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More Hoosier Veterans Now Eligible For Military Family Relief Fund

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More Hoosier veterans are now able to get support from the state’s Military Family Relief Fund.

The fund provides up to $2,500 to veterans and their families who are struggling with financial issues – anything from utilities and rent to medical bills to emergency car repairs.

Prior to July 1, only veterans who served on active duty for more than one year – in war time – were eligible for the fund. Those two requirements have been eliminated.

Veterans will also no longer have to connect their financial hardship to their military service. The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, which manages the program, said that requirement was subjective and unnecessary.

The most controversial change involves discharges from the military. Before now, only veterans who left the service under honorable conditions could get access to the funds. Now, that list is expanded to include those who received what’s known as an “other than honorable” discharge.

State officials said that brings the program more in line with the federal government’s eligibility requirements for many veteran benefits.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.