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VA Head Wants Changes To Veterans’ Family’s Benefits

Under current law, families must apply for the assistance within one year of the service member returning home.

Sandbags

Photo: Courtesy of the Indiana National Guard

The head of the Indiana VA wants more grants for short-term National Guard deployments like those working in emergency situations.

The head of Indiana’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs wants to make changes to who can receive military relief funds and when they can take advantage of the assistance.

The Military Family Relief Fund is used to help families of National Guard veterans who have gone on active duty. Under current law, families must apply for the assistance within one year of the service member returning home.

State VA Director Tom Applegate says that time limit is not long enough.

“Our research has down that those financial difficulties last a lot longer than a year, so we want to have that extended out to three,” he says.

Applegate also wants to extend the grants and three-year application deadline to National Guard members who are deployed to state emergencies, like floods or blizzards, even if deployment only lasts a week or two.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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