July 22, 2009
Help Wisconsin Veterans
Each day, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by our men and women serving in the armed forces. Whether it is the soldiers currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or some other location around the globe, or one of the thousands of veterans who have served in previous conflicts, we owe these brave veterans and their families a debt of gratitude and so much more.
Wisconsin has a number of programs to help veterans with issues such as job training and placement, home loans, life insurance, and housing costs. In addition to degree programs like VetEd and the Wisconsin and federal GI Bills, the Retraining Grant program serves unemployed and underemployed veterans and provides up to $3,000 per year for educational or on-the-job training.
Also, the Home Mortgage and Improvement Loan Program and the Personal Loan Program (PLP) exist to help veterans obtain and finance homes. Primary Mortgage Loans have interest rates generally lower than other 30-year mortgages and can finance up to 95% of the purchase price of an existing home. The PLP offers loans up to $25,000, which veterans can use for any purpose.
Eligibility for these and many other programs is open to both recent and long-time veterans. Additionally, if a veteran has a service-related disability, he/she has access to other programs. Generally, establishing eligibility requires a veteran to be a Wisconsin resident and have served in active duty in the armed forces. Specific eligibility information is available online at: http://dva.state.wi.us/eligibility/ or via toll-free phone at 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387).
Many veterans find that working with their local Veterans Service Office is the easiest way to learn and apply for available programs. County Veterans Service Offices in the 10th Senate District are located in Menomonie, Siren, Ellsworth, Balsam Lake, and Hudson; with a Tribal Veterans Service Office in Hertel. Contact information for local offices is available at the following link: http://www.wicvso.org/ .
A booklet of state veterans’ benefits can also be found online at http://dva.state.wi.us/PA_Benefits_booklets.asp. If you are interested in a hard copy, please feel free to contact me by calling 1-800-862-1092 or 608-266-7745.