Kaitlynne Hetrick | March 8, 2021
#AdvocacyUpdate: Annual Testimony, Veteran Job Numbers, and More!
On Thursday, IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler testified before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees to discuss our advocacy priorities for the 117th Congress. IAVA was honored to have had the opportunity to outline our priorities and share the experiences and opinions of our more than 425,000 members. Jeremy spoke on topics surrounding mental health, toxic exposure, education benefits, services for female veterans, and other pressing issues facing the post-9/11 generation of veterans. IAVA was joined by The American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Wounded Warrior Project. Read Jeremy’s full written testimony HERE and watch the full hearing HERE.
IAVA celebrated a huge win on Tuesday as the IAVA-backed Veterans Economic Recovery Act passed the House while included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, Congress’s most recent Covid-19 relief package. This legislation will provide up to 12 months of retraining assistance for veterans who are unemployed due to the pandemic. The one-year retraining program will fund 17,500 eligible veterans and also includes a generous housing allowance. Read IAVA’s full press release on the House passage of this legislation HERE.
The Department of Labor recently released the latest unemployment numbers for February. The unemployment rate for all veterans stayed at 5.5%, the same as in January. Unemployment for post-9/11 veterans dropped slightly from 6.3% in January to 5.9%. Across the US, unemployment dropped slightly from 6.3% to 6.2%. Read more about the unemployment numbers for February HERE.
IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force
We know that this time can be stressful and IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is here to help! This program provides 24/7 peer support, comprehensive care management, resource connections, and can help with accessing your VA benefits. To get connected to a Veteran Care Manager for immediate help anytime, day or night, please call 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) or fill out our online form. Our services are remote, free, and confidential and QRF is here for all veterans, regardless of era, discharge status, or location. If you are a veteran or a veteran family member facing challenges or have questions, QRF is here to help you get back on your feet and meet your goals.
If you are currently experiencing a crisis please contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255, and press 1. Alternatively, use the Crisis Text Line by texting “RISING” to 7417