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Guest Post: Veteran Benefits by Louie Frias of US Patriot Fund

February 14, 2024

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Louie Frias, Executive Director & Founder of the US Patriot Fund, a Veteran Foundation.

Let’s begin with our Mission Statement: To educate and assist every indigent American Veteran we meet about the disability benefits they're entitled to. Serving both our community and nation, the foundation can be described in one word; resources.

As statistics are always a solid baseline with which to begin a journey, let us share some with you:

  • More than a decade ago the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention coined the phrase “22 a day.” Although numbers are improving, suicides among Veterans remain a major concern. Current suicide rate data is available from the 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.
  • According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, VetPop2020 estimates that there are 19.4 million living Veterans. Of this population, approximately 11,906,843 do not receive a disability benefit rating. Mathematically, this equates to approximately 38% who do.
  • 62% of Veterans, due to lack of awareness of and understanding of the complicated process (application, forms, claim strategy, records curation and retrieval, submission, denials and appeals) are not compensated.
  • VBA (Veterans Benefit Administration) has completed over one million claims annually for thirteen consecutive years, including a record 1.7 million disability compensation and pension claims in 2022. Total compensation obligations are estimated at $165.7 billion for payments to 6,094,446 Veterans, 562,448 survivors, and 1,049 children receiving special benefits.
  • The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is an annual effort led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to estimate the number of Americans, including Veterans, without safe, stable housing.

Did you know that, as of 2024 published rates, single American Veterans are entitled to receive up to $3,737.35 per month, for life, for injuries, (physical and mental) sustained during active-duty service to their country? Married Veterans with dependents receive a greater amount. The VA provides precedence to homeless Veterans applying for these disability benefits (VA form 21-526EZ provided in the appendices) due to the obvious dangers of being homeless. The January 2022 PIT national snapshot of Veteran homelessness revealed the total number of Veterans who experienced homelessness was 33,129. The next PIT Count occurred in January 2024 and we are awaiting those numbers.

The US Patriot Fund provides its resources to all homeless Veterans at no charge. We manage the application, management and submission to the Veterans Administration. We rely greatly on established community-based facilities with relationships with many of our homeless Veterans across America. We are excited to work with an organization like Vegas Stronger, who through their work in ending homelessness in Las Vegas, come across and can educate and connect us to hundreds of veterans who are unaware of our services.

If you’d like to get involved in assisting our Veterans who provided the umbrella of freedom we as Americans enjoy, please contact us at USPatriotFund.org or contact Vegas Stronger.

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