Since 2018, an estimated 18 million veterans have lived in the United States, according to the US Census Bureau. American veterans have faced countless issues, including homelessness, lack of appropriate healthcare, and joblessness, which have led them to have a lower quality of living. However, from congressional acts to stimulus checks and helpful initiatives, it looks like things may be looking up for veterans.
The American Rescue Plan
The House has recently approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package for the American public called the American Rescue Plan. About $17 billion of that money is to be allocated for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Most of that amount, $14.5 billion, is going toward vaccine distribution, expanding telehealth services, stocking personal protective equipment, and many other benefits geared toward veterans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill is a force of fairness, as it is one of the more transformative bills that provide a good opportunity to support Americans through trying times. The Department of Veterans Affairs also says that this allocation is highly needed, as veterans have mostly put off their healthcare visits over the last year. When veterans defer their health visits, this often leads to higher costs, as chronic conditions need more care.
IRS Announces Income Third Round Of Economic Payments
Following the passing of the American Rescue Plan, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the third round of economic payments is on its way. However, they would like to remind the public that they will still need to review their existing data in order to provide a specific date for the release of funds. The IRS will review their information about VA beneficiaries to see how the new economic payments can work in tandem with a VA loan for those who are eligible. They have stated that the economic impact payments do not count as income, and should not have any adverse effects on other benefits currently being received by applicants. More updates will be posted on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Hudson River Housing Launches New Veteran Initiatives
The Poughkeepsie-based Hudson River Housing announced that they have two new veteran initiatives. One of them is called Heroes Making Heroes, which will be a sandwich-making business and social enterprise that aims to provide mentoring, culinary experience, and actual employment for veterans who have been in distress. The other initiative is referred to as the VetZero Heroes version of the recently published memoir called The Low Road: Walking the Walk for Veterans by Navy veteran Tommy Zurhellen. All the profits of the VetZero Heroes version will go toward Hudson River Housing’s VetZero programs, which include specialized housing, transportation, care management, and other services.
Veteran welfare has often been a hot topic, with the focus being on how there is not enough support for the community. With the new relief package and new initiatives on their way, the coming months should prove to be a positive period for veterans. Time will tell what the true effect of these new programs will be on veterans, so it is best to keep an eagle eye open.