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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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 I have always been depressed and withdrawn.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.