PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 

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2020Talks - June 5, 2020 

Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

Serving OR Veterans During COVID-19 Pandemic

Emergency financial assistance is available for Oregon veterans and their families. (John Hughel/Oregon Military Dept. Public Affairs)
Emergency financial assistance is available for Oregon veterans and their families. (John Hughel/Oregon Military Dept. Public Affairs)
May 20, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. -- With Memorial Day approaching, the country's veterans are at the forefront in many people's minds. and resources are available to Oregon veterans during the COVID-19 crisis.

Carmel Perez Snyder, director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Oregon, said the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs is a good resource to start with, especially when it comes to checking up on benefits. She said the agency also has a one-time fund to help families in need.

"There is an Oregon veteran's emergency financial assistance program," she said, "and it's for veterans and their immediate family who are in need of emergency financial assistance."

Snyder said families of loved ones in congregate-care facilities should watch those situations closely. They can ask facilities if anyone has tested positive for the virus, if there's enough personal protective equipment for staff, and if staff is providing ways for residents to stay connected with families.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has attracted more than its share of scammers. Snyder said veterans are targets because of the benefits they qualify for, and should be on the lookout for fraud -- especially folks who say they can help with getting benefits or the coronavirus stimulus checks.

"If someone's calling you out of the blue to offer to do this for you, it's too good to be true. It's a scam," she said. "And so, be careful who you share information with over the phone."

She said there also are reports that scammers are telling people on Medicaid in assisted living facilities that they have to sign their stimulus checks over to the facilities. This is not true, and she encouraged anyone who hears this scam to report it to the Federal Trade Commission and the AARP Fraud Watch Network.

Snyder said it's important to keep veterans in mind during this crisis.

"Veterans, military and their families are a unique and diverse group of people," she said, "and we have not forgotten them."

She noted that AARP has more resources, including for aid with mental and physical health, on its website.

Disclosure: AARP Oregon contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR