October 2016 NCHV Newsletter

NCHV eNewsletter
October 2016
Webinar – Accessing VA Benefits
Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm EDT
The National Veterans Technical Assistance Center (NVTAC) is hosting the webinar “Accessing VA Benefits” on Thursday, November 3 at 2:00 pm EDT.
Homeless veteran service providers, especially HVRP grantees, recognize the critical connection between a viable income and housing stability. Homeless veterans may be rapidly connected to housing, but they are better able to stay in housing when they are earning a livable wage. While placement in competitive employment may be the ultimate goal, service providers can utilize benefits payments to help homeless veterans find stability while they are seeking and even after obtaining employment. This webinar will help local community agencies better connect their homeless veteran consumers to VA benefits. Experts will share strategies for engaging more substantially with your VSO and community partners and navigating the sometimes complicated connection between disability benefits and employment.
This featured guest speakers for this webinar are Gerardo Avila, Deputy Director, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, American Legion and Shurhonda Love, Assistant National Legislative Director, Disabled American Veterans.

TO REGISTER FOR “Accessing VA Benefits”:

Go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/696093492427550980 and complete the registration form.

You will receive instructions for joining the training when you register. For additional questions, please contact Maddie Goldstein at mgoldstein@nchv.org.
Hill Watch: Congress Funds Government Through Dec. 9
Veteran programs funded for the entire year
On Sept. 28 the House passed H.R. 5325, the legislative vehicle for the funding bill, which had passed the Senate earlier on that same day. The bill provides flat funding for the federal government through the election season and until December 9, 2016 in order to give Congress more time to pass full-year funding bills. Without the passage of H.R. 5325 the government was in danger of shutting down on Thursday, Sept. 30, due to the expiration of spending authorities at the end of the federal fiscal year. This short term spending bill known as a continuing resolution (“CR”) prevents this danger.
H.R. 5325 also contained funding provisions that were not a part of the continuing resolution; this portion of the bill was the text of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriation bill (MilCon/VA), which funds the operations of the VA for the entire 2017 Fiscal Year. The MilCon/VA bill had previously passed both houses of Congress in slightly different forms, and NCHV has discussed it in past editions of Hill Watch.
The MilCon/VA portion of the bill contained the full presidential request top-line budget numbers for the Medical Services account, which covers VA homeless programs including GPD, SSVF, and the case management portion of the HUD-VASH program. Congress has, since June, agreed upon numbers for these programs: $257 million for GPD, $320 million for SSVF, and $496 million for case management of HUD-VASH vouchers. All of these numbers are higher than last year, and the SSVF and GPD numbers are higher than the President’s Budget requested (by $10 million and $20 million, respectively).
When the President signed the CR the day after passage through Congress, the bill became law. With it, the budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs is set until Sept. 30, 2017. If you would like to call and thank your Congressman for including these higher numbers for veteran homelessness programs, but don’t know how, you can refer to NCHV’s advocacy webinar, accessible here. While you are thanking them, you can also urge them to pass the remaining appropriations bills, with robust funding for HVRP and for new HUD-VASH vouchers!
In the coming months, NCHV will be back to report on the passage of the rest of the federal spending bills. Stay tuned for more.
Open Enrollment for Healthcare Insurance Begins Nov. 1
Marketplace Open Enrollment 2017 guide for veterans from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 
Open enrollment for the healthcare insurance Marketplace begins on Nov. 1, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a guide for veterans on what steps to take to meet healthcare insurance coverage standards.
The guide includes information on how to enroll for healthcare coverage through the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other options for those not eligible for VA care.
Emerging Populations: Female, OIF/OEF/OND, and Older Veterans
Research brief on population projections and service use patterns from VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
The VA National Center on Homelessness among Veterans has released a new research brief, Emerging Populations: Female, OEF/OIF/OND and Older Veterans. This report provides population projections over the next 10 years for these three sub-populations and characterizes distinct need and use patterns among current users of VA homeless programs within each sub-population.
The brief provides information for policy makers and program planners about the potential demand for services among veterans who will become homeless or face risk for homelessness over the next 10 years as well as potential characteristics of that need so that programming and capacity can be proactively considered.
Hacksaw Ridge: Upcoming Movie Seeks to Raise PTSD Awareness
WW2 film to open in theaters Nov. 4, 2016
NCHV and other national veteran service organizations based in Washington, D.C. were recently invited to attend a screening of the upcoming World War 2 movie, Hacksaw Ridge. The film tells the story of Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
With the movie's release, its producers hope to raise awareness of PTSD and the resources available to veterans in their communities. They are building a webpage with resources to coincide with the release of the film.

For more information on Hacksaw Ridge and how to get involved, visit http://www.hacksawridgeresources.com/.
Funding Opportunities
The Catherine Holmes Wilkins Charitable Foundation was created in trust to provide charitable grants to qualified medical research and social service agencies in the Puget Sound region. Organizations must operate within or significantly affect the residents of the Greater Seattle region: Tacomma to Everett, Seattle, and the Eastside. The Foundation accepts applications throughout the year and makes grant decisions every four months. For more information, click here.
The DTE Energy Foundation is at the core of DTE Energy's commitment to the communities and customers it serves. The DTE Energy Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the fabric of these communities and its connection to customers in three areas: strengthening Michigan’s vitality through economic growth, life-sustaining help to the most disadvantaged members of the community, and education, innovation and the development of inspiring leaders. The next deadlines for applications are Nov. 4, 2016 and Jan. 29, 2017. For more information, click here.