New VA Check-In Program So Successful, It Could Become Permanent
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 10, 2021 – A new program that checks in with newly separated veterans has been so successful in its first nine months that it may soon become permanent. The Department of Veterans Affairs calls it the Solid Start program, and through it recently discharged veterans receive a direct phone call to discuss the ways the VA can support them through the highly stressful transition to civilian life.
The goal of the calls is to help veterans better understand the benefits that are available, so they might be able to get a solid start on life out of the military. In the first nine months of the program over 70,000 veterans were reached. Many answered the phone on the first attempt.
“New veterans are an extremely vulnerable group and the time immediately after discharge can be very hard to get used to,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans. “Anything that can help our veterans get the help they need should be given extra consideration. It is exciting when they try something like this, and it is successful.”
Of the first 70,000 participants in the Solid Start program, 12,000 had had appointments with a mental health specialist during their last year in the service. At least nine individuals were connected to the VA suicide hotline during their check in call because they were in crisis. Many were helped to apply for VA benefits through their phone call.
Around 125 full-time employees run the program and give new veterans a total of three calls. The first comes within 90 days of their release from the military, the second at 180 days and the third around one year.
The Solid Start program has received bipartisan support from lawmakers who hope to expand it and make it permanent. Proposed legislation seeks to expand the program by advertising it more to the public and mailing some follow up information to veterans who cannot be reached by phone. They also hope to collect and analyze the information gained through phone calls with new veterans to shape future transition programs.
Legal Help for Veterans is a veterans-only law firm in Northville, Michigan exclusively handling VA disability claims. Lead attorney James G. Fausone is a veteran himself and is committed to helping the servicemen and women living with injuries and other disabilities from their time in the military. For more information, please visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com.Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC 41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101 Northville, MI 48168 Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800