As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe, some U.S. states are taking action to help out veterans who are being hurt by the outbreak's economic impact.
While all states offer special benefits to veterans ranging from free fishing licenses to home loans and free college, two have recently announced new and expanded cash relief programs for their veterans.
Minnesota Offers Two New Financial Relief Programs
In late March, the state of Minnesota created a special program that will assist veterans who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides $6.2 million to Minnesota veterans through two new grants.
The COVID-19 Disaster Relief Grant provides $1,000 to veterans and their families who have suffered negative financial effects due to COVID-19. The grant is open to all Minnesota resident veterans or their unmarried surviving spouses.
The COVID-19 Special Needs Grant provides one-time financial assistance to a Minnesota resident veteran or their unmarried surviving spouse who needs help due to a COVID-19-related event. Money from this grant goes directly to the creditors; none is given to the applicant.
This grant is basically used to take care of bills that a veteran or survivor is unable to pay as a result of unemployment or under-employment caused by the pandemic. Some examples of qualified expenses include utility bills, insurance, rent or mortgage, auto repairs, etc.
Minnesota also offers other cash grants and loans to veterans or their survivors who find themselves in need and are not personally affected by COVID-19.
Indiana Expands Existing Programs
The state of Indiana has loosened requirements for its Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) in light of the statewide economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The MFRF is now available to more veterans, as well as active-duty members, and the grant is being made available to those who may have received it before. The MFRF COVID-19 grant may be used for up to two months of household needs, such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, child care and other essential family support that has become difficult to afford.
Indiana resident veterans who received an honorable or under honorable conditions discharge may be eligible, as well as active-duty members with at least 12 months' active service. Dependents may also be eligible if the criteria listed above are met.
The normal grant amount is $2,500, but larger amounts may be authorized if great need is proven.
Check out the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information.
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