Success Story: How WAServes Assisted Veteran Unable To Pay For Home Office Equipment For A New Job
- Veteran with service-connected disabilities lands job but needs financial assistance for required home office equipment
- WAServes Care Coordinator manages case, ensuring proper follow-up with several benefit sources and WAServes providers
- Lacey Veterans Services Hub finds assistance for home office equipment and water utilities
Contacting WAServes Network for Veterans Benefits
A female veteran was seeking employment for one year. She has 90% service-connected disabilities and severe allergies (masks do not offer full prevention), and she was searching for employment that did not involve working with the public.
This veteran found employment where she could telecommute from her home. Unfortunately, she needed to supply her home office equipment: a headset, keyboard, large monitor, and office chair. She also needed an ergonomic keyboard for her wrist. She contacted WAServes to identify veterans benefits that may assist her with equipment required for her new job.
Tracking of Assistance Efforts for Veteran
A WAServes Care Coordinator followed-up with the veteran, who was in her vehicle and could not talk long. The veteran assured the Care Coordinator that she would try to visit or call the Lacey Veterans Services Hub. During this contact, the Care Coordinator informed the veteran that a referral was sent on her behalf to the Thurston County WorkSource. This WorkSource provider would assist the veteran with financial assistance through the WIOA Adult Program.
Connecting Veteran to WIOA
The Thurston County WorkSource informed the veteran that she was eligible for services through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Veterans and eligible spouses can be recipients of public assistance with WIOA funds. The Care Coordinator followed up with the veteran, who was waiting for a Thurston County WorkSource representative to explain how WIOA will help her purchase the items. The veteran her told that she was not sure how things were going to work.
The Care Coordinator advised the veteran to make an appointment with the Thurston County WorkSource representative. Time was of the essence; the veteran had limited time to get the equipment she needed because she was starting her new job very soon.
Seeking Financial Assistance for Utility Bills
The veteran had a secondary need: unpaid utility bills. The Lacey Veterans Services Hub worked on the problem with her, connecting her to the Veterans Family Fund of America. This fund could assist in paying for her outstanding utility bills, but the veteran needed to reach out to this program.
The Care Coordinator advised the veteran that all programs require application and screening for eligibility, so she should make contact soon to see if eligible for services. The veteran stated she would act in the next couple of days.
Searching for Alternate Resources, No Stone Unturned
The veteran was contacted by the Thurston County Work Source representative who forwarded her to WIOA for assistance. The Care Coordinator also spoke to Vocational Rehab for aid while the veteran continued working with WIOA. The Care Coordinator contacted Vocational Rehab and the American Legion to see if they can also help with the veteran’s work needs. The Care Coordinator also monitored the assistance for the veteran’s past due utility bills.
After a few days, the veteran was contacted by a representative in the WIOA office, informing her that they could not see her for several days. The veteran was unable to provide confirmation information on official company letterhead that listed her new employment acceptance and equipment needs. The veteran was frustrated with everything being done online. She had only an email, telling her to show up to orientation.
The Care Coordinator contacted the veteran, who had an appointment with WIOA for work equipment needs. If WIOA does not work out, the veteran may have another resource through Lacey Veterans Service Hub. The veteran still had not reached out to the organization that would help her with utilities. She was busy with other issues.
The veteran contacted the Care Coordinator. She explained how WIOA connected the veteran to a federally funded program, so there are a lot of pieces that must be put together. The veteran said there was a small amount of paperwork to copy and print, but it was complete. The veteran had to attend an orientation and submit paperwork.
Losing Water Utilities, Potentially Electricity
The Care Coordinator reached out again to the veteran who shared she wasn’t sure about the status of assistance with her utilities. She thought it was going to be taken care of through the Veterans Family Assistance Fund, but it did not happen. As a result, her water was shut off.
The Veteran earned extra money to pay to have her water turned back on, but now her power was going to be shut off in a week. The Care Coordinator advised her to call her point of contact who was handling her utility payment. The good news? The veteran said her first day of work went well.
Receiving Home Office Equipment and Utilities Assistance
The Lacey Veterans Services Hub’s Navigation Services arranged for the veteran’s equipment and the utilities. She received private assistance with her work supplies. She now had heat and water. She expressed her thankfulness to the WAServes Care Coordinator for the diligent follow-ups, ensuring the veteran was working with the different programs helping with her new equipment needs and utility bills.
Lessons learned? WIOA takes a minimum of three to four weeks to process these kinds of requests after you get into the program. WIOA is not a quick fix for veterans who need help in ten days. But it all worked out in the end for this veteran.
Offering Veterans and Their Families Access to a Continuum of Providers
WAServes offers services and resources to service members, veterans and their families in areas of employment, emergency fund assistance, housing and transportation, education, benefits and legal aid, health and wellness, spiritual and caregiver support, mentoring and even volunteer opportunities.
If you are a Veteran, Spouse, or Spouse Survivor and need assistance from the WAServes network, click here.