USA Cares serves post 9/11 service members with programs in the following four areas:
USA Cares has developed a process to quickly and efficiently handle applications for assistance as they come in from our website into our Family Resource Call Center.
Applications are first logged into our system and then forwarded to a “triage” specialist. The triage specialist then attempts to call the applicant to assess their particular situation in a personalized way. If the agent cannot reach the applicant by phone, they will attempt contact by email. If we do not hear from an applicant within ten business days of their request, their case will be suspended but can easily be re-opened.
Once the triage specialist has made contact and discussed the applicant’s situation, the case will either be forwarded to a Family Resource Team for further follow up or the triage specialist will let the applicant know that their hardship does not fall within the guidelines of any of our programs. In this case they will be given other advice, contacts, suggestions, etc. that may be helpful.
When the case is sent to the USA Cares Family Resource Team, the applicant will receive a call and an email from the teams’ Administrative Assistant. This follow-up conversation, the Administrative Assistant gathers more information about the situation and develops an clearer understanding about urgency, etc.
The applicant is often asked to fax in current information. At times, the USA Cares team may ask the applicant to contact their service providers (e.g. the utility company, the garage working on the family automobile, the mortgage company, etc.) to give them permission to speak to us on their behalf. If the applicant is in need of mortgage assistance, they will be asked to contact our partners at Homeownership Preservation Foundation for budget counseling and guidance on what steps to take in regards to their mortgage.
Once this information is received, a USA Cares case worker will contact the applicant again to assess whether their situation has changed. They will try to assist as best as they possibly can with information and other applicable resources. When all the information has been verified, the USA Cares caseworker will send a summary to a “virtual committee”.
The virtual committee consists solely of volunteers who have some type of military background or expertise. They vote independently regarding the merits of the case and whether it fits within the guidelines of our programs. When those votes are received, the USA Cares caseworker will tally them, and if the case is approved, inform both the applicant and their service provider(s)
Payments are mailed out via the US Postal service the next morning, unless eviction, foreclosure or disconnection of service is immediately at hand. In these urgent situations, more expedient methods of sending payments are used.
All information concerning each and every case is kept in our database for one complete year before being filed away and kept for 5 years.