If you have been impacted by the recent hurricanes and are looking for more information, or to apply for assistance, please visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

Quarterly eNewsletter About the Benefits.gov Program
October 2017
In This Issue

As the summer comes to the end, we enter a new season filled with fresh starts for many of us and our families. With the change in seasons, we look forward to the colors of fall and the opportunity to share with you another Benefits.gov Compass eNewsletter.

With the start of fall and winter weather soon on the way, Benefits.gov has information on several programs that can help prepare you for this seasonal transition. These programs can help eligible citizens ease the cost of weatherizing and warming their homes. In this article, we highlight two of the most popular energy assistance programs.

Each November 11, we honor America's veterans for their service and sacrifice on Veterans Day. As we observe this day and reflect on the patriotism of our veterans, we also find it important to highlight the benefits available to veterans through Benefits.gov.

This November, Benefits.gov is recognizing American Diabetes Month to raise awareness of this disease and provide information on resources available to help prevent and manage diabetes. National Diabetes Month is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and promotes living a healthy life.

In our last mental health series article, we discussed the importance of providing support to family and friends in their time of need. With our next installment, we want to focus on finding support when you are in a time of need.

For many students, a technical or service-based career is better suited for their needs and fulfills their career aspirations. As we look ahead to a new year, now is the perfect time to learn more through Benefits.gov about federal assistance programs in preparation for the upcoming hiring season.

A Message from Al Sloane and Myung...
A Message from Al Sloane and Myung Moon, Program Directors

As the summer comes to the end, we enter a new season filled with fresh starts for many of us and our families. With the change in seasons, we look forward to the colors of fall and the opportunity to share with you another Benefits.gov Compass eNewsletter.

In the October 2017 edition of the Benefits.gov Compass, we are pleased to share timely benefit resources and updates with you ranging from weatherization assistance, veterans benefits, diabetes awareness, mental health support, and vocational opportunities. We offer this information to help you on your path to government benefits.

As always, we welcome your input - click here to share your feedback with us. To learn how to use our site’s main tool, the Benefit Finder, watch this quick video tutorial before getting started. And, we hope you "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

- Al Sloane & Myung Moon, Benefits.gov Program Directors

Winter Weatherization Prep
Winter Weatherization Prep

With the start of fall and winter weather soon on the way, Benefits.gov has information on several programs that can help prepare you for this seasonal transition. These programs can help eligible citizens ease the cost of weatherizing and warming their homes. In this article, we highlight two of the most popular energy assistance programs.

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) reduces energy costs for a household by helping a homeowner increase their energy efficiency. One of the common ways to weather-proof your home includes proper home insulation, especially for windows, doors, and other common areas where heat escapes from your house.

This fact sheet provides a complete snapshot on how WAP analyzes a home and what improvements can be implemented through the program. WAP can also make specific recommendations on where you can be more energy efficient in your home. Not only are many of these recommendations helping you financially, but they are also helpful in ensuring your home is safe from the elements during the winter months.

The Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is also helpful in assisting you with your energy saving needs. This program can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer by reducing the risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices. LIHEAP provides Federally-funded assistance in managing costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, and weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.

This LIHEAP fact sheet shows the various types of assistance available under the program, including grants and emergency contingency funds, among other assistance.

To see what else you may be eligible for, take the Benefit Finder questionnaire or visit the Energy Assistance category on Benefits.gov. We hope you stay safe and warm at home throughout this winter season!

Your Path to Veterans Benefits
Your Path to Veterans Benefits

Each November 11, we honor America's veterans for their service and sacrifice on Veterans Day. As we observe this day and reflect on the patriotism of our veterans, we also find it important to highlight the benefits available to veterans through Benefits.gov, including the following popular government assistance programs:

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) also has a robust offering of benefit information located on the Veterans Benefits Administration website. Here, you can find information about how veterans can receive special benefits on decision ready claims, life insurance, home loans, career transitions, and more. This division is also well connected with veterans and advocates on social media; find them on Twitter and Facebook.

To find more information on benefits for active military personnel and veterans, visit the Military: Active Duty and Veterans category on Benefits.gov. Thank you to all the veterans, active service members, and others who continue to support our military and military families.

Recognizing American Diabetes Month
Recognizing American Diabetes Month

This November, Benefits.gov is recognizing American Diabetes Month to raise awareness of this disease and provide information on resources available to help prevent and manage diabetes. National Diabetes Month is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and promotes living a healthy life. The ADA continues to stand for those affected by the disease through:

  • Funding research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes;
  • Delivering services to hundreds of communities;
  • Providing objective and credible information;
  • Giving a voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.

To combat this dangerous disease, the ADA along with the American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control have sponsored the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This program is managed by the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) and is an evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes among people with prediabetes or at high risk for type 2 diabetes. To find out more or to take the “Prediabetes Risk Test,” please visit the National Diabetes Prevention Program benefit page.

Additionally, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians is available for eligible American Indian/Alaska Natives. This program focuses on primary, secondary, and tertiary diabetic prevention and treatment and related data collection. For more information on this program, visit the Indian Health Service (HIS) website.

Please remember these resources for you or a loved one that may be affected by diabetes as you continue on a path toward a healthier lifestyle.

Mental Health Series: It’s OK to...
Mental Health Series: It’s OK to Ask for Help!

In our last mental health series article, we discussed the importance of providing support to family and friends in their time of need. With our next installment, we want to focus on finding support when you are in a time of need.

If you are experiencing changes in mood, rough times managing stress, depression or anxiety, asking for help and being transparent about your health is an effective course of action toward recovery. Finding support through friends, physicians, and community support groups can be the key to ensuring you or your loved ones are surrounded by care when they need it.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) lists some helpful ways to cope during your time of need. These include seeking out support groups, visiting a local doctor, and consulting a trusted school counselor or administrator. NAMI also advises that anyone struggling should know that there is always help to those who need it. You don’t have to face your struggles alone, and the steps you take to getting better will be worth it.

NAMI also offers many resources on how to ask for help, understanding your diagnosis, tips on staying healthy and even how to maintain healthy work-life balance.

No matter what you or your loved one may be dealing with, it is important to know that there are people and resources dedicated to helping you. We hope that the resources available on this site help those in need feel comfortable reaching out and asking for help. Some of these resources include articles from our mental health series as well as health care benefitsliving assistance, and more.

We encourage you to explore these resources and to take our Benefit Finder questionnaire to see if you or a loved one may be eligible for any additional benefits on the site.

Reaching Your Vocational Potential
Reaching Your Vocational Potential

For many students, a technical or service-based career is better suited for their needs and fulfills their career aspirations. As we look ahead to a new year, now is the perfect time to learn more through Benefits.gov about federal assistance programs in preparation for the upcoming hiring season.

A general program to help guide eligible high school students into a technical career is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Investment Act (WIOA) Youth Program. Participants in this program can receive counseling, training opportunities, and much more to successfully find job placement in their local communities. This is a great way for non-traditional high school graduates to learn which type of technical and service-based industries best suit their personalities and skills.

For young adults looking to become firefighters or other emergency personnel, the National Fire Academy Training Assistance Program provides travel stipends to students attending the National Fire Academy. To qualify, applicants must be prospective or current students of the National Fire Academy. Similarly, the State Fire Training Systems Grants program provides financial assistance for students looking to attend courses and obtain their certifications.

The Native American Vocational and Technical Education Program provides grants to programs that improve vocational opportunities on reservations and within tribes. On top of providing a technical education, this program also aids tribally controlled community colleges for those who do choose to attend college before beginning their careers.

Along with these programs, we invite students, parents, and leaders of technical or vocational educations to explore Benefits.gov for more information that can help vocational students achieve their goals.

In This Issue
A Message from Al Sloane and Myung...
Winter Weatherization Prep
Your Path to Veterans Benefits
Recognizing American Diabetes Month
Mental Health Series: It’s OK to...
Reaching Your Vocational Potential
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