Veterans & COVID-19
Information & Resources for California Veterans
Are you a California veteran facing issues during the pandemic? Following is a directory of resources and information that you may find helpful:
COVID-19 NEWS & INFORMATION FOR VETERANS
VETERANS' FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Emergency Financial Assistance
- SERVICE RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS: Veterans in need of financial assistance may contact their respective military aid organizations for help with loans, grants or a combination of both. Each branch has its own group: Air Force Aid Society, Army Emergency Relief, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. All aid societies, except the Navy-Marine Corps, have an online application. All members of the Armed Services can also apply by phone for financial assistance – routed to their service branch relief society – through the American Red Cross.
- Wounded Warrior Project COVID-19 Relief Program. Project participants who registered before April 8 are able to apply for assistance if they are in financial hardship, including inability to pay for food, housing or utilities.
- A great resource page of the full financial benefits and resources available for veterans during COVID-19 can be found HERE.
Pay & Allowances
- How veterans who are non-filers in their taxes can still get their $1200 Coronavirus check.
- Disabled American Veterans is offering small $250 cash grants to those impacted by COVID.
- The DoD has authorized specific pay and allowances for servicemembers in a variety of situations. Those include people who have been ordered to self-isolate or monitor for COVID-19 but are unable to do so at home or at government facilities. Military families affected by the Stop Movement Order, which halts Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves and other military travel until May 11, may also be provided specific travel allowances. Check with your command to see if you’re eligible for Hardship Duty Pay or other additional allowances such as Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), Family Separation Allowance (FSA-Restricted or FSA-Temporary), or per diem travel allowances that can provide you with additional financial support.
Rent & Mortgages
- A new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security (CARES) Act, establishes protection for homeowners with federally backed mortgages —which includes loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Department of Agriculture . If you have a mortgage that isn’t backed by the federal government and can’t make your payments, your mortgage servicer or your state may be offering additional options. Learn more here about your mortgage options here.
- If you are a renter, you have protection from eviction; California has acted to prohibit landlords from evicting residents if they can’t pay rent.
Student Loans & GI Bill Benefits
- If you’re a service member with federally-held student loans, the CARES Act also automatically suspends principal and interest payments on federally-held loans through September 30, 2020. However, if you have private student loans or a federally-backed loan owned by a commercial lender or the institution or school you attended, you should contact your servicer if you can’t make your current loan payments. If your federal student loan is in default, be aware that involuntary collection activities like wage and benefits garnishments have been suspended during this period.
- A new law enables the VA to continue providing students with full GI Bill benefits, even as their academic programs move online. It permits the GI Bill program to continue paying benefits, including monthly housing allowances and living stipends, at existing rates for full-time students rather than reverting to lower rates for distance learning.
VETERANS' HEALTH-RELATED RESOURCES
HOW COVID-19 AFFECTS CALIFORNIA VETERANS
CALIFORNIA VETERANS: YOU SERVED US HONORABLY AND WELL, AND YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD SERVE YOU JUST AS WELL IN RETURN.
Josh Newman has been motivated by public service throughout his entire life. After graduation from Yale University, he served as a United States Army officer. Following a post-service professional career in the Internet technology sector, he founded and served as Executive Director of ArmedForce2Workforce, an initiative to assist young veterans in the Greater Los Angeles in their pursuit of rewarding, career-oriented employment.
In 2016, Josh ran a successful grassroots campaign focused on a message of service, accountability, and common sense, winning election to the California State Senate, where he was active, accessible, and accountable, unafraid to put constituents over politics and working families ahead of corporate interests. During his tenure as State Senator, he authored legislation that championed veteran services, mental health resources, public education, job creation, and infrastructure improvements.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Josh Newman worked to make sure that our veterans had access to healthcare and food. He also fought to get food and protective equipment to local nurses and frontline workers.