Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

You can help get the Coast Guard paid

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More than 42,000 U.S. Coast Guard members are feeling the financial impact of this current government shutdown as they are not getting paid. Yet, they continue to work in effort to protect our nation's security.

Let your voice be heard and help get our Coast Guard paid.

The American Legion is urging all Americans to contact their elected officials in the House of Representatives and demand the immediate passage of H.R. 367, Pay Our Coast Guard Act, so it can then be passed by the Senate and sent to President Trump to be signed into law.

To speak to your member of Congress and support getting the Coast Guard paid, call (202) 224-3121.

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Your donations make American Legion TFA grants possible

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The American Legion has been providing immediate financial assistance to active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members with minor children in the home who have been affected by the current government shutdown. More than 1,000 American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) grant applications have been received at Ameican Legion National Headquarters from Coast Guard families since Jan. 15, with more TFA requests coming in every day.

American Legion TFA grants help minor children in the home of active-duty servicemembers or current American Legion members with assistance for the costs of shelter, food, utilities, clothing, and health expenses during times of financial need. TFA provides one-time grants of up to $1,500 per eligible household.

Your generosity to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation is what make these grants possible. The foundation supports veterans and military families in need, as well as American Legion service officers who provide free VA benefits and health care assistance to veterans.

You can help The American Legion continue to provide financial assistance to Coast Guard families during this crisis, as well as for veterans and military families in need now and in the future. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation.

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Chairman Takano Announces Committee Members for 116th Congress

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WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) released the following statement announcing the Democratic Members who will serve on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Committee during the 116th Congress.    “I am pleased to welcome the new Members who will make up the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and look forward to continuing our work to improve access to care, expand earned benefits, and protect whistleblowers and student veterans. Our Committee’s membership will showcase the diversity of our nations' veterans including a Congresswoman who served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, an Army veteran representing the Northern Mariana Islands, an Army Ranger, National Guardsman, Navy veteran whose father served in Vietnam, and a Marine Corps JAG. As our nation’s veteran population changes, our Committee will remain focused on meeting veterans challenges and working to prepare VA for the future.”    House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Members:    - Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41) - Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26) - Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-04) - Congressman Conor Lamb (PA-17) - Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) - Congressman Max Rose (NY-11) - Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) - Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39) - Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03) - Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) - Congressman Joe Cunningham (SC-01) - Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) - Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) - Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) - Congressman Collin Peterson (MN-07) - Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands)   ###

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How to apply for an American Legion TFA grant

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With the government shutdown creating a critical need of monetary assistance for active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members, The American Legion is working with Coast Guard Mutual Assistance to provide immediate financial support through the Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program.

American Legion TFA grants help minor children in the home of active-duty servicemembers or current American Legion members with assistance for the costs of shelter, food, utilities, clothing, and health expenses during times of financial need. The grants help keep the children in a more stable environment during a time of hardship. To provide expedited assistance to Coast Guards members during the government shutdown, American Legion National Headquarters has authorized the use of an abbreviated TFA application for use with active duty Coast Guard members only with minor children in the home, and only for the duration of the current government shutdown.

The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance has these abbreviated applications, as well as American Legion departments.

TFA provides one-time grants of up to $1,500 per eligible household. Once National Headquarters has received and approved a TFA application for a Coast Guard member, a check will be overnighted directly to the family in need.

If you are an active-duty Coast Guard member with a minor child in the home and are in need of an American Legion TFA grant during this shutdown, please contact Coast Guard Mutual Assistance or your American Legion department or local post. For a list of departments and posts, please click here.

Questions on eligibility or how to apply for a grant may be directed to (800) 504-4098.

The normal American Legion TFA application is available for the minor children of military and veteran families in need of financial assistance. For more information on how to receive assistance, please click here.

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Renew six members to receive Reistad’s incentive pin

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American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad will now award his "Membership Excellence: Team 100" incentive pin to any Legion Family member who renews six Legionnaires for the 2019 membership year.

“While it’s essential for all of us to continue recruiting, it’s just as important to renew our members,” Reistad said during his remarks to the Membership and Post Activities Committee in Indianapolis last Friday. To increase renewal rates, Reistad emphasized that “engagement is the key to renewals. Engagement is particularly important when we’re dealing with DMS members and members that have signed up through our website. If you are not engaged with them and put them into a local post, they are not going to renew."

The commander’s incentive pin also will continue to be awarded to any Legion Family member who obtains three new members into The American Legion. A new member is any eligible person joining for the 2019 membership year who was not a member of The American Legion during the 2018 membership year.

Download the renewal form here or at

Leading candidate for national commander James W. “Bill” Oxford of North Carolina added that “we need to ensure the renewal of every member … can we do it? I know we can. The future of The American Legion depends on it. It depends on us.”

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.