Veterans who are unable to qualify for medical help through military agencies might be soon receiving help from the American Red Cross. While the idea is still being tested, it might prove to be a success since a lot of former troops are unable to afford private care.
Once an army personnel leaves the army prior to his retirement, they are not eligible for any financial assistance through the relief societies of the military, including but not limited to Army Emergency Relief, Air Force Aid Society and Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. The Red Cross is currently working on determining the best possible measure to fill this gap, according to the Director of the Hero Care Network, a Red Cross?s program.
With this program, there is a huge network of Red Cross Emergency call centers, referral system and financial assistance programs. The Red Cross is currently creating a national registry of services for former troops. They are trying to build a system where trained case workers can use the registry to bridge the gap between agencies and troops.
Moreover, the Red Cross reorganized its Services to the Armed Forces division in order to expand the financial assistance that is currently being provided to active duty members as well as veterans. The emergency communications site in Springfield has been turned into a full-fledge Center of Excellence for Financial Assistance. The main focus of the center will be to refer military families and veterans who are looking for financial assistance.
Note that the call centers in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Louisville, Kentucky, are still being used as initial entry points in order to process emergency communications and requirements. However, all the financial assistance requests will now be transferred to the Springfield office. These are the type of requests that would generally take more time to process. The staff will have to first validate the request and then work with the landlords, institutions and utility companies to prevent any form of eviction or foreclosure.
On the other hand, two pilot programs of smaller scale are already underway by the Red Cross. The first one began back in April in Southern California to help former troops with their emergency financial assistance issues. The second one began a year ago in western Missouri. This program was targeted towards assisting active troops, retired troops and veterans with their financial requests. These are the military members who don?t qualify for the relief societies? regulations.
It should be noted here that currently the Red Cross only works as an agent between the military relief societies and the veterans. Once a request is received, it is forwarded to the societies. The societies then reimburse the Red Cross for their contribution of the financial assistance. Also, the Red Cross pays the bills for the administration.
According to the Director of Case Work for Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Cheri Nylen, ?It?s one big entire support network, like this quiet safety net under service members and retirees.?
Photo credit: Philip Lange via Shutterstock.com