This Veterans Day, VA commemorates and honors the men and women who have bravely served their country in the United States Armed Forces. VA works day-in and day-out to provide Veterans, service members and their families with benefits, services, civilian transition initiatives, and so much more. VBA is continuing to successfully ensure all eligible Veterans, service members, survivors and family members receive the benefits they deserve after years of service.
One such benefit is the Veterans Benefits Banking Program, a banking assistance program that was established in 2019 to provide Veterans and transitioning service members with the personal financial resources they need to succeed after leaving the Armed Forces. Since its inception, more than 200,000 Veterans and beneficiaries have created bank accounts, converted to direct deposit, and now receive their benefits payments through electronic funds transfers (EFT).
What is VBBP?
VBBP was created to help Veterans establish financial security and decrease their likelihood of falling victim to fraudulent schemes and pension poaching. The program utilizes the services of 43 financial institutions that are committed to helping Veterans open checking or savings accounts and enroll in direct deposit. These VBBP participating banks and credit unions have pledged to work with Veterans and their families to help them open low- or no-cost accounts so they can start receiving their benefit payments through EFT.
What has the program achieved?
In the three years since the program started, VBBP has decreased the number of unbanked and/or underbanked Veterans and beneficiaries by more than 200,000. VBBP outreach efforts have also included sending hundreds of thousands of letters, and over 150,000 emails to unbanked Veterans across the country to make them aware of the financial tools and resources available through VBBP. These resources include VetCents, a financial education program specifically designed for Veterans and their families that covers topics like budgeting, as well as Veteran Saves, an initiative to help Veterans build financial resilience. VBBP also provides Veterans a free session with an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) or a credit counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Veterans can work with these counselors to create a plan to achieve their financial goals and build a sustainable foundation for long-term financial security.
Outside of working with Veterans directly, VBBP also conducts regular outreach with other Federal Agencies, such as the Department of Treasury, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Reserve Bank and many more. Through these initiatives, VBBP continues to help Veterans improve their financial knowledge and resilience.
For more information
VBBP helps Veterans take an important step towards protecting their VA benefits. If you, or someone you know, are eligible for VA benefits and would like to learn more about financial opportunities presented through VBBP, please visit: www.veteransbenefitsbanking.org or www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/banking.asp.