It’s been no secret that 2020 has been a year of great change and sacrifice. The staff at Custom Canine Unlimited has not been exempt from this; we are committed to giving back to our community, and our belief that, if we help others, we can help ourselves. We wanted to reach out to our Veteran community base and make a list of the most popular Veteran resources of 2020:
- “Borne the Battle” Podcast
“Borne the Battle” is the Department of Veteran Affair’s weekly podcast. “Borne the Battle” recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our Veterans endure during and after their service, as well as spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits VA offers our Veterans. The podcast is dedicated to bridging the gap between the military and civilians, educating VA employees about whom they serve, promoting veteran advocacy, and informing Veteran listeners about the new information from the VA as it is released. Enjoy content such as interviews from people such as, Duke Basketball’s Coach Mike Krzyzewski and UFC’s / Fox Sports’ Brian Stann, and breakdowns of Veteran services. Listen now on any pod-catching app.
- Most Popular State Veteran Benefits – VA Blog
A comprehensive list of each state and their most popular Veteran benefit. U.S. states can offer a wide array of Veteran benefits such as education, tax breaks, or hunting licenses. Don’t miss out!
- DoD’s Top 10 Questions on Expanded Commissary, Exchange & MWR Access – Answered!
Eligible Veterans may now have access to on-base Commissaries, MWRs, and Military Service Exchanges. Learn more here:
- #FightFlu – Get a flu shot this year at no charge!
“Last flu season, 27,000 Veterans were treated at VA for the flu and another 4,600 were hospitalized. With COVID-19 also circulating, you definitely don’t want to get both at the same time,” said Dr. Mark Upton. Upton is Acting Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Community Care. Getting a flu shot this season is even more important with the spread of COVID-19. You’ve protected your country, now you can protect yourself with free flu shot with your local VA facility or local provider. For more information on how to find your local provider, visit:
- IRS Reopens Registration for Economic Impact Payment
“The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reopened the registration period for claiming an Economic Impact Payment. Individuals who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement, or certain Veterans benefits – but didn’t receive the $500 payment per child earlier this year – can still file for the $500 payment,” (blogs.va.gov). For more information on eligibility, how to apply, and what to expect, please visit:
- VA Welcome Kit Adds 10 New Guides for Veterans and Their Families
The welcome kit, which can be used by Veterans, their families, and caretakers have access to 14 quick start guides that have information on:
- Applying for VA healthcare.
- Getting started with mental health services.
- Getting started with health services for women Veterans.
- Understanding community care.
- Accessing urgent care.
- Applying for disability compensation.
- Understanding the modernized decision review process.
- Applying for education benefits.
- Applying for burial in a VA national cemetery and for memorial products.
- Getting started with services for Veterans aged 65+.
- Getting started with Veteran state benefits and services.
- Getting started with Vet Center services.
- Getting started with caregiver benefits.
- Applying for survivor benefits.
To find your VA Welcome Kit, please visit:
- Veterans, Gold Star Families Get Free Entrance to National Parks, Refuges, and Other Public Lands
“Veterans and Gold Star Families will be granted free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior starting on Veterans Day this year and every day onward,” (blogs.va.gov). Secretary of the Interior, David L. Bernhardt says, “With the utmost respect and gratitude, we are granting Veterans and Gold Star Families free access to the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect starting this Veterans Day and every single day thereafter.” For the purposes of the program, a Veteran is defined as, someone who served in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following: Department of Defense ID Card, Veteran Health Identification Card, Veteran ID Card, or a Veteran’s designation on a state-issues ID card. For more information on this program, please visit:
- VA Home Loans
On January 1st, 2020, it may become easier for Veterans to use their VA Home Loan Benefit to purchase, refinance, or construct with no down payment, regardless of the cost of the home. The VA home county loan limits were eliminated by Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 for Veterans and service members with full entitlement. For more information, please visit:
- Disabled Veterans Can Fly Space Available Flights for Free
100% service connected disabled Veterans became eligible for Space Available travel last year as Congress passed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act. Also known as Space-A, or military-hops, Air Mobility Command (AMC) maintains an extensive network of flights throughout the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Space-A program fills surplus capacity and seating on DOD aircraft. Don’t miss out on a get-a-way trip to Hawaii or a flight across the country to see your old peers! For more information please visit:
- Free Audio Books for Veteran’s with Disabilities
NLS, the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, has an extensive library network that they’re offering to Veterans free of charge. The NLS provides playback equipment for books ordered through the mail, but also offers a convenient app with which to play their books. Just like a public library, the NLS has tens of thousands of titles, from current best sellers to classics, all available at the touch of your fingertips. For more information visit:
- 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) Is the One Number to Reach the VA
Through one phone call, Veteran’s and their families can be linked to a VA expert to help them with their questions and queries. This number is perfect when you don’t know who to call. The Veteran’s Crisis Line is always available at: 1-800-273- 8255 and pressing 1, or by text at 838255. For more information please visit:
- Amazon Helps Veteran’s Start Their Own Delivery Business
“Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program empowers entrepreneurs to build their own small businesses delivering Amazon packages in their local communities. Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) and their drivers are an integral part of what Amazon refers to as the last mile – transporting packages from their delivery stations to their customer’s front door,” (blogs.va.gov). About 1/3 of Amazon DSP’s are Veteran’s and Amazon is looking to hire more. Amazon knows that Veterans have the drive, leadership skills, hustle, and mission-first attitude. All Veteran’s with a drive to succeed are invited to apply. For more information, visit:
- Independence Fund Expands Program with Gift Cards for Veterans
Independence@Home is helping homebound Veterans, especially those hard hit with isolation. They are assisting Veteran’s with emergency needs with things such as, rent, utilities, child care, transportation services, WiFi, househould cleaning, grocery, and medical product delivery. Because of the need for this program, they’re extending their outreach beyond their participant database. Independence@Home is now assistant additional Veterans with special circumstances $100 gift cards to alleviate financial struggles while expanding online resources. To learn more, please visit:
- 5 Ways to Connect with Over Veterans Using RallyPoint
RallyPoint has nearly 2 million members! Within the community there’s over 6 million posts about military and Veteran life. Connect with other Veteran’s around the world about any shared interests. To sign up today, visit:
- Combat Veterans Find Success in The Veteran Curation Program
The Veteran Curation Program (VCP) is now hiring! Apply at one of their satellite locations in Alexandria, VA, Augusta, GA, St. Louis, MO, San Francisco, CA. To learn more, please visit:
- VA Life Insurance Options
“The VA offers life insurance programs that provide financial security and peace of mind for service members, Veterans, and their families. These insurance programs have specific eligibility criteria, insurance terms, and application processes,” (blogs.va.gov). For all the different life insurance availability options and financial counseling, please visit:
- Five Surprising Facts About a VA Career
Want to hear 5 surprising facts about a career at the VA?
- Play a role in groundbreaking research
- Lower your student loan debt
- Teach at an affiliate university or take training courses online –for free
- Use assistive technologies and other solutions to thrive in your career
- Explore working from home and the VA’s child care services
If any of these surprise or interest you, you can learn more at:
- Comcast Offers 60 Days Free Internet to Low-Income Households
In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Comcast is now offering new Internet Essentials customers 60 days of free internet access. Customers need to apply and be approved by December 30, 2020. For more information for who is eligible to apply and to apple, please visit:
- Free Premium Profile on TogetherWeServed
To coincide with Veretan’s day, TogetherWeServed is launching its new National Veteran’s Role of Honor. This serves as a tribute to the service of the more than 2 million servicemen and women in one of the most easily looked up formats available. “Also honored are every soldier, sailor, Marine, airman and Coast Guardsman who gave their life serving our country, from the Vietnam War to Afghanistan, as well as many thousands who died during WW2 and the Korean War,” (blogs.va.gov). For more information on TogetherWeServed, go to:
- The Veteran’s Benefits Banking Program
The VA has partnered with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) to launch the Veteran’s Benefits Banking Program (VBBP). Through this program, Veterans and their families can easily navigate through their receipt and expenditure of monetary VA benefits at any financial services of participating banks. “Participating VBBP banks will offer eligible Veterans federally-insured and regulated financial products, services, and education that can be tailored to their needs and the needs of their families,” (blogs.va.gov). To learn more, please go to:
Custom Canine Unlimited would like to thank you for your service and the risks you took keeping our families and communities safe. We hope you have a joyous 2021!