Frequently Asked And Answered Questions
Rebuild Hope is an all-volunteer, donor-advised public benefit corporation founded in November 2007 by a small team of Silicon Valley executives and publicly launched in June 2008. Qualifying donations to Rebuild Hope are grantedederal and state tax exemptions under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code - EIN # 26-1659534. Rebuild Hope serves veterans everywhere in the U.S.
1. Why Do Veterans and their families need our help?
- Our nation's two wars have taken a huge toll on members of the US Armed Services
- More than 2.0 M service men and women have directly supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
- More than 4500 men and women have died in these wars
- More than 15,000 men and women suffer injuries that prevented them from returning to active duty in the regular services, National Guard and Reserves.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that more than 400,000 will experience significant mental health problems.
2. What big challenges face the families of disabled veterans?
- They must adjust to the return home of combat veterans from war, i.e., reintegration into family life
- Their transition from the military to less structured civilian life is often difficult
- They must deal with major physical and mental health problems
- Their financial health is impacted by long delays in the start of merited disability compensation
The 10 Worst Metropolitan Areas for Veteran Claim Backlogs
3. What causes their financial problems?
- Veterans wait on average more than 270 days for the start of merited disability compensation, and in many cities, the waiting line is 400 to 500 days long. See the table at the bottom of this page to see the longest wait times for U.S. metropolitan areas.
- And unfortunately, this does not tell the whole story. Families will often struggle with disability-related problems for many months before they decide to file a claim for service-connected compensation and usually they must wait another four to six months before their compensation begins. Appeal a claim and the veteran gets back in line.
- While veterans DO receive excellent medical care, the service-connected disability compensation they can receive from the Veterans Administration is generally modest and untimely. For example, a veteran with a spouse, a single child and a 60% disability rating receives only $1129 a month, and each additional child adds only $81 a month.
- Veterans with severe health problems rarely find steady, well paying work. And a poor U.S. economy lessens their chances.
- Military families purchased homes with the reasonable expectation of remaining fully employed in the military, or later, as civilians. Unfortunately, severe injuries changed everything. And when they attempt to renegotiate mortgages after falling behind in making payments, lenders are largely unsympathetic.
- Families frequently resort to credit cards and payday loans to fund basic living expenses, and then they bear financial penalties and high interest rates on ever-expanding unpaid balances.
- Injured soldiers and their families are not reimbursed for many of their travel expenses when they are treated at distant medical facilities. And eligible reimbursements are not immediately paid.
4. How do unexected financial problems undermine veteran efforts to rebuild civilian lives?
- Stressful for any American family, financial instability commonly intensifies the anxiety, aggression and depression felt by injured soldiers
- Family relationships weaken or dissolve - divorce and homelessness are common.
- Injured soldiers fail to take full advantage of available medical care. They stop seeking help and "drop-out" of treatment programs.
- They make poor decisions that worsen their financial situations and dig themselves deeper into debt.
Financial Assistance Application Process
5. How does Rebuild Hope work?
Veterans who join the Rebuild Hope veterans financial support network (www.rebuildhope.org) publish brief personal profiles on our website. A veteran’s profile describes a family’s current situation and its specific needs for financial assistance. Donors can then view these profiles and either select a specific beneficiary or ask Rebuild Hope to make a decision on their behalf.
6. Who is eligible to receive financial assistance?
Membership in Rebuild Hope is based on four primary considerations:
Veterans/Military - Rebuild Hope assists current and former members of the regular U.S. military services, National Guard and Reserves who have suffered life-altering physical or psychological wounds and been medically discharged during the prior 3 years. Injuries need not be combat-related.
Medical Disability – The veteran has received a combined medical disability rating of at least 50% from either the military or US Department of Veterans Affairs or has filed a claim with medical documentation that would support such a determination.
Financial Situation - Rebuild Hope assists individuals and families who are following a realistic plan to balance their income and basic living expenses - including repaying outstanding debt and can attain a positive monthly cash flow within 6 to 12 months time of their application.
Impact of Rebuild Hope Aid - Rebuild Hope must believe its financial support will have a meaningful impact on a family’s progress towards financial health and stability.
7. What types of needs qualify? How much assistance is provided?
Rebuild Hope provides “transitional financial assistance”, that is, modest monthly grants and no-interest loans that are designed to help veterans deal with short term financial problems. The actual amount ranges from $500 to $1500 and depends on both the veteran’s situation AND Rebuild Hope’s donor capacity. The veteran must have a certain source of repayment for a no-interest loan. Visit www.rebuildhope.org/request_criteria.php to view the kinds of needs that are eligible.
8. How do veterans apply for help from Rebuild Hope?
Rebuild Hope works with the military, the National and State Department of Veterans Affairs and other private sector military support organizations to identify and qualify beneficiaries. Applicants must submit copies ALL the following items:
9. How are specific needs identified and verified?
Applicants submit specific requests along with transaction documents and affidavits.
10. Does Rebuild Hope require recipients to publicly disclose personal information?
Rebuild Hope respects the privacy of its beneficiaries. While we do encourage them to share some personal information in the form of an on-line personal profile, the veterans decide what specific information is actually displayed on our website.
Donors, Volunteers & Supporters
11. What percentage of donations is actually distributed to beneficiaries?
100% of donations designated for beneficiaries are distributed.
12. How can donors direct their donations?
Donors can choose one of the following options:
- Designate a donation to be distributed to a specific beneficiary
- Advise Rebuild Hope to distribute a donation to a specific beneficiary
- Authorize Rebuild Hope to select a beneficiary for a donation
- Designate a donation to be used to fund Rebuild Hope operations
13. Are donations tax-deductible?
Rebuild Hope is a public benefit corporation with a tax exemption under rule 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service so both donor-advised and unrestricted donations are eligible for a tax deduction. Donations directed to a specific beneficiary do NOT qualify for this treatment.
15. How are donations made?
Donations can be made with either a credit card (on-line) or a check. Checks should be made payable to Rebuild Hope Inc. and sent to Rebuild Hope 365 Ambar Way, Menlo Park, and CA 94025.
17. How does Rebuild Hope pay for its “overhead”?
Rebuild Hope accepts donations designated for its operations and will pursue grants in the future. Overhead consists primarily of web development, marketing expenses and online transaction fees.
18. Volunteering at Rebuild Hope
Rebuild Hope is run entirely by volunteers and we are currently expanding rapidly. Visit our website to learn about our team and volunteer opportunities. We look forward to talking to you.