With the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019, several changes and benefits have immediately gone into effect. Of note, Military OneSource will now be available for all transitioning servicemembers for a full year after separation or retirement, that’s an additional 6 months to what it was before. This is good news if you’re a transitioning servicemember.
What’s Military OneSource?
Military OneSource is a resource for all transitioning servicemembers and their families with information, resources, and support in areas such as benefits, health and wellness, taxes and legal support, and moving and housing, and education and employment support.
Servicemembers, their families, or survivors can reach out anytime, day or night, as they navigate the transition process. In essence, it’s a one stop shop for all your transition needs, accessible 24/7 through their website or by calling 800-342-9647.
Where Have I Heard This Before?
If this idea sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Expanding Military OneSource from 180 days to a full year post separation or retirement has been a point of discussion since January when President Trump signed the Executive Order to Improve Mental Health Resources for Veterans Transitioning from Active Duty to Civilian Life. In fact, even in the first announcement, expanding Military OneSource to one year was listed as part of the plan to expand mental health services to transitioning servicemembers.
So what’s the difference? Realistically, nothing. From those trying to access Military OneSource, transitioning servicemembers and their families have a year.
What it does mean, however, is that this expansion is now protected by law. So as administrations change, as Secretaries change, as leadership at all levels of government changes, this benefit is protected. In turbulent times such as these, with incredible shake-ups in leadership at VA over the past six months and changes in DoD and VA policy seemingly coming daily, having a benefit protected under law is a great idea.
IAVA’s Got Your Back
If you or someone you know is transitioning out of the service, IAVA is here to help. Military OneSource is a great place to start, but transitioning out of the service or retirement can be daunting. Our Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) team is here to help. With direct contact to Master’s of Social Work-level Veteran Transition Managers, we’ll help connect you to the support you need where and when you need it.