LANSING, Mich. — For the first time in its 75-year history, the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund will provide emergency assistance to eligible peacetime-era veterans 65 years and older under a new pilot program.
Like its Emergency Grant Program for wartime-era veterans, the new Peacetime Program allows veterans who served in a peacetime era, have at least 180 days of service and were discharged under honorable conditions to apply for emergency assistance, a news release said Wednesday.
The assistance helps veterans overcome unforeseen situations causing a temporary or short-term financial emergency or hardship that a grant will resolve and for which the applicant can demonstrate the ability to meet future expenses.
Covered expenses under the 65+ Program include utility bills, home repairs and rent and mortgage assistance.
“Our veterans selflessly serve our country and we have to work together to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed,” Whitmer said. “I am grateful to the MVAA and MVTF for providing emergency assistance to more veterans under their new 65+ Peacetime Program. The program will provide grants to eligible veterans facing a financial emergency or unexpected hardship. It will help veterans cover utility bills, invest in home repairs and pay their rent or mortgage.”
The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund was created by the state Legislature in 1946 to help wartime-era veterans with a $50 million corpus that has since grown to more than $72 million. Its Board of Trustees has expanded Trust Fund services to veterans in recent years to offer financial counseling, food cards, career and entrepreneurial assistance and, now, emergency assistance for peacetime veterans.
“We now have the ability through a larger corpus to look for comprehensively at the entire veteran community and can address other areas of need in addition to the emergency grant program for wartime-era veterans,” MTVF Director Lindell Holm said. “The 65+ Peacetime Program demonstrates the board’s intent to allocate resources to meet the needs of Michigan veterans in a targeted and timely manner and will be evaluated at the end of fiscal year 2022 for possible renewal.”