The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) is pleased to announce that the American Legion and Easterseals Maine will be points of contact for distribution of Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance (VEFA), which is the result of the passage of LD 1736 in the 128th Maine State Legislature, a bill that was originally sponsored by Representative Louis Luchini of Ellsworth and Representative Bradlee Farrin of Norridgewock.
VEFA was created to provide assistance for Maine veterans who suffer an emergency and do not have sufficient savings or access to other financial assistance to resolve the emergency. Examples of assistance may include: Damage to the veterans home due to fire, flood or hurricane that is not covered by insurance; Illness of the veteran or family member that results in hardship, assistance to prevent or resolve the veteran being homeless; and any other condition that puts the veteran at risk of not having the basic necessities of food, shelter, or safety.
The Bureau conducted a Request for Proposal process and has now contracted with two providers --- Easterseals Maine and the American Legion of Maine, to process requests for assistance, arrive at appropriate decision on the request, and issue rapid financial assistance to help with a Maine veteran’s emergency.
MBVS Director David Richmond stated, “We are fortunate to have two proven, capable organizations, step-up to help us administer this program. Easterseals Maine, has the capacity and a proven track-record and of helping veterans in emergency situations and the American Legion (founded 100 years ago) with posts and service officers from Eliot to Fort Kent, will bring local accessibility to this program. I am anxious to begin. We receive requests daily, for assistance from veterans all over the state, and up until today had very limited resources to assist. I think that this program demonstrates the commitment that the state of Maine has made to not leave a veteran without basic necessities. My thanks to the lawmakers, leaders and citizens that made this program a reality.”
Applications can be obtained by contacting The American Legion Department of Maine Headquarters at 207-873-3229 or Easterseals Maine at 207-828-0754 ext. 1004. Turnaround time for the fund will be 48 hours once the veteran has submitted a complete application and a decision has been made.
To find the a MBVS Veterans’ Services Office closest to you, please visit https://www.maine.gov/veterans/veterans-services-offices/locations/index.html. You can also call the MBVS at 207-430-6035 or visit their website at www.maine.gov/veterans to learn more about available resources.