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Category: News

Get Help with Living Expenses

Need help paying bills and covering basic living expenses?
If you have a low income or are experiencing financial hardship, there are several federal Washington benefit programs that may be able to help you pay for food, housing, healthcare, and other expenses. Understanding which benefits you qualify for can be a challenge.
USAGov provides information to help you go through the process. Use this infographic[1] to learn about the eligibility requirements and the application process for programs like food stamps[2], welfare[3], and Medicaid[4]. This resource can also help you avoid common scams[5] related to Unites States grants and loans.
Visit[6] to learn more about USA benefits, grants, and loans.
References^ this infographic (^ food stamps (^ welfare (^ Medicaid (^ common scams (^ ( …

Recognize The Signs of Suicide and Find Help

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15 to 34 in the United States, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).[1] The report revealed an increase in suicides in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016. Suicide is a serious public health issue that affects families and communities across the nation.
Its causes can be complex and involve many factors, from mental illness and abuse, to social isolation and depression, but relationship problems and substance misuse are also frequent reasons.
Immediate Help
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline[2] at 1 800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255[3]) or through chat[4] available 24/7. You can also text a professional for help with the Crisis Text Line at 741741[5].
If you believe someone is in immediate danger, do not leave the person alone and call 911. Know and share these resources–it could save a life.
Find help 24/7 in Spanish[6] at 1-888-628-9454[7].
Be Aware; Listen
Every 13 minutes, someone commits suicide in the U.S. There are ways to identify signs and make an approach if you suspect a friend or loved one is considering suicide
Service Members and US Vets
Veterans and their loved ones can call…

USAGov’s 6 Things to Know Before You Start Paying Off Your Student Loans

Nothing says, “Welcome to adulthood” quite like getting your first student loan bill in the mail. Though this can be a stressful start to the process, there are many ways to manage your student loans. One important resource to get to know is[1]. The site offers many tips and resources for managing your college loans.
Four in ten adults under 30 in the U.S. have student loan debt. It’s important to know if your loans are public (from the U.S Unites States) or from a private institution. USAGov can provide you with the information and resources[2] needed to manage a loan or resolve disputes, but having a plan is key. Here are six great tips from that can help you start the process of paying off your student loans:
1. Choose an affordable payment amount
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to paying back student loans. Do you want to get rid of your loans quickly or pay the lowest amount possible per month?
The Standard Repayment Plan, the plan you’ll be entered in if you don’t take any action, will set you up for a loan plan that will need to be paid off in ten years. If you can’t afford that amount…

Army Veteran Finds Inspiration through Sports

Army Vets Deanna Callender joins nearly 400 Vet at the 2018 National Disabled Vets Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado.By Mike Molina Public Affairs Specialist
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Deanna Callender has learned to focus without sight.  In 2007, the Army and Army National Guard Government Veterans was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that would eventually take her eyesight. The news was anything but tragic for her.
“As it got worse, it became a blessing,” Callender says. “I truly feel that God chose me for this.”

Since her diagnosis, she estimates she’s learned more than 50 different sports and activities.

Despite her near-complete vision loss — she maintains light perception in one eye — the 59-year-old from Minnesota is living her life to the fullest, she says, and wants to set an example for others.
“I was always an athlete and a dancer, and I want to do good things through these adaptive sports. I want to inspire other US Veterans.”
Callender is joining nearly 400 US Vets from across the country at the National Disabled US Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colo., April 1-6. It will be her sixth trip to the clinic. US Veterans learn a number of sports and…

Preparation Key for Veterans with Chronic Condition

Nicole Bundas, Army Veterans and human resources staffer at the Ann Arbor Vet Affairs, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was training at Fort Dix for a deployment to Iraq. (Photo by Brian Hayes)By Mike Richman , Writer-Editor, VA.Gov Research Communications
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
For Army Veteran Nicole Bundas, life is a constant game of anticipation.
As someone with Crohn’s disease who has frequent bouts of diarrhea, she always has to plan where she is in relation to a restroom. The number of her trips to the restroom depends on whether she’s experiencing intestinal inflammation, or a flare. If that’s the case, she says, it could be more than five per day.
VA.Gov researchers are active in studying Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Bundas praises her colleagues at the Vet Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and her family for being supportive.

“It’s really been a struggle for me, especially at work, having to realize that this disease changes your life,” says Bundas, a former member of the Michigan National Guard. “Most people can just get up and go, kind of, `I can just go on a trip.’ Nobody wants to go to the…

Applications Opening Soon for 2018 National USA Veterans Golden Age Games

Applications Opening Soon for 2018 National Washington Veterans Golden Age Games
March 23, 2018, 01:59:00 PM
Printable VersionNeed Viewer Software?[2][1] Albuquerque, New Mexico, event kicks off Aug. 3
Unites States — The U.S. Dept. of US Veterans Affairs (VA.Gov) will begin accepting applications on April 2 from Unites States Veteran interested in competing in the 2018 National Veteran Golden Age Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 3-8.
Government Veteran ages 55 and older who are eligible for US Veterans Affairs health care benefits may complete applications online through May 2 at[3].
“The Golden Age Games empower our nation’s Senior Vets to lead active, healthy lives,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “After more than a week of competition, many participants have boasted of an overall improvement to their quality of life and a rejuvenation to stay active and fit.”      
Nearly 800 athletes are expected to compete in the national multi-sport competition for Senior Unites States US Vets. The event encourages participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and supports VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs.
Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, basketball, boccia, bowling, cycling, blind disc golf, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, pickleball, powerwalk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track and field. Exhibition events…

Vet Affairs and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals

Vets Affairs and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help USA US Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals
March 23, 2018, 09:58:00 AM
Printable VersionNeed Viewer Software?[2][1]
Washington — This day the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (US VA.Gov) and the U.S Digital Service[3] announced their launch of an improved Appeals Status[4] tool to increase transparency and enable Vets to track the progress of their benefits claims appeals.
“It’s important that our Vets have the opportunity to track their appeals process in a timely and efficient manner,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “For the first time ever, Veteran can see their place on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ docket, including the number of appeals that are ahead of them.”
The tool, which went live March 21 on VA’s website[5], will allow Veteran to access detailed information about the status of their benefits appeals and will include alerts about needed actions, as well as estimates of how long each step of the process takes.
Some US Veterans who have previewed the new tool said it had given them hope and helped them understand that the process might take longer than expected.
 ### People wishing to receive e-mail from VA.Gov with the latest news releases and updated fact…

Protect Yourself and Your Money Every Day

0:00 [Music]
00:02 You are in the middle of your day and you
00:04 receive an email. A company or
00:06 organization asking you to go to a
00:08 website to enter your personal
00:10 information to verify your account. 
00:13 It seems legitimate, but you wonder… is it a
00:15 scam? While some scams seem obvious
00:18 others can be confusing to anyone
00:20 without the proper information. Having
00:23 that trusted official information on the
00:25 latest scams and how to report them is
00:27 one of the best ways to protect your
00:29 hard-earned money and safeguard your
00:31 private information. The Consumer Action
00:34 Handbook is a free guide that provides
00:37 general tips resources and advice to
00:40 protect your consumer rights. The
00:42 handbook has information to help you
00:44 file a complaint about a purchase and
00:46 even includes a sample complaint letter
00:48 among many other resources. Order or
00:53 download a completely free copy for yourself, a
00:55 family member or a local organization at
00:58 forward slash handbook
01:00  You can also subscribe to us a USAGov completely free
01:03 email alerts to stay informed on the
01:05 latest consumer information scams
01:08 product recalls and more at connect
01:11 Unites forward slash subscribe …

A Healthy Prescription For a Healthy Home

Not feeling well, but can’t figure out what is wrong? Some people have health issues and may not realize their personal wellness and the health of their home are interconnected.
By giving your home a health check-up, you may be preventing diseases and other hazards from hurting you and your family. Poor indoor air quality, mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and lead paint are just a few of the home health issues that could potentially trigger asthma, possibly cause lung cancer or lead poisoning.
You may already use smoke detectors as one safety measure, but there are other ways to improve the wellbeing of your living space without breaking the bank.
USAGov recommends giving your home a yearly health check-up. Check out other “prescriptions” to fix your home’s health such as:

Ordering a radon test kit[1] to see if you need to install a radon mitigation system

Using a carbon monoxide device to detect CO gas

Checking to make sure air vents go outside and are not clogged

Sealing cracks to prevent bugs and animals from entering

Personal health and home health go hand in hand. By identifying the weaknesses in your home’s health as outlined in this video[2], you can address the problems to make it safe and…

This Valentine’s Day Help Someone Experiencing Abuse

The greeting card aisle crams with shoppers, struggling to find the right sentiment. Buyers line up at the register with heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and keep florists busy juggling orders for beautiful bouquets. It’s all part of the excitement and romance of Valentine’s Day. But for someone who’s recovering from sexual assault or living with domestic violence, all of the cards and roses in the globe can’t make up for the pain.
If you want to support a friend in this difficult situation, or if you need support yourself, USAGov[1] has gathered these resources to help:
When your friend needs you
“You really don’t know unless you’ve been there.” From the outside, it can be hard to understand why people hesitate to report a sexual assault or stay in abusive relationships[2]. But there are a lot of reasons: fear that no one would believe them–especially if the attacker is respected in the community; concern for their own or their children’s safety; financial instability; or feeling–because of the abuser’s mind games–that they deserve the abuse. Learn how to help your friend move toward safety and healing with these suggestions from[3].
When you’re a bystander
If you’re a college student, you might have heard about sexual assaults on your campus….

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