CalVet to Hold Claims Workshops for Native American and Rural Veterans

Next week, CalVet will hold the first of several specialized workshops designed to assist Native American and rural veterans with applying for local, state, and federal benefits.

Big Sandy Veterans Memorial

Meeting with tribal leaders last year. From left: John Spangler, CalVet Deputy Secretary for Legislation; Secretary Vito Imbasciani; Elizabeth Kipp, Tribal Council Chair of Big Sandy Rancheria Band of Western Mono Indians; Elizabeth Perez, Deputy Secretary for Minority Veterans; and Regina Riley, Tribal Council secretary.

Native American and rural veterans often face challenges in accessing the benefits they have earned through their service. Last year, CalVet Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani visited Native American tribes throughout California to learn more about barriers to accessing benefits and to hear ideas about how to better serve this veteran community.

“This is part of our effort to ensure that every Native American veteran – and every veteran in California – understands how to access the many benefits that are available to them,” said Imbasciani.

The first Native American and Rural Veteran Claims Workshop will be from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Rincon Tribal Hall, 1 West Tribal Road in Valley Center, Calif.

One-on-one assistance from the San Diego County Veterans Service Office will also be available, allowing veterans to learn about benefits and begin the process of applying for benefits and claims the same day.

If you would like to attend, click here to register in advance.

“We met with tribal leaders and Native American veterans fall last year to better understand their needs. Now we are taking the next step by bringing benefits information and claims assistance directly to some of these historically underserved populations,” said Elizabeth Perez, Deputy Secretary for Minority Veterans. “I have made a commitment that these communities are also aware of the Veterans Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention funding program.”

CalVet will also hold an informational meeting on the Veteran Housing and Homelessness Prevention (VHHP) program for tribal leadership, tribal housing authorities and others in the San Diego region. VHHP provides funding for affordable and supportive/transitional multifamily housing for veterans. The meeting also be held March 6, at the Rincon Tribal Hall, and will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Did you know that there are more than 13,500 American Indian and Alaska Native veterans living in California? This group of veterans has served in the U.S. Armed Forces at higher rates than any other ethnic group.

From left: John Spangler, CalVet Deputy Secretary for Legislation; CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani; Elizabeth Kipp, Tribal Council Chair of Big Sandy Rancheria Band of Western Mono Indians; Elizabeth Perez, California Veterans Board Member; and Regina Riley, Tribal Council Secretary, at the Big Sandy Rancheria Veterans Memorial.

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