888.851.7996

The Independence Fund recently launched [email protected], a virtual emergency program to directly support catastrophically disabled Veterans, caregivers and their families.

Due to the influx of important information involving COVID-19, we thought it was important to keep our Veterans, Caregivers and their families up to date on news they can use. Check here often for trusted tips, updates and resources.

We are shifting our entire program funding to [email protected], allowing us to assist with emergent costs like ent, utilities, childcare, transportation services, home WiFi services, household cleaning and upkeep, grocery and medical product delivery, and streaming services for work and learning. These urgent and unexpected needs are especially felt in the catastrophically wounded Veteran community. We know that many Veteran families live day-to-day on very thin margins. The pulling back of the support systems they’ve had in place only adds to the challenges these families conquer daily.

If you are trying to apply to [email protected], please click here.

VA: What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The VA has created this useful guide on what you need to know about Coronavirus.

Pittsburg VA Regional Office – Status of Operations Update

Pittsburg VA Regional Office – Status of Operations Update The Pittsburgh Regional Office remains closed to the public.   Veterans can continue to get information about benefits or file a claim for benefits by visiting our website at www.va.gov. Veterans with claims specific or other questions may request information via Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) or […]

Pentagon Issues Fourth 5G Request for Prototype Proposal

Pentagon Issues Fourth 5G Request for Prototype Proposal Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:10 pm The Department of Defense issued a 5G Request for Prototype Proposal (RPP), to test the spectrum’s application at at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, as well as Utah Test and Training Range. The announcement was recently publicized by the National […]

Around Fort Meade, Virus Hit Is ‘Like Sequestration on Steroids’

Around Fort Meade, Virus Hit Is ‘Like Sequestration on Steroids’ Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:14 pm The communities surrounding Fort Meade, Md., are under stay-at-home orders, including nearby Virginia and Washington, D.C. Contractors on base are struggling to find solutions to continue their mission. Some essential personnel are working week-on, week-off mandated shifts to […]

Expanded groceries and essential items now available in-store at your VA Medical Center retail PatriotStore

EXPANDED GROCERIES & ESSENTIAL ITEMS Expanded groceries and essential items now available in-store at your VA Medical Center retail PatriotStore.* *Availability varies by location.  Check your local canteen at your VA Medical Center for available items.  Authorized customers (VA Veterans, their families and VA employees) may shop with VCS.  Access at certain VA Medical Centers […]

Experts Discuss Coronavirus Defense Supply Chain Disruptions

Experts Discuss Coronavirus Defense Supply Chain Disruptions Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:19 pm Risk and economic volatility have increased significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; businesses in the defense industry are looking for ways to mitigate adverse effects on the supply chain. A recent town hall by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative […]

Pentagon’s AI Office Building New Model to Find, Fill Supply Shortages

Pentagon’s AI Office Building New Model to Find, Fill Supply Shortages Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:26 pm The joint artificial intelligence center the Pentagon started last year has a new immediate mission – a partnership with the private sector to build a new platform to predict and fill shortages of essential needs such as […]

President Thanks Military Families for ‘Selfless Service’

President Thanks Military Families for ‘Selfless Service’ Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:29 pm “The nation owes a debt to our… service members and their families” for their coronavirus response, President Trump told members of the military and their families on a Wednesday phone call, according to a DOD summary of the call. The President […]

ADC: COVID-19 Crisis Requires ‘One Community’ Approach

ADC: COVID-19 Crisis Requires ‘One Community’ Approach Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:35 pm The Association of Defense Communities recently sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlining the imperative of linking bases with surrounding communities during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to achieve efficient collaboration strategies to combat this crisis, ADC encourages adopting […]

Majority of Caregivers Report Negative Impact from Pandemic

Majority of Caregivers Report Negative Impact from Pandemic Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:39 pm More than half of caregivers report being less effective during the coronavirus than usual, and almost 80% say the pandemic has had a negative impact on the person they care for, according to a survey by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. […]

SoCal Nonprofit Provides Critical Assistance to Service Members in Flux

SoCal Nonprofit Provides Critical Assistance to Service Members in Flux Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:42 pm Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), a nonprofit which assists young military families with financial self-sufficiency resources, is providing support to military families facing layoffs, furloughs and stalled PCS orders during the coronavirus crisis. Most recently STEP hosted a […]

Texas Governor Announces $14.1 Million in Grants for State’s Military Communities

Texas Governor Announces $14.1 Million in Grants for State’s Military Communities Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:45 pm Governor Greg Abbott of Texas recently announced a series of grants amounting to $14.1 million, which will provide funding to infrastructure projects and other initiatives for the state’s defense communities. Details of the grants include $5 million […]

Defense Industrial Base Remains Focused on Weapons

Defense Industrial Base Remains Focused on Weapons Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:52 pm Although defense contractors have been deemed “essential businesses,” the federal government is generally not asking the companies to shift their missions to producing needed medical equipment within existing contracts or through the Defense Production Act. Instead, the Pentagon is asking them […]

Webinar: The Impact of COVID-19 on Service Member Transition and Separation (4/9/20)

The Impact of COVID-19 on Service Member Transition and Separation Thursday, April 9 | 3 – 4 PM ET The COVID-19 outbreak has created increasing uncertainty for everyone—including transitioning service members. Soldiers who decided to separate from the military are now facing a job market that is challenging at best. During this dynamic discussion, hear from […]

Webinar: Managing the Financial Impact of COVID-19 for Military Families (4/7/20)

Managing the Financial Impact of COVID-19 for Military Families Tuesday, April 7 | 3 – 4 PM ET During this in-depth town hall discussion, hear from industry experts—relief societies and financial providers—on essential resources available to service members in an effort to help families navigate the COVID-19 environment and ensure financial security. Check back as speakers […]

Webinar: Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis (4/2/20)

Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis Thursday, April 2 | 3 – 4 PM ET Speakers: Dr. Ram Bala, Ph.D Professor of Business Analytics Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, USAF, Ret. Senior Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton Mike Gilroy Program Director for Defense Industry Resilience DOD Office […]

VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange campus, to assist COVID-19 response

VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange campus, to assist COVID-19 response WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opened 20 beds (15 acute care and 5 intensive care) at its East Orange, NJ Medical Center, April 1, to non-Veteran, critical and non-critical COVID-19 patients to help assist the Northern New Jersey region […]

Upcoming Virtual Town Hall: Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis (4/2/20)

UPCOMING VIRTUAL TOWN HALL Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis Thursday, April 2 | 3 – 4 PM EST  Speakers: Dr. Ram Bala, Ph.D. Professor of Business Analytics at the Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, USAF, Ret.  Senior Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton Mike […]

Kilmer: ‘We Are All in This Together’

Kilmer: ‘We Are All in This Together’ Posted on Mar 31, 2020 08:08 pm U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) expressed optimism Tuesday that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted late last week will provide relief to struggling communities in his home state and across the country, adding that work is already […]

Pentagon Halts Reporting COVID-19 Cases for Individual Units, Bases, Combat Commands

Pentagon Halts Reporting COVID-19 Cases for Individual Units, Bases, Combat Commands Posted on Mar 31, 2020 08:16 pm Department of Defense Press Secretary Alyssa Farah provided updated department-wide guidance “to ensure continued public reporting of cases of COVID–19 positive DOD personnel.”  Farah said that each of the services would provide a daily public update and the Pentagon would continue to give daily updates on “full […]

After Captain’s Plea, Carrier Unloading Sailors in Guam

After Captain’s Plea, Carrier Unloading Sailors in Guam Posted on Mar 31, 2020 08:04 pm The Navy is working with officials in Guam to accommodate several USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members who have tested positive for COVID-19 and thousands more who may have been exposed, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told CNN Tuesday. The carrier’s […]

Next Phase of Stimulus Likely to Focus on Infrastructure

Next Phase of Stimulus Likely to Focus on Infrastructure Posted on Mar 31, 2020 07:59 pm Congress is already talking about the next round of stimulus policy – often referred to as “phase 4” – and it is expected to focus on infrastructure development, according to several panelists at a COVID-19 Military Support Initiative town […]

VA expands virtual services to support Veterans amid regional office closures due to COVID-19 pandemic

VA expands virtual services to support Veterans amid regional office closures due to COVID-19 pandemic WASHINGTON – Veterans continue to receive benefits and services after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) temporarily closed its 56 regional offices to the public, March 19, in response to COVID-19. “The decision to close […]

Survey Seeks Information on COVID-19 Impacton Small Businesses

Survey Seeks Information on COVID-19 Impacton Small Businesses Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:46 pm Survey Seeks Information on COVID-19 Impact on Small Businesses The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is conducting a survey on the impactthe coronavirus pandemic is having on small businesses in the defense industry. In a blog post, NDIA said results […]

House Armed Services Committee Postpones Defense Authorization Markup

  House Armed Services Committee Postpones Defense Authorization Markup Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:21 pm House lawmakers have decided to indefinitely delay the markup of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act in order to adhere to the White House’s 30-day social distancing policy, CQ reports. “The House Armed Services Committee has been, and […]

DOD Launches ‘Rumor Control’ Website

DOD Launches ‘Rumor Control’ Website Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:32 pm In order to combat disinformation disseminated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pentagon recently created a website called “Coronavirus: Rumor Control,” serving as an authenticated repository of vetted information during the crisis. The website provides links to the CDC and other U.S. government coronavirus-focused […]

Senate Confirms Williams as Navy Installations Chief

Senate Confirms Williams as Navy Installations Chief Posted on Mar 30, 2020 07:41 pm Charles Williams was officially confirmed Thursday to become the assistant secretary of the Navy for installations, energy and the environment. President Donald Trump had nominated Williams, a Missouri real estate developer, late last year. The Navy had considered cutting the position […]

New Army Hospital at Seahawks Stadium Will Free Up COVID-19 Beds

New Army Hospital at Seahawks Stadium Will Free Up COVID-19 Beds Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:36 pm Three hundred soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital at Fort Carson, Colo., are headed to Seattle to staff a new military field hospital at CenturyLink Field Event Center, where the Seattle Seahawks play, according to AP. The […]

VA deploys Mobile Vet Centers to increase outreach during COVID-19 outbreak

VA deploys Mobile Vet Centers to increase outreach during COVID-19 outbreak WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began deploying Mobile Vet Center units, the week of March 16, to expand direct counseling, outreach and care coordination to Veterans in communities affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of the mobile units was […]

COVID-19 Military Community Updates

COVID-19 Military Community Updates  Posted on Mar 29, 2020 05:44 pm President Trump signed the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, the largest fiscal relief measure passed in U.S. history. The Department of Defense will receive $10.5 billion funding the following categories: health care and insurance, personnel, investment, purchasing, and operation and maintenance. An abridged overview of the Pentagon’s portion […]

Army Corps of Engineers Works to Convert Hotels, Dormitories into Hospitals

Army Corps of Engineers Works to Convert Hotels, Dormitories into Hospitals  Posted on Mar 29, 2020 04:41 pm A recent mission provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the Army Corps of Engineers requests the agency to assess and identify alternative care facilities for the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We’ve already got contracts, and we’re cutting […]

What You Need To Know | President Trump is Promoting Emotional Wellbeing for Veterans During the Coronavirus Outbreak

What You Need To Know | President Trump is Promoting Emotional Wellbeing for Veterans During the Coronavirus Outbreak ________________________________ The Trump Administration is beginning a new public awareness campaign to promote emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, especially for our nation’s veterans. The new campaign is part of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and […]

Virtual Lunch and Learn Series: Cohen Veterans Network Resources for Mental Health on April 2

Virtual Lunch and Learn Series Cohen Veterans Network Resources for Mental Health Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) is a system of outpatient mental health clinics throughout the country for post-9/11 Veterans, their families, and active-duty military families. This presentation will focus on the type of care CVN provides as well as additional resources CVN is developing […]

Video Connect More Broadly Available Thanks to The Independence Fund!

In response to our close and consistent advocacy over these last two weeks, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is making Video Connect more broadly available to Veterans in the VHA system! We’ve been in close contact these last two weeks with both the Office of the Secretary and raised it with the President last […]

Care Resource Guide  Veterans and their Families, Caregivers and Survivors have many resources available to answer their questions on services related to the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the care, benefits and services available from the Department of Veterans Affairs, other agencies and non-profit organizations. Coronavirus information: The federal government response www.coronavirus.gov/ The actions of the […]

VA Releases COVID-19 Response Plan

VA Releases COVID-19 Response Plan  WASHINGTON – The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made public, March 27, the COVID-19 Response Plan it is executing within its medical facilities to protect Veterans, their families and staff. VA deems the plan a valuable tool that’s useful for the nationwide medical community. The “For Official Use Only” […]

Charlotte Region: Information & Resources during COVID response

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. – Thousands of people are now out of work with COVID-19 changing our everyday lives. There is hope for those out of a job right now. FOX 46 found several businesses in the Charlotte area that are looking to hire for hundreds of open positions. https://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/hundreds-of-job-openings-in-charlotte-area-despite-covid-19 HOW TO APPLY: Metrolina Greenhouses Lowes […]

What is the PTSD Coach App?

Are you looking for ways to help manage PTSD symptoms? The PTSD Coach app may be able to help. The PTSD Coach app is a digital resource provided by the National Center for PTSD aimed at helping veterans learn more about and manage their symptoms of PTSD from anywhere. Through the PTSD Coach app you […]

New Procedures at VA National Cemeteries due to COVID-19

As of Friday, March 20, NCA will only conduct committal services for groups of 10 or fewer people.  As of Monday, March 23, Committal Services (including honors) will not be conducted until further notice.  Both of these announcements, especially the latter, will impact Military Honors.  Additionally volunteer honors are discontinued (i.e. American Legion, VFW, etc). […]

Update from Cohen Veterans Network

Dear Friends, We hope that you are all staying healthy and safe during this unprecedented time. We wanted to let you know that Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) has moved quickly to ensure that clients will continue to receive vital mental health care services online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the safety of […]

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Releases, “Coronavirus FAQs: What Veterans Need to Know.”

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Releases, “Coronavirus FAQs: What Veterans Need to Know.” As you can imagine, VA call centers and VA health facilities are experiencing very high numbers of calls. We were proud to work with the VA to produce these newly released online tools and frequently asked questions. This webpage will be updated on […]

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Allows President to Extend Military Leader Appointments

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Allows President to Extend Military Leader Appointments Posted on 3/27/2020 In the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package released Wednesday, a subsection for defense and military personnel allocation stipulates President Donald Trump may extend the appointment of key service leadership positions. The positions that are included in this legislation are: Chief of Army […]

ADC and Blue Star Families to Host Virtual Town Hall for Early Child Care on 3/27

Join the Conversation Today ADC and Blue Star Families will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting focused on the topic of supporting early child care and education during the COVID-19 crisis. Special guest will include Jenny Korn, Deputy Director and Special Assistant to the President at The White House. This free event will be held […]

COVID-19 Military Community Updates

COVID-19 Military Community Updates Posted on 3/27/2020 In a recent interview with Reuters, Defense Secretary Mark Esper reported a 30 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the military, but said he would start providing “aggregated numbers” to prevent compromising ongoing/future missions. “I’m not going to get into a habit where we start providing numbers across […]

Defense Community Utilizes Wi-Fi Enabled School Buses During Coronavirus Crisis 

Defense Community Utilizes Wi-Fi Enabled School Buses During Coronavirus Crisis  Posted on 3/27/2020 Like most school districts around the country, Knob Noster Public School District in Missouri has cancelled its in-person classes. And while many students will go online to continue their education, connectivity is a challenge for this rural Missouri community of 1,600 students. […]

Blue Star Families – Free Subscriptions

We know this is a stressful time, and there’s a lot of anxiety in our military community right now. There’s not much we can do to fix the Coronavirus mayhem impacting your MilLife, but we want to lend a helping hand with your well-being while practicing social distancing. Here are four membership-based subscriptions that you […]

Care Resource Guide – Veterans Experience Office

 Care Resource Guide Veterans and their Families, Caregivers and Survivors have many resources available to answer their questions on services related to the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the care, benefits and services available from the Department of Veterans Affairs, other agencies and non-profit organizations. Coronavirus information: The federal government response www.coronavirus.gov/ The actions of the […]

Military OneSource Provides COVID-19 Resources to Military Families

Military OneSource Provides COVID-19 Resources to Military Families Posted on 3/26/2020 The Pentagon’s online and call center resource, Military OneSource, has added new services to provide tools to service members, military spouses, and other dependents during the coronavirus pandemic, DOD memo recently outlined. New services include an online directory of up-to-date information about COVID-19 geared […]

Inside DOD’s $10.5 Billion Funding: COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Package

Inside DOD’s $10.5 Billion Funding: COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Package Posted on 3/26/2020 Senators released details of the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package on Wednesday, outlining significant financial assistance for the Defense Health Program and defense industrial base. Healthcare The largest portion of defense funding will provide over $3.8 billion to the Defense Health Program. The […]

What is Considered ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

What is Considered ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic? Posted on 3/25/2020 Following the lead of California and New York, Governor of Washington state Jay Inslee recently ordered a two-week stay-at-home order for the state’s 7 million residents. All businesses that are not deemed “essential” must close by Wednesday evening, but what exactly constitutes […]

Secretary Esper: DOD to Telework as ‘Long as Necessary’

Esper: DOD to Telework as ‘Long as Necessary’ Posted on 3/25/2020 U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Chairman of the Joint Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon “CZ” Colon-Lopez conducted a virtual town hall on Tuesday, providing an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the U.S. military. Esper outlined three primary […]

Update on Administration Efforts on COVID-19 (03/23/20)

Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order providing the authority to address, if necessary, hoarding that threatens the supply of necessary health and medical resources. This includes the action of hoarding unnecessary quantities of items for the purpose of selling them above the fair market value. To implement the order, the President has delegated to […]

Dr. Richard Stone, VA Executive in Charge: VA is here for Veterans during COVID-19

Message from Dr. Richard Stone, VA Executive in Charge: VA is here for Veterans during COVID-19 Watch the full video here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72834/dr-richard-stone-va-executive-charge-va-veterans-covid-19/ VA has always been here for Veterans — and we will continue to be here for you during the COVID-19 crisis. Whether you need a prescription, telemedicine or in-person care, you can rely […]

Message from Veterans Health Administration: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for March 19, 2020

Message from Veterans Health Administration: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for March 19, 2020 Latest VHA guidance:  https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/index.asp Latest video from Dr. Stone:  https://youtu.be/6TKRU0nm8qo Latest Vantage Point entry:  https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72757/secretary-va-ready-for-covid-19-pandemic/ Latest CDC Guidance:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html Latest social media entries (if any, from SecVA, USHVHA, or @DeptVetAffairs): https://twitter.com/DeptVetAffairs/status/1240707304774717440?s=20 and https://twitter.com/USHVHA/status/1240669447247081472?s=20 and https://twitter.com/SecWilkie/status/1239635837840752640?s=20 Please follow VHA on social media channels […]