Veterans in need encouraged to apply to Michigan Veterans Trust Fund

Jason Allen, the senior deputy director of Michigan's Veterans Affairs Directorate, encourages Michigan wartime veterans experiencing financial emergencies to seek assistance through the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund.

"Our veterans have a great safety net in the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund. On average, the Trust awarded a million dollars plus annually over the past four years to veterans and their families in need. These awards can truly be a game changer for families in need. County representatives have the ability to provide $1,500 in assistance and the State Board has authority to award larger grants to families whose need cannot be met by a $1,500 grant," said Allen.

The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund was created in 1946 from $50 million in post-war reserve funds. In 1996, the Trust was added to the State Constitution when voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal C with a passage rate of nearly 75%. Today, using county committees, the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund dispenses approved grants to wartime veterans and their families to relieve an unforeseen, temporary, emergent financial crisis or hardship.

"In 2010, 2,357 eligible veterans and their families were assisted by grants from the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund. The people of the State of Michigan should be proud of their dedication to helping the men and women who've served our country. The difficult economic times in the state have made the Trust Fund even more valuable. A key part of our mission today is ensuring that servicemen and women are aware of this resource and are encouraged to apply," stated Anne Dutcher, Director of the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund.

By contacting a county Trust Fund agent, qualifying veterans facing an emergency financial situation can receive assistance in applying for the Emergency Grant Program. For more information on how to contact a county agent, visit the Michigan Veterans Affairs website at www.michigan.gov/veterans and click "County Contacts for Veterans" from the left hand margin of the opening window.

To contact the state Veterans Affairs Directorate call (517) 335-6523 or send an email to hessh@michigan.gov.

Published: Thu, Aug 25, 2011