TAPS, Department of Veterans Affairs Sign Formal Memorandum of Agreement
Organizations Will Work Together to Help the Families of America's Fallen Military Service Members as They Navigate Benefits and Services Available to Them
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 12, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va. - With its annual Honor Guard Luncheon as the backdrop, the Tragedy Assistance Program Survivors (TAPS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) today to assist surviving families identify and secure benefits and services available to them through the military service of their loved one.
"This agreement formalizes what has been a long-standing, informal working relationship between TAPS and the VA," said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll following the signing ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in Washington. "The services provided by TAPS and VA are complimentary, and in this public-private partnership we will continue to provide extraordinary services through closer collaboration."
In 2014, TAPS and the VA signed an MOA focused specifically on education services.
Under today's agreement, TAPS continues to work with surviving families to identify resources available to them both within the VA and through private sources. TAPS will also collaborate with the VA in the areas of education, burial, benefits and entitlements, grief counseling and other areas of interest.
Specifically, the MOA encompasses work done by TAPS and the VA concerning:
- The Fry Scholarship, Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA), and general education benefits;
- National Cemetery Administration benefits (e.g. burial, headstones and markers, educational programming, and Presidential Memorial Certificates);
- VA Survivor Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Survivor Pension;
- VA Caregiver Support Program, including the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC); and
- VA mental health and suicide prevention resources for veterans, family members and community providers, including (but not limited to) training, outreach and self-help resources.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America's fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).