Indiana Launches Back to School Program for Military Families Experiencing Financial Hardship

Staff report

Indianapolis, Ind. – July 18, 2023

The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) has announced the Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) Back to School Program, aimed at providing financial assistance to veterans and their families facing economic difficulties. The initiative offers support for essential school expenses for dependent children residing in the veteran’s home, with a maximum assistance amount of $500.00 per child.

The MFRF Back to School Program is scheduled to run from June 1, 2023, to August 31, 2023, granting eligible veterans the opportunity to alleviate the burden of school-related costs. Applications must be submitted by 4 PM on August 31, 2023, and any received after this deadline or found to be incomplete will not be considered.

To be eligible for the program, veterans must have honorable, under honorable conditions, or certain other than honorable discharges. Additionally, the gross household income should not exceed twice the US federal poverty guidelines.

Dependent children eligible for assistance must be under 18 years of age or between the ages of 18 and 23 if enrolled in high school, a high school equivalency program, or pursuing full-time studies in an institution of higher education. Applicants must provide proof that these children maintain the veteran’s household as their place of residency.

The lifetime amount an applicant may receive from the fund is limited to a maximum of $2,500.00 unless approved for a higher amount by the commission. Furthermore, each household can only apply once during the program term, with a maximum award of $2,500.00 per application.

Applicants are required to submit several documents along with their applications. The checklist includes the General Information Form, Grant Request, W9, and Direct Deposit Form (with a handwritten signature). Additionally, proof of dependent children residing with the veteran, such as accepted dependency and residency documents, must be provided. A DD214 form displaying the type of discharge is also necessary. Moreover, the first page of the most recent bank, investment, and retirement statements, showing account balances and available assets, along with evidence of income for the applicant and spouse (such as pay stubs, VA compensation, Social Security, retirement, unemployment, etc., for the past two weeks) is required.

For further details, applicants are encouraged to visit the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs website (In.gov/DVA), where they can find FAQs, definitions, and program qualifications. Completed applications can be mailed to the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Family Relief Fund, at 777 North Meridian Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Alternatively, they can be faxed to 317-232-7721 or emailed to [email protected].

For inquiries and additional information, interested parties may contact Lynn Dickey, Director of the IDVA, at [email protected] or Janie Gregory, Assistant Director, at [email protected].

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