It's hurricane season once again, and this year, parts of the U.S. were hit especially hard. Hurricanes have an effect on a wide variety of individuals and families. Current and former military members are some of those who this year's major storms have impacted.
There's some good news, though: debt relief for veterans affected by hurricanes is available. We will take some time right now to talk about the details of this program. We'll also discuss how recent hurricanes have harmed veterans and their families.
How Have the Recent Hurricanes Impacted Veterans?
There were two hurricanes this year that had a catastrophic impact on some veterans and their families. Fiona formed the second week of September of this year. It began as a Category 4 over the Atlantic Ocean and caused damage in several countries.
Ian originated in the third week of September and struck Florida as a Category 4. It was the most devastating hurricane to hit the state since 1935.
Many former service members call Florida home, so it's not surprising that a disproportionate number of those impacted were veterans. Some of them had their primary residences wiped out by Ian. Others had vehicles and various material possessions destroyed. Still, others were physically harmed by the hurricanes and had to pay for lengthy hospital stays.
What is the Debt Relief Program?
The hurricane debt relief program is aimed toward helping veterans who were directly impacted by recent hurricanes Fiona and Ian.
The VA, which is shorthand for the Department of Veteran Affairs, quickly took steps to implement debt relief for veterans that the two hurricanes we've mentioned impacted. The VA allows veterans and their families to suspend debt payments if they were affected by either of the two recent hurricanes.
What Debt Payments Can This Program Suspend?
The VA set up a website and phone number that veterans and their families who suffered losses due to this year's hurricanes can use. These individuals can suspend payments for medical care and pharmacy copayments. They can also defer payment on debts covering essentials like food and shelter.
Simply put, the program is intended to temporarily suspend the need for veterans and their families to pay back the VA for outstanding debts in the face of this pair of natural disasters. Any veterans or their families who wish to see whether they're eligible can contact the VA using either the phone number or website set up for this purpose.
This Program Can Help Vets Impacted by Hurricanes
The two hurricanes that caused so much havoc over the past few weeks are almost unprecedented. Nothing similar has happened to the state of Florida for nearly the past hundred years. It's likely that climate change is fueling larger and more unpredictable storm systems, and these types of weather events might become more commonplace as the years pass.
Veterans and their families who were directly impacted by hurricanes this year may have high medical bills. Others might be dealing with the loss of their homes, vehicles, possessions, and so forth.
The VA has made a phone number and website available that veterans and their relatives can use if they need relief from any outstanding debts they owe. It is not a long-term solution. However, it will provide some welcome short-term relief for individuals who served this country through military service, as well as their families.
Any vets who are interested should reach out to the VA. This entity exists to help out veterans in any way that it can. Debt relief is one way to ease economic hardship following a pair of violent weather events that rocked this country.
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Original Source: Credello: How Veterans Are Hurt Financially by Hurricanes