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Emergency Financial Assistance
GOALS OF THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Veterans Service Commission’s primary concern and goal of the financial assistance program is to help veterans and their dependents that are in need of temporary or immediate financial assistance on a short-term basis. Short-term is generally sixty (60) days or less. Assistance for ongoing periods of time will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The goal is to provide an amount of financial assistance to those who encounter situations usually of emergency needs that threaten their health, safety and well-being. Emergency situations are often unpredictable, uncontrollable and vary greatly in their degree of severity. They generally arise due to ill health or injuries, loss of employment or other unforeseen circumstances. The effects of the emergency need must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The need for financial assistance shall not be due to the veteran’s or their dependent’s willful wrongdoing, negligence or committing an illegal act.

The Veterans Service Center is aware of many community resources that could assist those in need of financial assistance. The knowledge of resources that are available is necessary to determine if any other means within the community may meet or help meet the financial needs. Other agencies may be able to provide some additional assistance if the amount provided by the Veterans Service Commission is not sufficient to meet the request. The Veterans Service Center will refer the applicant to other agencies if deemed necessary. The Veterans Service Center may need to coordinate with other agencies to provide the assistance requested.

The applicant is responsible for furnishing all facts and information and cooperating to the fullest extent in the determination of the applicant’s request for assistance.

THE APPLICANT IS EXPECTED TO SHOW IMPROVEMENT AND/OR EFFORT TO MINIMIZE THE FREQUENCY AND THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF HIS/HER APPLICATION(S) FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

THE BOARD OF VETERANS SERVICE COMMISSIONERS HAS THE AUTHORITY TO APPROVE OR DENY ANY APPLICATION FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY REASON.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The veteran and/or any person conducting business when visiting the Clark County Veterans Service Center should expect the County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) or the Investigator/Service Officer (hereafter referred to as investigator) to provide the best possible service when filing a claim on behalf of the veteran with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), assisting an applicant with an application to the Veterans Service Commission (VSC) for financial assistance or when seeking assistance on the veteran’s behalf from other local agencies.

When working with a CVSO and/or Investigator, the VSC expects the veteran or any other eligible applicant:

* To be completely honest and truthful;
* To disclose all facts and pertinent information to the fullest extent of their knowledge when filing claims or applying for financial assistance;
* To provide all documentation requested by the CVSO and/or Investigator needed to complete the claim or application for financial assistance;
* To show improvement and/or effort to minimize the dollar amount requested and the frequency of their application(s) for financial assistance;
* If unemployed, to be actively seeking employment through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) or any other avenue available to the veteran or eligible applicant; *
If unable to work, to provide a current medical statement signed by the doctor that describes the disability, how the disability affects the veteran’s or eligible applicant’s ability to work, whether the disability is of a temporary or permanent nature, and the length of time (if known) that would reasonably be required before the veteran or eligible applicant could return to work;
* To follow the recommendations of the VSC, CVSO and/or Investigator regarding applications for financial assistance or claims filed with the VA. 

Emergency Financial Assistance Guidelines
Emergency Financial Assistance Guidelines
Adopted 31 January 2013
Revised 28 March 2013, 25 July 2013

For the purpose of these guidelines “veteran” means the following:

(1) A person who served in the armed forces of the United States on active military duty and was discharged from the service under honorable conditions, and who either served on active duty for reasons other than training or, while serving on active duty for training, incurred a disability recognized by the department of veterans affairs or department of defense as service –connected.

No applications will be taken from estranged spouses of veterans or dependents not living with the veteran.

The Clark County Veterans Office operates on an appointment basis. Applications are not taken on a walk-in basis unless there is an extreme emergency not due to the negligence of the applicant. Poor planning does not constitute an emergency. All applicants must be residents of Clark County for no less than 90 days prior to applying for financial assistance.

Prior to receiving an appointment a first time applicant is required to bring a copy of his/her discharge papers into the office for review. If eligible, an appointment will be given along with a list of required documents needed to complete an application. Returning applicants who have not been seen within six months are required to pick up a requirement list before an appointment will be given. Applicants who do not appear for their appointment with all documentation required will be rescheduled. At the discretion of the service officer some applicants may be asked to supply additional information.

All applications for assistance will be signed by the veteran or qualified spouse, or widow. Each applicant for financial assistance shall be required to state the reason, condition or situation for which financial assistance is required. The financial assistance program is for emergencies in which the applicant had no control over the current financial hardship.

All applicants for financial assistance who are physically capable of work must be actively seeking employment. Ordinarily, the applicant can meet this requirement by submitting proof of regular visits to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS), potential employers, or have an active file with an employment agency. An active file with an employment agency means making a verbal request for job assignments from that agency and having that agency verify the request. Veterans who receive unemployment compensation must provide proof of status.

Applicants may be provided with financial assistance for the basic needs only. Financial assistance will not be considered for property taxes, child support, insurance payments, cash advance, credit accounts or dental care. The Board of Veterans Service Commissioners will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Any applicant who makes a provable fraudulent or falsified application may be sanctioned from applying for any future financial assistance and/or referred for prosecution at the discretion of the Veterans Service Commission (VSC). Sanctions may be imposed for any time periods that the VSC sees fit. ANY APPLICANT WHO HAS BEEN SANCTIONED FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PROVIDED ASSISTANCE WITH VA CLAIMS WORK.

The County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) taking the financial assistance application may discontinue taking the application (thus preventing the submission of the application) when (a) the listed income is exceedingly higher than the listed expenses, (b) there is no manner in which to verify that the applicant has incurred a loss of income or has no income, (c) the applicant appears to be under the influence of drugs/alcohol.

Denial of financial assistance is at the sole discretion and control of the VSC. Denial is clearly appropriate in situations where there has been no attempt to prevent the occurrence of the emergency need, and the applicant can show no evidence that he/she has experienced any extraordinary circumstances or expenses. Situations include, but are not limited to, making no payment toward the obligation or making only minimal payments with the knowledge that such payments would not prevent the occurrence. If the applicant is denied, the applicant will be informed of the reason for denial. If an appeal is desired, the applicant will be informed of appeal procedures as well as the date and time to appear before the VSC to present the appeal of his/her application. The appellant must show or produce new pertinent information that was not available at the time the VSC made its decision. Appeals “for the sake of appeal” will not be heard. All new evidence must be authentic and verifiable. Failure of the appellant to appear before the VSC as requested will result in the appeal being denied.

An applicant may not apply for financial assistance more than one time in any 30-day period. Any additional applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In accordance with Section 5901.14 ORC, the VSC at any meeting, may increase, decrease or discontinue any allowance previously awarded. The VSC reserves the right to impose limits regarding number of applications per year or dollar amount of financial assistance.

Types of assistance granted are as follows:

Food Assistance ~ Food cards may be issued for a 30-day period. Normally, food cards will not be issued on the day of application except in the case of spoilage due to power outages/appliance malfunction or a delay in the regular meeting of the VSC.
Any food assistance granted must be picked up by the applicant within two working days of the grant or the assistance will be forfeited.

Food cards may be issued in amounts from $50.00 to $300.00 at the discretion of the VSC, the Executive Director, a Service Officer or the Investigator. At no time will the dollar amount of the food card issued exceed the following in a 30-day period:

One Person Two Persons Three Persons Four Persons Five Persons +
$150.00 $200.00 $250.00 $300.00 $300.00

Housing ~ Mortgage obligations (first mortgage payments only) if approved will be made to lien holders only if the current account is not more than 60 days delinquent. No second mortgage payments or equity lines of credit will be considered.

Rental payments if approved will be made to the registered owner according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office unless there is a recorded land contract. No rent payments will be made to family or friends.

No first/last months rent or deposit will be provided unless the applicant has the means to support the obligation after the initial request.

Effective July 25, 2013 deposits will be paid “one” time per applicant. Prior deposits paid will not count towards the “one” time payment.

Heat ~ Natural gas, propane, and fuel oil may be applied for. The obligation must be in the veteran’s, spouse’s or widow’s name and be for the current residence only.

Fuel oil and/or propane will not be considered for consecutive years as this is an expected annual expense and should be budgeted for accordingly.

Heat which has been disconnected during the summer months will not be considered unless the applicant has made an attempt to make regular payments on the past due obligation.

Electric ~ Obligations must be in the veteran’s, spouse’s or widow’s name and be for the current residence only.

Water and Sewer ~ Obligations must be in the veteran’s, spouse’s or widow’s name and be for the current residence only.

Medical ~ Obligations must be in the veteran’s, spouse’s or widow’s name.

Automotive Fuel ~ Fuel will be considered only upon verification of employment and a valid Ohio Driver’s License or for healthcare appointments which can be verified. A Kroger gift card will be issued for the purchase of fuel not to exceed $50.00.

Automotive Repairs ~ Auto repairs will be considered “one” time only and may be approved up to a maximum of $500.00. If the cost of repairs is less than $500.00 no subsequent applications for car repairs will be considered.

The veteran must provide proof of ownership of the vehicle being repaired before any funds are released. Repairs must be completed by a fully licensed, bonded and insured repair shop.

Cable/Internet ~Cable/Internet obligations will be considered up to a maximum of $75.00.