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Accessing VA Services John Kuhn, LCSW, MPH Sandra Foley, LCSW National Director, Homeless Evaluation and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF). Getting VA Services.

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Accessing VA Services

John Kuhn, LCSW, MPH

Sandra Foley, LCSW

National Director, Homeless Evaluation

and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)


Getting VA Services

Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. In order to expedite benefits delivery, veterans seeking a VA benefit for the first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214).

For most veterans, entry into the VA health care system begins by applying for enrollment. To apply, complete VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits, which may be obtained from any VA health care facility or regional benefits office, on line at or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Once enrolled, veterans can receive health care at VA health care facilities anywhere in the country.


Critical VA Contact Information

  • Disability Benefits/General Information: 1-800-827-1000
  • Insurance: 1-800-669-8477
  • Education: 1-888-442-4551
  • Health Benefits: 1-877-222-8387
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
  • Homeless Veterans Call Center: 1-877-424-3838

a continuum of care
A Continuum of Care

VA’s Homeless Program Alphabet Soup

  • Outreach (CRRC, HCHV)
  • National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (NCCHV)
  • Prevention (HCRV, VJO, SSVF, VHPD)
  • Transitional Housing (GPD, CWT/TR, HCHV Contract Housing)
  • Residential Rehab (RRTP)
  • Voc Rehab (CWT, DVRE)
  • Permanent Housing (HUD-VASH)

Services must address needs identified by those we serve.

Program info:


National Call Center

  • Homeless Veteran in need of help now? Call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and local partners, community agencies, service providers and others in the community. 
hud vash

Largest permanent, supportive housing initiative for homeless Veterans.

Provides housing (HUD) with case management (VA) and supportive services (VA)

30,000 Housing Choice vouchers offered through 301 participating PHAs

Almost 1,000 case managers provide case management and supportive services designed to promote housing stability and recovery.

Department of Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing



hud vash7

Families can be served and are an important target group.

21,000 in housing as of March 2011

  • 13.8% of all placements to families with children.
  • 11.5% of all placements to women (compared to 6.6% served in all VA specialized homeless services).
  • In FY 2008, 5.1% of all homeless Veterans served were women.

Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF)

  • Goal of SSVF Program
  • Provide housing stability to homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families . Modeled after HUD’s HPRP initiative.
  • Process
  • VA will award grants to grantees (private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives).
  • Grantees will provide supportive services to very low-income Veterans and their families who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

Foreclosed VBA Properties

  • Non-profit organizations may be eligible to purchase VA acquired properties at a discount.
  • VA markets these properties at fair market. Non-profits may purchase these properties at discounts after the properties have been listed for sale. Percentage of discount vary based on length of property listing.
  • Listings – Bank of America's at

Telephone : (972)918-8024


  • VA Point of Contact: Valerie McDougle

Telephone: (571)272-0039


grant and per diem program gpd
Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD)

Grant & Per Diem (GPD)

Capital Grants

May pay up to 65% of construction, renovation, or acquisition costs

(requires a 35% match).

Eligible activities are:

  • Acquisition, Rehabilitation or New Construction of Transitional Housing (up to 24 months stay).
  • Acquisition, Rehabilitation or New Construction
  • Procurement of a vans to provide transportation & outreach for the purposes of providing supportive services.
  • Expansion of existing transitional housing or service centers.
  • Capital grant may be awards for construction, expansion or renovation of buildings on VA-owned property.
grant and per diem program gpd11
Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD)


Per Diem

  • Transitional housing (up to 2 years) with supportive services designed to help homeless Veterans address rehabilitative needs, increase their skill levels and/or income, preparing them for community housing.
  • Veterans are eligible for GPD housing if they are homeless or at-risk of homelessness and need rehabilitative services to find and maintain themselves in independent housing.
  • Per diem payments currently up to $38.90 day and based on current state home rate.
  • Veterans may pay fee up to 30% of their monthly adjusted income.

Program info:

income employment

Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services (TSES)

  • This strategy includes a multi-pronged effort aimed at improving financial opportunities for Veterans, including, at minimum, vocational training and workplace skills development.
  • VA’s Work programs provide paid work experience and vocational assistance services to approximately 50,000 Veterans each year, including 6,000 OEF/OIF Veterans. These services are integrated into the Veteran’s overall mental health treatment plan.
  • Veterans in VA’s work programs earned in excess of $50 million during their participation.

TSES- Compensated Work Therapy

  • Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) vocational rehabilitation program that endeavors to match and support work ready veterans in competitive jobs, and to consult with business and industry regarding their specific employment needs. In some locations CWT is also known as Veterans Industries; these designations are synonymous.
  • The primary goal of CWT is competitive employment.
  • The objective to achieve this is rapid job placement and follow along services for as short a time as clinically necessary or as long as the Veteran expresses a need for follow along services
  • Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is the higher.
  • CWT is considered a medical benefit and is provided to eligible Veterans under VA medical care

TSES- Compensated Work Therapy

Compensated Work Therapy has three main components

  • Transitional Work (TW)
    • VA Healthcare facilities based
    • Community Based
    • Time limited (3 to 9 months)
  • Supported Employment (SE)
    • Mental Health -Veterans with Psychotic Disorders
    • Polytrauma and Spinal/Cord Injury
  • Homeless Veteran’s Supported Employment Program (HVSEP)
homeless veteran s supported employment program
Homeless Veteran’s Supported Employment Program

Developed under the Five Year Plan to end Homelessness

  • 400 Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRS)across the VA
  • VRS integrated into to Homeless Services Teams
  • Community Based Supported Employment services
  • Targeted job search
  • Job placement
  • Ongoing Employment Support
veterans homelessness prevention demonstration vhpd
Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration (VHPD)

Veterans Homeless Prevention Demonstration (VHPD)

  • Collaboration of HUD, VA, and Department of Labor
    • HUD $10 million for housing assistance
    • VA $5 million for health care assessment and services
    • DOL will provide education and job training
  • Announced 5 sites—near military bases
    • Targets veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
    • Urban and rural
  • Similar in design to HPRP


  • Many homeless people are unable to work due to a disability. Veterans are more likely to be older and disabled than the general homeless population.
  • Both Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) (service connected and pension payments) and mainstream resources (Social Security, TANF, SNAPs) can offer critical assistance.
  • VBA provides services for homeless Veterans at all 56 regional offices. For the VA Regional Office nearest you, call the VA toll free number at 1-800-827-1000.
  • Check, “SSVF Post-Award Conference Materials” for VBA presentation on benefits.
accessing mainstream resources
Accessing Mainstream Resources
  • Income supports including food stamps, SSI/SSD, TANF, Medicaid/Medicare.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling,, a counselor can be reached at (800)388-2227
  • Legal Assistance at low cost,
  • Available income, health, educational and other supportive services benefits

For more information about

VA’s Homeless Services Program, please visit: