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With this series of short informative videos, WNMU-TV and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency are working together to raise awareness of benefits and resources available to our state's veterans.

Vet Chat features Jason Allen, Senior Policy Advisor at the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and is hosted by WNMU’s Eric Smith. The series is produced and directed by Bob Thomson.


Broadcast Schedule:
Vet Chat videos are 2 to 3 minutes long and are shown at various times between regularly scheduled programs on Public TV 13, Channel 13.1.

Watch Vet Chat online by clicking on the player links for each episode listed below.
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Program Topics:

Pictured: Brig. Gen. Michael Stone, Michigan National Guard Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program
The State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) provides up to $4,500 per academic year to active members of the Michigan National Guard. The STAP can provide assistance to students attending any public or private college, university, vocational school, technical school or trade school located in Michigan. Current Guard members can get more information on the program by calling 517-481-7640, or going online to michiganveterans.com. For information on joining the National Guard, call 800-GOGUARD. Guest: Brig. Gen. Michael Stone, Michigan National Guard.
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Pictured: Jason Allen Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty, or eligible survivors of veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease. To learn more about the program and eligibility requirements call 800-MICHVETS or go to michiganveterans.com. Guest: Jason Allen, Senior Policy Advisor, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
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Pictured: Eric Smith and Jason Allen Michigan Veterans Homeowners Assistance Program
The Michigan Attorney General targeted funds from the National Mortgage Settlement to assist military service members and veterans with issues related to the foreclosure crisis. The Michigan Veterans Homeowners Assistance Program (MiVHAP) will provide financial grant assistance to active military service members; Reserve, Air and Army National Guard, and honorably discharged Veterans living or having lived in a home in Michigan. Grants are subject to approval based on program criteria. The MiVHAP may also assist with residual effects related to the foreclosure crisis, since 2006. Eligible surviving spouses of military service members, whose deaths have been deemed to be combat related since 2006, may also be provided financial assistance. For more information call 800-MICHVETS or go to michiganveterans.com. Guest: Jason Allen, Senior Policy Advisor, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
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Pictured: Eric Smith and Jason Allen, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Housing Assistance
Jason Allen, Senior Policy Advisor, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, talks about housing assistance programs for Veterans in financial crisis, and gives tips on eligibility and the application process. For more information, go online to michiganveterans.com or call 800-MICHVETS.
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Pictured: Jason Allen, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Healthcare for Veterans
Jason Allen, Senior Policy Advisor, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, explains healthcare programs for Veterans, and recent eligibility changes that make it possible for more Veterans to qualify for benefits. For more information, go online to michiganveterans.com or call 800-MICHVETS.
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Pictured: Jim Dunn, Deputy Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
Volunteers Support Veterans
Jim Dunn, Deputy Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency talks about the roles that volunteers play in services for Veterans, and how citizens can support the Vets. For more information, go online to michiganveterans.com or call 800-MICHVETS.
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Pictured: Eric Smith and Jason Allen
Survivors Benefits
Jason Allen explains the history of U.S. military survivors benefits, also known as widow's pensions, designed to support spouses of combat-era veterans. He also gives tips on how to get assistance with the application process.
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Pictured: Jason Allen
Aid and Attendance
Jason Allen discusses a program designed for combat-era vets over the age of 65 that can support families and supplement a veteran’s income. He also suggests resources for dealing with the complex application process.
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Pictured: Jason Allen on the set of Vet Chat Presumptive Diseases
Jason Allen defines presumptive diseases related to wartime service since World War I, lists some diseases that are covered for current vets, especially those that served in Viet Nam, and explains how vets can find out if they qualify for a pension and medical benefits.
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Pictured: Jason Allen on the set of Vet Chat Michigan Veterans Trust Fund
The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund offers financial assistance to combat-era Michigan veterans who are in peril or have emergency needs. Jason Allen explains how to contact the Veterans Trust office in your county. For more information or to apply, go online to michiganveterans.com or call 906-226-3576.
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Pictured: Jason Allen and Eric Smith on the set of Vet Chat Veteran Elder Care
Jason Allen, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, discusses the excellent long term care facilities available for veterans in Michigan and Wisconsin who need care and housing due to age, illness or physical challenges. More information can be found online at michiganveterans.com, or www.dav.state.wi.us/homes, or call 906-226-3565.
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Pictured: Jason Allen and Eric Smith on the set of Vet Chat Military Records
Veterans or their families can research historic military records, including service records for individual veterans, and information about specific battles their unit was involved in. Jason Allen, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, explains how anyone can access information at the National Archives, online at www.archives.gov/veterans, or call 906-226-3565 for more information.
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You can find more information about resources and benefits for veterans at michigan.gov/veterans.

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