Duly Noted ...

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs partners with U-M to raise veteran benefit awareness

The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is partnering with University of Michigan to raise awareness about benefits and opportunities available for veterans through friends and family of U of M.

Michigan is 11th in the nation in veteran population but 53rd in the nation for treatment and services for veterans. The DMVA began an intense, statewide knowledge campaign earlier this year.

Michigan is below the national median as it relates to compensation and pension, construction, education and vocational rehabilitation, and medical support. The DMVA believes this may be, in part, due to veterans not knowing what benefits they are eligible for. For example, in 2009 only 17.29% utilized no-cost VA medical services.
In addition:

• The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 7.5% of Michigan’s total homeless population are veterans.

• The U.S. Dept. of Labor Statistics found that unemployment rate is roughly 30% for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Retraining and skills workshops, coupled with job fairs and community outreach are ways we hope to lower this number in Michigan.

Michigan DMVA is conducting public outreach to Veterans and their families to inform them of changes to benefits and connect them to Veteran counselors across the state. Veteran counselors can assist in determining eligibility for a variety of programs.

The Nov. 19 game at U of M allowed the agency to connect two proud traditions, service to our nation and Michigan football, to benefit those who have served and continue to serve. In honor of this partnership, the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard is proud to provide the ceremonial game ball which deployed with them to Afghanistan. The unit is on their 6th tour and will be proudly serving our nation and representing Michigan during the next 6 months in Afghanistan.

The DMVA encourages those Veterans who could not make the game to sign up for the benefits you have earned at your local VOW, American Legion, AMVETS, or online at Michigan.gov/veterans.

Veterans seeking employment can call the Veteran’s Employment Services Information Hotline at 1-800-455-5228 or visit www.veteranemployment.com or other veterans placement websites.