and get confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition the crisis line, there is also a mobile app called PTSD Coach. The app is free and gives support resources and tools to help users manage the stressors in their life.