Our Veterans are drowning in debt and they need a lifeline!

The deadly but hidden shame of debt, in all its forms, is sapping the strength of those who have served and those still serving. 

Reenlistments are down, as is recruiting in every service branch. In almost every category of ills common to the veteran community, be it homelessness, incarceration, substance abuse, broken marriages, personal bankruptcies, and even suicide the numbers are chilling. 

We’re here to change this. For them. For us. For good.

How Do Veterans Get Into Harm's Way?

Life-Threatening Events

Debt collection pursuit invariably precedes or follows life-altering events such as job loss, home foreclosure, unpayable medical expenses, and more – enough to push a Vet over the edge.

Social Determinants

“Upstream” from a Veteran’s physical, emotional, or mental state are incidents or circumstances that will lead to debt and despair: unemployment, losing a home, the health of a vet or a family member, divorce, addiction, and unemployment as examples.

Inflexible VA Policies

Contrary to common belief, Veterans do not automatically receive no or low-cost healthcare. The program is “discretionary” and provides innumerable barriers to how – or even if – a Vet qualifies.

The VA system is a major source of unpayable debt – reported to be as much as $6 Billion in unpaid medical debt and growing. An amount so horrendous that we at End Veteran Debt and our allies are devoting ourselves to an #EndVetMedDebt national campaign to see to it that the VA recognizes the carnage this causes and that policy is changed to make this debt available for full and complete forgiveness.

No strings attached. No hoops to jump through. DEBT GONE! It can and will be done – with your help. You have accomplished the first requirement of making change – you are now aware of this problem.

Our Veterans DO NOT Receive Free or Affordable Healthcare

VA health care is a discretionary program; therefore, the provision of health care is dependent on available appropriations. Not every veteran is automatically entitled to medical care from the VA. Veterans must meet basic eligibility requirements for enrollment.

The VA will provide veterans with free health care for conditions that are caused or made worse by their military service. If you have severe injuries or disabilities you may be eligible to receive all your medical care for free from the VA, not just that care related to your injuries. Medicare does not pay for any care a veteran receives at a VA facility. In order for VA to cover their care, they must generally receive health care services at a VA facility.

"Suicide Bridge" - Disabled military veteran and Marine Kenneth James expresses his thoughts and feelings through his art.


Debt Devastates Veterans and Their Families

Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Bob Bent Speaking in Washington

Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Bob Bent makes the connection between debt and suicide crystal clear. Post-death analysis of veterans who commit suicide, for a significant number of them, has been that “they’re in debt – up to their ears.”

This is why End Veteran Debt has come into existence.

Veteran Challenges

Veterans face many challenges which lead to debt, hard times, and depression. We strive to shed light on these issues so that Veterans who gave everything don't come home to world that discounts and discards them.

Health

Getting treated for non-service related issues or ones that the VA don't yet recognize can cause health bills to pile up,

Housing

PTSD and other factors can make it difficult for Veterans to afford adequate housing for themselves or their families.

Domestic

Unexpected life events such as major health issues for a family member or loss of a loved one can upend a Veterans ability to cope with the world around them.

Legal

Difficulties due to re-entry into civilian life sometimes causes Veterans to get into unexpected legal trouble which could incur a burdensome cost. Certain legal issues can also cause a Veteran to lose promised government benefits which may land them in hot water.

Transition

Civilian life is much different from Service life. Lack of provided accomodations and lack of direction from superior officers can leave Veterans feeling lost and directionless. Without community involvement, Veterans can get sucked into negative behaviors and unmanageable debt.

Suicide

Returning home after witnessing the most hellish events anyone could imagine combined with all the other challenges of adapting to civilian life can leave a Veteran feeling isolated. The "be strong" and "keep it together" training necessary in the Service is ill-suited for helping Veterans navigate this ultimate challenge where life is literally on the line.

Unpayable Medical Debt Causes Hardship and Suicide

16 Million Veterans

Home to some 16 million Veterans, over 6% of our nation's adult population is at risk for falling victim to unpayable medical debt owed to the VA.

$6 Billion in Debt

According to Sources, as Much as $6 Billion in Veteran and Military Medical Debt is Burdening Our Bravest.

22 Per Day

On average, Veterans commit suicide at a rate of 22 per day. A majority of these casualties were associated with staggering amounts of unpaid medical debt.

Answering the Call

End Veteran Debt: As a 501(c)(3) charity committed to tackling a largely overlooked and yet devastating problem facing our veterans and their families. We have gathered together those who have served, and some still serving, veteran advocates, veteran charities, solution providers already active in improving conditions in the veteran community, charities devoted to that same mission, and the philanthropists and givers who make these efforts possible.

Reaching the Public: It’s a fact. “If they don’t know about you, they can’t do anything about you.” EVD provides a unique element to seeing that positive and inspirational veteran stories go mainstream – our partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ). This 800-member strong professional organization which supports the use and employment of journalists who are veterans so as to provide a more rounded view of this community. To put this in perspective, even though the U.S. has been at war for more than 18 years at a cost of more than 7,000 lives, 50,000 wounded and billions of tax dollars expended, only a fraction of journalists in our newsrooms (2%) have military experience. What is lost is perspective, nuanced understanding and on-the-ground experience.

Get Involved

Donate

Your contribution helps us run nation-wide campaigns to purchase and forgive Veteran debt as well as change policy to keep Vets, our heroes, out of debt.

Sign Our Petition

We'll send your signatures directly to the VA and other appropriate authorities to show them your support for our troops and veterans.

Contact Congressperson

We'll show you how to locate your congressperson and provide you with what needs to be said over the phone, mail and email to create maximum impact.

Engage With Us

Share and Comment on Our Facebook Page

Like and share our Facebook page and help get the word out or engage with our content. We want to hear from you!

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Get updates on our progress and campaigns. BONUS – get a FREE PDF of chapter five “No Thank You for Your Service” from End Medical Debt: COVID Recovery Edition

Impact Partners

Partner Up!

Do you represent an organization that is in alignment with our mission of forgiving and wiping out Veteran medical debt? If so, then we want to hear from you so we can work together.

End Veteran Debt is licensed under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) 4.0 License.