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Grant Help For Disabled Navy Veteran To Recertify For Paying Job As Welder

by Susan Andres
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)

My name is Susan, or Susie for short. I reside in San Antonio, Texas with Ken, my husband of three years.

We both grew up in a close-knit town in New Jersey and have known each other since 8th grade. We lost touch after graduation and then found each other 28 years later on Facebook.

I moved to Texas and we married. I now have eight stepchildren. Only two are still at home. Ashley is 17 and Michael is 15. By the way Ken and I are both 50. How time flies.

Ken is a Navy Veteran, which I am really proud of, as I am a very proud daughter of a Korean and Vietnam Veteran. My father retired from the military after 24 years. He then put in 28 years with the Department of Defense for a total of 52 years of service. He is now 81 and such a character.


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Disability Issues

I am disabled. I suffer from PTSD. It surfaced from a severe traumatic event in my childhood. I have always been depressed and withdrawn. After getting married to Ken I finally sought therapy and am under a doctor's care for medications.

I have been declared totally disabled yet have been denied disability. My case goes to court in April. I am also diabetic. I take so many medications.

My husband Ken was honorably discharged in 1996 from the Navy with a compensation of $735 per month. His rate is 40 percent disabled. He is ADD and takes Vyvanse to help him get by.

My 15-year-old stepson Michael has several disabilities. I am currently looking for options for him as he gets older so he will be will excel into adulthood.

Financial Hardship

Our family has always been low middle class. But our marriage and family life was good. Our world fell apart starting in November when our vehicle broke.

Our credit wasn't good and we had no down payment for a good car. Unfortunately we got swindled by a used car lot that financed us for $400 a month.

It began to have problems right away. My husband is mechanically efficient and he was always buying parts that we couldn't afford.

Ken was a welder in the Navy and has many awards, letters of commendation, certifications and medals of his service and trade. He never recertified over the years and worked a welder as a civilian until December of 2013.

With 29 years experience, he lost his job on December 16th and he was shell-shocked. He has never had to apply for unemployment or aid from the state. He was clueless and still is.

We were broke and the kids had no Christmas. It was very depressing and scary for us all. Both of us are disabled with no money, and in need of costly medications for three of us.

His health benefits soon ran out on December 31. Our bank account is $700 overdrawn. The radiator and water pump in our van broke. Everything just is happening all at once for us. God is testing my strength at this point.

Income Efforts

Ken applied for unemployment online. He made an error and they took long to notify him and had to refile. We are currently still waiting.

We have had only $735 since his loss of employment, and that was from his disability pension. We also applied for Medicaid. That was delayed due to them requiring documentations from my physicians that I was totally disabled. So that is still pending also.

Food stamps were denied due to his income from unemployment amounts, although we haven't received a check yet.

Both of our parents are on a fixed income and we were too proud to tell them of our situation. Our utilities are behind as everything else is.

I surfed the Internet and got phone numbers a mile long for assistance, from veteran's help to county help to donations.

I have been referred from agency to agency, to "no longer working numbers" or automated systems that came up zero.

My concern is for my husband. I have called numerous Disabled Veterans, VFWs and other agencies, all with no success, just more referrals.

The employment rate is very good here and my husband attended a workshop class for unemployment. He is always looking for welding jobs, as it is his highly skilled trade of 29 years. It is his passion.

To obtain employment again he must recertify in all areas of trade. He hasn't certified in over 10 years, as his former employer didn't require him to so.

Due to the length of time passed, he doesn't qualify for the GI Bill or State funding since he didn't enlist in the State of Texas.

He wants to further his trade status of a welder to welding instructor, welding supervisor or welding engineer. He is very qualified in every aspect of welding but needs his certifications to apply for higher-paying jobs.

We both have done our homework on the costs and they are very high. It seems like every door is being closed for us. I will not give up. I have been online for hours today searching for grants and such.

That's when I stumbled upon your webpage and decided to give it a shot. :) With him being the sole provider for the family he has to have a better income than he had in his former job.

We are strapped with bills that are mounting and it will be hard to catch up. Ken needs extensive dental work also. There is so much going on all at once; both of our heads are spinning.

Our disabilities are suffering from it also. I hope God is listening to me as I type this!

Specific Needs

As he is a disabled veteran, our needs are to gain benefits and assistance to further his skilled trade by certifications or even better, obtaining financial aid for him to get his Bachelor's Degree in Welding.

I have been glued to the computer day and night looking for grants. I have never applied for a grant, or aid before and am overwhelmed with confusion.

My family is in a crisis as I type this, as I am not sure of what tomorrow will bring. I feel helpless, as I cannot contribute due to awaiting my appeal for Disability in April.

The only thing that has happened for the good is that I found an agency that provided free Vyvanse to those who are without income. It was a blessing because this medication is very expensive even when we had insurance. The copay was high.

So a tiny bit of sunshine came about in our little corner of the world. If this is published and it is read, we ask for your prayers and also advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you to Don for letting me voice myself. God Bless.

Comments for Grant Help For Disabled Navy Veteran To Recertify For Paying Job As Welder

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Feb 21, 2014
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Well!
by: Ken

Dear Susie and Ken,

I am so happy for you guys! It really helps to finish the fight. It's just the rules you have to know.

God Bless,
Ken

Feb 21, 2014
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Well!
by: Anonymous

This is going to come to an end someday. I got three emails saying I was awarded three scholarships. Well I laughed and submitted my info knowing my phone would ring soon, and it did. I asked the first one "Okay how much is this going to cost? We don't have a cent and we aren't able to even think student loans." He said I was awarded a grant and he wasn't about to ask me for anything. I may do some home studying online. I love my stepson who is special needs so that is a thought.. Special Olympics. And now that I did all this for my family with Ability-Mission.org, I may just partner up with Mr Coggan and volunteer and help others.

Feb 21, 2014
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:)
by: Anonymous

I got my writing skills from my dad.

Feb 21, 2014
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Update from Susan
by: Don from Ability-Mission.org

Just received from Susan...

"Well, under the new GI bill, Ken is eligible for a government-funded grant. Our house is rented and it needs a ton of work so we fall under the Home Weatherization program, because while he's unemployed we qualify and the landlord is thrilled. I found the site and printed the forms. I also found a car dealer who gets grants to supply disabled vets with new cars. And I got a call from Washington DC today. Ken got a grant. My story is all over the place. He is going to get his welder license renewed. He's got his spark back. It's a private organization that provides our disabled vets with anything they need. I found them by accident. I am going to share your resources I saved with a Navy disabled vet who doesn't believe any of this. I am going to help her along!!!"

Congratulations, Susan for believing, for persisting, for not giving up!

Feb 18, 2014
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Thank you Ken again
by: Anonymous

I have saved each messege that comes in. You are one terrific person.

God Bless you, Ken and Susie

Feb 18, 2014
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The Shuffle
by: Ken

Hi Susie,

I know what the shuffle is. Here's how I've been able to fight it and you can too. Each time you email one of them and get an answer, keep it and forward your message that you received from them to the next place they shuffle you to. This way you can explain to them that you were sent to the other.

This way you have proof as do they, nobody wants to have to make a commitment. After you have all of the proof of the runaround you are having then send all of that to the Congress or Senator. Forward their message as well. Just keep everything in your emails in your forward messages.

Everyone will be able to see what each other said. If some of them decide to delete, or just send you new stuff with no previous messages, go back and attach the old ones. Don't let them give you the shuffle, I have been going through it for years. I have had some wins and some have not finished. Keep fighting Susie and Ken!

Talk to you soon,
Ken

Feb 17, 2014
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Our latest news
by: Susie

Well, our case with Health and Human Services gas been lost. The three kids got Medicaid but we dd not. Our van broke down, which is another icing on the cake. I have, however, written to my Senator, Congressman, federal agencies, Government officials and such. Hundreds of e-mails. I am getting replies from Congress and a Senator of Texas. I know if my family crossed the border we would have had immediately has everything handed to us. As I said I will give not give up. By the way, the Veteran's Administration or any other affiliated veteran's agency or disabled have shuffled me from one agency to another.

Feb 09, 2014
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Thank you Ken
by: Anonymous

Your help is wonderful, and we appreciate it. Susan and Ken

Feb 08, 2014
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Don't stop trying!
by: Ken

Hi Susan and Ken,

I know it might sound crazy but, find the drug manufacturer that makes your pills and plead with them to give your doctor enough to get you through your crisis. May as well; you have nothing to lose!

God Bless you all,
Ken

Feb 07, 2014
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Maybe some light, beyond the tunnel
by: Ken

Hi Guys,

Try this site:

http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/florida-state-veterans-benefits.html

I think that you would need this, but you must fight as hard as you did in the war! I am not kidding here. Just like pills, you have to work twice as hard as them. Don't give up, if you do, where will it get you? Nowhere, just like you are. If you don't try, you'll find out how bad the streets are. It is not a nice place: cold, lonely and scary. Stop fighting and there you will be. Call the congressman or the President. Walk if you have to. Get to a church that may have funds for gas.

Ken

Feb 07, 2014
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food stamps
by: Anonymous

We received a letter from SNAP today saying we need to re-apply, which means another 30-45 days days waiting time. Still no medications, or help from the agencies, no transportation or any form of income. I've been typing letter after letter. Please Lord, have someone see my attempts and bring us help.

Feb 06, 2014
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Help for family
by: Anonymous

As of today our state benefits are still pending for food and Medicaid. No live person is available and is automated. We tried for assistance to help pay our rent and we were declined due to being in the wrong zip code.

Our van is currently on empty and we cannot drive from agency to agency to stand in line for food, utility assistance, or much needed funds for prescriptions for my husband, stepdaughter who has asthma, stepson who is MR and ADHD or myself with diabetes, and severe PTSD.

Everywhere I have tried the door gets closed in our faces. Ken needs a resume for his military skills and recertification in his trade to support us. We need supplies for pretty much everything in this house. We have no resource for help financially. I'm not sure when my Internet services will be cut off and will continue my updates as things progress downhill.

Feb 06, 2014
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Today is the 6th of February
by: Anonymous

I have run out of medications for mental health. Our van has no gas, my husband has no job leads. We are currently getting shut off dates for everything. I am lost as to where to turn next. I have utilized this help web site by a kind man named Don who helps the disabled get needs. What am I doing wrong? I am PTSD and have severe anxiety. Is there a soul who can help us?

Feb 04, 2014
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Info
by: Kenneth

I enlisted in January 1984 in Tampa Florida which was my state of residence at the time.

Feb 04, 2014
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Thank you Ken
by: Susan

My husband is going to comment also on this page as he can better answer to his military past. I will continue to ask for mental assistance for myself, any advice on community or federal help. I have reached out globally, and have asked for financial, educational, mental, and other resources and still haven't been answered yet. I feel like a statistic.

Feb 03, 2014
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Give God a little room, he will show up!
by: Ken

Hi Susan,

What state did Ken enter the Navy? So much depends on where you lived when you enter the military. There is the Hazelwood Act, but that is Texas. There are some governments who will give college credits for military time, because of relative experience. There is lots that I can give you, but I would need a little more information, to help you better to find the right path.

I hope the best for you, so if you can post some more information here, I will see what I can do.

God Bless,
Ken

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