By Zaneta Adams, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director
State Emergency Aid Available to Veterans through the MVAA. Struggling veterans in many counties across Michigan are able to put food on the table, make essential housing and vehicle repairs and pay medical bills thanks to the County Veteran Service Fund Emergency Relief (CVSF-ER) effort launched by the MVAA during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the state’s coordinating agency for Michigan’s more than 550,000 veterans and their families, the MVAA facilitates $6.4 million in CVSF state-appropriated grants to County Veterans Service Offices.
The emergency aid was made available to counties that were previously approved for CVSF grants but wanted to amend the grants to offer emergency relief directly to veterans. Some counties were slated to spend CVSF grants on veteran outreach and activities but were unable due to pandemic restrictions. The emergency relief was also available to counties that either did not qualify or chose not to apply for CVSF grants previously.
The State Emergency Aid Available to Veterans as an emergency relief effort gained considerable traction, with nearly 30 Michigan counties participating to the tune of $1.3 million. The CVSF-ER grants, determined by each county’s veteran population, ranged from $6,000 in Wexford County (with 2,500 veterans) to $519,736 in Wayne County (with 83,400 veterans).
Eligible veterans from all eras – both wartime and peacetime – in participating counties can use the money to make home and vehicle repairs, pay medical expenses, and meet other needs determined emergent. As part of the effort, the MVAA also teamed up with Meijer to provide grocery vouchers to veterans in participating counties.
While the emergency assistance is helping veterans hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, it also applied to emergent needs stemming from the central Michigan flooding in May. Both Midland and Gladwin counties, which were devastated by flooding, applied for and were approved for CVSF-ER grants.
As Gov. Whitmer said in helping announce the CVSF-ER effort: “The State of Michigan is committed to supporting our veterans and their families during these challenging times and every day throughout the year. These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and we will continue serving them as they served us.”
Indeed, for those counties that opted in, veterans of all eras could take advantage of emergency funding opportunities while also becoming more familiar with resources that are available to them and their families. No matter which era they served in, they deserve support when they need it the most, especially during these trying and uncertain times.
For more information about emergency funding opportunities and all other benefits and services available to veterans, contact the MVAA’s Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838).
Read about other resources available to Michigan veterans here.