Message from Senator Elizabeth Dole
Five years ago I became a caregiver when my husband Bob spent 11 months at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. During that time, and since, I’ve witnessed the incredible challenges facing the caregivers of our wounded warriors.
Shortly after this experience, I established Caring for Military Families: the Elizabeth Dole Foundation
to raise awareness and support for America’s hidden heroes. Right now there are 5.5 million military caregivers across America, according to a RAND Corporation study my Foundation commissioned. These caregivers have urgent needs right now as they’re tending to multiple and serious wounds—both visible and invisible. In addition to their direct caregiving role, they must maintain emotional stability, manage medications and rehab, handle the family's financial and legal matters and often raise children as well.
Because of the complexity of many caregiving situations and the increasing number of primary caregivers who are employed outside the home and are serving without a dedicated support network, my Foundation partnered with the Military Officers Association of America
, the Public Counsel Law Center
and the American Bar Association
to establish the LawyersForHeroes collaboration to provide a package of legal resources for military caregivers from multiple generations.
The MOAA Caregiver Guide
, which earned the prestigious Power of A Summit Award in 2015 from the American Society of Association Executives, is a compilation of best practices to assist caregivers with the legal and financial aspects of caregiving. In addition, the American Bar Association and the Public Counsel Law Center are cooperating to provide caregivers a next-step legal resource to address complex caregiving situations requiring the assistance of legal counsel. In many cases, these services are provided free of charge to qualified military people, veterans and their caregivers.
Military caregivers toil for years, even decades, in quiet humble service and have earned our deepest respect and admiration. I'm grateful to the Military Officers Association of America, the American Bar Association and the Public Counsel Law Center for helping to meet this urgent need.
- American Bar Association offers several programs to assist caregivers and veterans with legal matters:
• ABA Home Front is an online resource designed to help servicemembers, veterans, and their families address their civil legal matters. The site includes many informational legal articles as well as a national directory of legal organizations that can provide in-person assistance.
• The ABA Military Pro Bono Project connects junior-enlisted servicemembers and their dependents to pro bono lawyers to assist in resolving legal issues in a wide range of civil matters.
• Starting in June 2014, the ABA Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network will begin providing pro bono legal assistance to veterans with pending disability compensation claims made to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
- Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement is driven by its core principle to “uphold our nation’s promise to veterans and their families.” In advancing efforts to support our nation’s veterans, their dependents and those who care for them, the Center for Veterans Advancement is committed to providing qualified participants with assistance and/or representation in accessing benefits and services available through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistance may also include representation before the Board of Veterans Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims.
To qualify for access to Public Counsel’s extensive pro bono resources, caregivers and veterans are required to have an annual household income less than twice the federal poverty guidelines, excluding income received from any disability, welfare, pension, Social Security or other federal, state or local benefits.
Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement has additional information available on their website. For an initial consultation, please call 213-385-2977, extension 302. If a counselor is not immediately available, your call will be returned within 48 hours.
- Military Officers Association of America Tips for Lifelong Caregiving is focused on assisting caregivers of multiple generations with the legal and financial aspects of military caregiving. In addition to this online resource, MOAA also provides an array of programs to assist the military community with career transition, healthcare and benefits education, VA disability claims and specialized services to meet the unique needs of military families, including a college scholarship program for the children of current and former military people. Moreover, two of our military community service initiatives -- career transition support and our online guide for military caregivers -- have earned the highly respected "Power of A Summit Award" in 2012 and 2015 from the American Society of Association Executives.
Because of the important role caregivers play in promoting faster recovery and enhancing quality of life for ill and injured veterans, MOAA is honored to provide this caregiver guide developed with the counsel of experienced caregivers from multiple generations and other subject matter experts.
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), USAA, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the PsychArmor Institute are pleased to announce a new program to provide military caregivers of all ranks and services access to USAA financial advisors who can assist in making important financial decisions. USAA’s advisors have the skills and experience to assist military caregivers with budgeting, wealth accumulation strategies, credit management, health and life insurance needs, retirement planning, basic estate planning and the financial transition following military service. Military caregivers can call MOAA at 888-503-1168 from 12:00 pm to 6 pm eastern time on normal business days. For more program details, please go to: www.moaa.org/caregiver_finance/.
Investments/Insurance: Not FDIC Insured ∙ Not Bank Issued, Guaranteed or Underwritten ∙ May Lose Value Notwithstanding any reference to estate planning, wealth planning, and/or similar terms contained herein, the contents of this document are not intended to be, and are not, legal or tax advice. The applicable tax law is complex, the penalties for non-compliance are severe, and the applicable tax law of your state may differ from federal tax law. Therefore, you should consult your tax and legal advisers regarding your specific situation. MOAA does not provide financial advice as part of this program. Financial planning services and financial advice provided by USAA Financial Planning Services Insurance Agency, Inc. (known as USAA Financial Insurance Agency in California, License # 0E36312), a registered investment adviser and insurance agency and its wholly owned subsidiary, USAA Financial Advisors, Inc., a registered broker dealer.