What is financial assistance?
At times we are faced with difficulties due to loss of employment, family emergencies, home repairs, medical crisis, or financial hardship. The Summit County Veterans Service Commission offers a unique opportunity to our veteran community by providing financial assistance where a need exist.
The financial assistance program is designed around a 90-day period, helping with primary living expenses. If the veteran or dependent of a veteran is unable to achieve financial stability during this period, generally for established medical reasons, the individual can file for an extension allowing for an additional 90 days of assistance. Financial assistance is a free program. There is no cost for applying or receiving financial assistance. None of the funds are required to be paid back.
What are the eligibility requirements to apply for financial assistance?
According to state law, eligible individuals must have:
- Served in a branch of the U.S. military on active duty for other than training purposes and received an honorable discharge, or an honorable separation, or be the spouse or widow of an honorably discharged or separated veteran.
- Must be able to prove that you are a bona fide resident of Summit County for at least three months prior to application for benefits.
A definite financial need must be demonstrated. The wording of the law states that relief is intended for the "Indigent," meaning people suffering a level of poverty in which real hardship and deprivation are suffered and comforts of life are lacking.
The Veterans Service Commission considers many factors when determining financial need including income, living expenses and liquid assets.
What to expect while seeking financial assistance
When applying for financial assistance, the veteran and/or dependant need to arrive at our office during the appropriate application hours with their DD-214 and a valid drivers license or state identification card. Applications are handled on a first come, first served basis. No appointment is required. Upon arriving at our office, the receptionist will provide you with forms that request personal information and what areas of assistance for this initial interview you are seeking.
A Benefits Coordinator will then assist you by completing your application during a personal interview. Information you are expected to provide will be:
- Household composition (including date of birth for each member of the household whether or not the person is related to you);
- Household income (all monies from any source, earned and unearned);
- Employment history (date of hire, last day worked, reason for leaving); if you are unemployed and will be starting a new job, know the expected starting date and the date expecting to receive your first paycheck;
- Monthly expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, food, car/home insurance payments, etc.)
Once this process is completed, an appointment will be scheduled and you will be assigned to a Service Officer.
When leaving the Benefits Coordinator, you will have in receipt an appointment checklist. This will contain the name and phone number of your assigned Service Officer, the date and time your appointment has been scheduled and all documents required to be brought to the appointment. We never determine an applicant's eligibility over the phone or any other method besides a face-to-face interview with a service officer.
For your appointment with a Service Officer, you will be required to bring verification of all income and expenses by receipt, such as pay stubs, receipts, verification of bank accounts and necessary household bills. If your household is current with its monthly expenses, you will be required to verify income and receipts for only the past 35 days from the date of application. Otherwise, you may be required to bring documentation from 30 days prior to when you mortgage/rent was last current. Failure to provide the required documentation at the time of appointment will delay your assistance and cause you to be rescheduled.