Air Force Vet Brandon With Multiple Disabilities Seeks Home Ownership Aid
by Brandon Beavers
(Diamond Bar, California, USA)
My name is Brandon Beavers. I am a veteran of the US Air force and I'm now 50% service-connected.
Briefly, I would just like to take a moment into the past. My release of active duty date was October 1995. I was young… 25, inexperienced and uninformed, about many of my veteran benefits.
Back then, there weren't any military exiting programs, explaining what would be available to veterans, when it came to employment, disability compensation, home loans, etc.
It just so happened, approximately 10 years after leaving the military, I was at Loma Linda VA Medical hospital to get a new ID card.
I was working, as I have always, and knew just one thing: that I at least needed my VA veteran ID card to show I was a veteran, in case I was asked, or some kind of discount was available during any of my life's transactions.
As I was finishing up, -the patient representative asked me if I was service-connected.
At the VA Hospital in Redlands, CA I was asked had I incurred any injuries while active duty. I responded, well yeah, I'm a vet, and have my ID card (here I thought service-connected meant simply being a vet who served in the US military).
But he then said that being service-connected actually means that a veteran has applied to the VA for disability compensation for an injury they believed they sustained while serving active duty.
He explained further that the VA assigned a disability rating, for the veteran to be receiving monetary compensation, monthly, typically for life.
I was shocked and stunned! I never heard that in my life, up to that point! Immediately, my permanently damaged foot, with several chronic issues, came to mind, plus the ringing in my ears, my acquired allergic rhinitis, leg and knee injuries, etc.
So, in 2005, I began my compensation application and focused my attention into learning all I could about my veteran benefits.
Today at 45, my disabilities have worsened, and my doctors, chief of podiatry at Loma Linda VA and my orthopaedic doctor inform me that my conditions will continue to deteriorate as I get older. I already use supportive devices for my feet, and a cane is probable for my future.Financial Hardship
During that time, my wife and I were newlyweds, with five children and me struggling to climb financially at the company I was working for.
I felt that I was behind the "eight ball" because if had I known of benefits 5 to 10 years earlier in my life, I believe my family would be better off.
Currently, this year 2015, I finished my education in August 2015, accruing $35,000 student debt to add to credit card debt, pushing our total debt well beyond $50,000.
We now have hardly any savings, and nearly live pay check to pay check. Most of my income goes to pay bills and groceries, and soon student loans, with very little to do much else.Income Efforts
In California the cost of living is astronomical, and I am the only wage earner, as my wife takes care of the kids at the house.
On top of that my physical disabilities are worsening, not allowing me to do the physical activities I used to do, such as playing basketball and running at the park with my younger kids.
I have feelings of frustration and defeat many days, because my employment income is insufficient (taking home $3400 for a family of 7) and, as a family, we would be financially under if I didn't receive my VA compensation, which is just over $1000 a month.
We do not have a home to call our own, because we rent from my mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, but as a man I'd like to be able to provide a home for my children and grandchildren.Specific Needs
I'm looking for financial assistance with home ownership, paying down or paying off student/education loans, help with monthly bills, and groceries which continues to become a concern, (7 mouths to feed).
These are the major financial needs, but any assistance or benefits that could help in acquiring a permanent home for my wife and children, and the opportunity to pay off debt/loans would be greatly appreciated.Business Idea
I have a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources Management, but have not utilized it to its full potential. My only business idea would be to one day run my own HR consulting business, but many thousands of dollars would be needed, for web page development, and finances needed to sustain my family in the interim. Successful businesses take 3-5 years to cultivate.