Veterans have always made up a portion of the homeless population. Most cities will have veterans who have become homeless due to mental illness, physical illness, or financial issues. If you know a veteran who is dealing with homelessness due to poor care and not having enough resources, there are some things that you can do for them. Here are three steps to helping a homeless veteran get back on their feet.
Take them to the VA emergency room
It can often take some time to get an appointment at a Veterans Administration hospital. This can be due to a number of reasons, including how busy the VA is. Instead of waiting on an appointment, you can bring the veteran into the emergency room. Here, they can be seen by a nurse or doctor in order to determine their physical condition and any needs that they may have. Along with being able to get any sort of treatment and medication that they need, many VA hospitals also help homeless vets find temporary housing.
Take them to a veteran law attorney
A veteran law attorney is the perfect advocate for a veteran who has been lost in the system. Many veterans are eligible for disability payments, loans, and assistance that they may not know about. Veterans who have not received proper care or have been neglected by the VA may also have a claim against veterans administration. After the veteran has found temporary housing and has an address for correspondence, a veteran law attorney at law offices like Goodman Katz Koonce & Maroc will be able to figure out what type of income and assistance the veteran can receive. The application process for some of these programs can ebb and flow, so getting to an attorney immediately is the best course of action.
Find old service records
One thing that most veterans will need at some point is a copy of their service records and a copy of their discharge papers after leaving the armed forces. This will provide proof so that veterans will be able to get into VA programs with no issues. Records that may especially be needed are those showing the time served, which branch of the armed forces the veteran served in, and discharge papers showing an honorable discharge. Once these records are located, make several copies and keep one on file with the veteran law attorney. This will keep the veteran from again being in the position of having no way to find or receive the help that they are entitled to.