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Texas Unmet Needs assistance program.

Military members, veterans, and their immediate family members can all receive financial assistance from programs offered by the Department of Texas, Veterans Of Foreign Wars. The primary program this government organization administers is known as Unmet Needs. Emergency financial and public assistance for paying for basic needs such as rent, utilities, car repairs, mortgages, and much more can be provided for current and recently discharged military members and their immediate families. Assistance is offered to qualifying veterans, surviving spouses, dependent children, spouses, and dependent parents.

If you need help, look into the Texas Unmet Needs program. This can provide cash assistance, public aid and funds to qualified applicants. All assistance is provided in the form of grants. This means that recipients don’t need to repay the money as they would if it had been a loan. Up to $2,500.00 is paid out to help offset unexpected expenses and bills that are specifically related to military service or deployment.

In order to qualify for assistance, the reason that people fell behind on their bills and need help can’t be caused by their own misdoings. For example, if a military member was careless and ran up excessive utility bills then they can’t then apply for a grant from the Unmet Needs program.

While the financial assistance provided is wide ranging, some of the basic needs that can be applied for can help with one or more of the following.

  • Housing assistance and expenses, including mortgage and rent payments, home insurance, and repairs.
  • Utility bills – This can include water, electric, cooling bills, and reconnection fees.
  • Food and clothing expenses, such as groceries, clothing for school or work, household products, and similar items.
  • Car and auto expenses – Repairs to cars, auto insurance, and loan payments can be provided by Unmet Needs.
  • Medical bills – Grants can be applied for expenses such as prescription medications, doctor bills or eyeglasses.
  • Childcare expenses including diapers, formula, clothing, school supplies, or daycare expenses.




Terms of the Texas Unmet Needs program

The Texas Veterans Of Foreign Wars can provide help with the expenses and bills listed above, and much more. The primary objective of the program is to help military members, veterans and people who have been recently discharged pay their bills and get back on track. Individuals who are faced with financial difficulties or a crisis due to military service are the recipients of the aid.

The money is not provided to the applicant; however it is paid out directly to the creditors or the person who is owed the money. Other public benefits and vouchers may be provided too. For example, an applicant can be awarded Wal-Mart or other retail gift cards, vouchers and certificates for use in buying items such as clothing or food.

Members from all five branches of the military service may apply, including the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Both current members and veterans can apply. Also members of the Reserves and National Guard are eligible for funds.

The Veterans Of Foreign Wars also has extensive information on longer term solutions as well. So while Unmet Needs can provide grants for paying bills, but that in itself will not fully address a crisis. So the organization can refer individuals to various programs and non-profits in Texas that can help with credit repair, debt reduction, budgeting workshops, and financial counseling.




Another program offered in Texas is Operation Uplink. This will help keep hospitalized veterans and military personnel in touch with their families and other loved ones during deployment or a hospital stay. Individuals can receive a free phone card that will help them stay in contact with their families.

The program was created in the mid 1990s and the goal is to connect military personnel, including active-duty troops and veterans, as well as hospitalized veterans, with their loved ones. It relies on contributions from generous members of the local Texas community and charities to purchase phone time and cards for the men and women who are serving our country and the state.

Using those donations and contributions from supporters and businesses in the community, Operation Uplink then purchases phone cards and then distributes them to servicemen and women who are separated from their loved ones and others that they care about.

To learn more or to apply for Operation Uplink or Unmet Needs, call the Department of Texas, Veterans Of Foreign Wars. The office is at 8503 N. I-35, Austin, Texas 78753, dial 800-997-7096.



By Jon McNamara

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