Starting July 1, Indiana’s Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) has become more accessible to Indiana veterans. In April, Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed Indiana Enrolled Act 316, which removed some of MFRF’s eligibility restrictions. The change was made to increase the number of veterans who have access to the emergency fund.
“Our mission is to help as many of our veterans as possible, and the requirements that were removed accounted for about 75% of our previous denials,” said Dennis Wimer, executive director of the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA). “I want to thank lawmakers, partners and veterans who helped get those restrictions removed so our IDVA staff can serve a greater number of our military families in need.”
The MFRF is designed to assist veterans and their dependent family members experiencing financial hardship. The emergency grant may be used for needs such as housing, utilities, food, medical services, basic transportation, and other essential household expenses. Grants are provided on a case-by-case basis and may not exceed a lifetime limit of $2,500. The MFRF is funded through the sale of military specialty license plates.
Among some of the changes, applicants will no longer need to connect their financial hardship directly to their military service. Lawmakers also removed the requirements stating a veteran must have served during wartime and must have been on active duty for more than a year. In addition, certain other than honorable discharges will be considered for the grant program.
Veterans who need assistance are encouraged to apply, even if they had been denied previously. Applications and more information about the Indiana Military Family Relief Fund can be found at www.in.gov/dva/about-idva/links/military-family-relief-fund/