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Veteran Resources For Extended Natural Disaster Seasons

Have you been affected by a storm, hurricane, forest fire, or landslide? Climate change has extended the seasons for a variety of natural disasters well beyond their traditional dates. In an age where there is an elevated risk of floods, forest fires, and severe storms, more veterans are affected by these problems than ever.

Do you know where to turn for help? What can military members, vets, and their families rely on when a need arises? We list some key resources for natural disasters below.

Help From the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Do you have a medical condition that a natural disaster may complicate? Contact the Veterans Health Administration to get help with resources and options. Call them at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Did you know that visually impaired veterans may qualify for VA assistance with guide dog or service dog expenses that are part of a natural disaster?

If you are a caregiver and need information or assistance in a natural disaster, contact Caregiver Support at 1-855-260-3274.

Related: Veteran And Retiree Benefits

Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

Have you missed VA healthcare or other benefit payments due to a natural disaster? Contact VBA at 1-844-698-2311 or call the VA national hotline at 1-800-827-1000.

GI Bill Help From the VA

Did your school close temporarily? Have your GI Bill benefits been delayed or go unpaid during or after a disaster? Call the Education and Training hotline to get help. Call 1-888-442-4551.

On the school closure issue, VA.gov reminds us, “If your school closes temporarily due to a disaster, VA will continue payments. Payments continue through the end of the term or up to 4 weeks (28 calendar days) from the date of the closure, whichever is earlier.”

VA Loan Assistance

If you have a VA loan and have been through a disaster, call your lender first and then the Department of Veterans Affairs first to request help with your mortgage.

Call 1-800-827-1000 to get started. When you call your lender, ask for help with your VA loan, especially to help prevent late or missed payments.

Homeowners who have homes modified through the VA Specially Adapted Housing program may qualify for disaster recovery assistance if the home was damaged or lost in the incident. These payments may be based on actual repair costs not covered by insurance or FEMA help.

Veteran Readiness & Employment Help

Veterans who are displaced and getting employment help from the VA may qualify for extra funds through the Employee Adjustment Allowance (EAA) option. Contact the VA at 1-800-821-1000 for assistance and more information.

Related: Veteran And Retiree Benefits

Mental Health Resources

During a disaster, many need help coping with the crisis. And let’s not forget those seeking help before the disaster struck. If you need support after a disaster, consider the Veteran Crisis Line as one of your go-to resources. You personally may not feel the need, but we all know someone who could use some extra help in a crisis.

You can reach the Veteran Crisis Line by phone by calling 988 and choosing option one. You can also send a text message to 838255 or use the online chat platform.

What’s Next?

If you need assistance or want to sign up for assistance, call 1-800-621-3362 (711 is also an option) to speak to a representative from DisasterAssistance.gov.


About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.