WASHINGTON — The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes $17 billion in support of veterans in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ARP enhances Veteran Affairs ability to deliver world class services to Veterans and their families, but it will also ease thousands of veterans worries by forgiving some accumulated debt, speed up VA compensation claims, and provide much needed funding to retrain some in high-demand occupations.
$262 million authorized by the ARP will support improvements in claims processing.
The Veterans Benefits Association plans to utilize funding from the ARP to increase overtime to process claims and expand scanning of Federal records to eliminate the dependency on National Archives and Records Administration.
The law also protects the integrity of the GI Bill and the well-earned educational benefits student veterans depend on, as well as assists communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, many of which are veterans living in diverse communities across the country.
Veterans can also apply for funding to help get retraining for new careers, through a new program called the Veteran Rapid Retraining Program.
Thomas Murphy, Acting Under Secretary for Benefits said, "It provides for 12 months of training. It has your tuition, your fees, and provides a stipend to live on while you're completing the program. Then when you complete the program it also provides job placement."
To find out if you're eligible and to apply click here.
If you have any questions about your benefits, the VA has a toll free number you can call at 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411), which connects Veterans to easily accessed information on VA benefits and services and provides an expert who can answer questions 24/7.