After legal challenges, they found support
Many Veterans transition back to civilian life with few, if any, problems. Others may find the change difficult and may even get into legal trouble related to a variety of issues including anger or drug and alcohol use. For the Veterans in this video, these experiences provided an opportunity to improve. VA support was part of the solution.
What should I know about financial or legal issues?
Whether it’s a disagreement with your family about household finances, a potential foreclosure or bankruptcy, or a lawsuit or arrest, money issues and legal problems can be very stressful.
Some Veterans may face financial problems because they are out of work — perhaps due to medical conditions associated with military injuries, a lack of job openings, or not knowing how to present their military job skills in the civilian world. Other Veterans may have large debts as a result of not budgeting properly or from unplanned expenses, such as hospital stays or other emergencies. Relationship disputes or arrests for illegal activities can also lead to legal or financial problems.
“It just didn’t make sense to me that the entire time I was serving overseas, I was also falling deeper and deeper into debt. I was in denial for way too long, and it wasn’t until I addressed my financial issues the same way I would an operation in the military that I got things turned in the right direction.”
Financial and legal problems can go hand in hand. Although doing so is ineffective, some people turn to illegal activities as a way to solve their money problems. People in trouble with the law or involved in a lawsuit may have difficulty paying their legal expenses.
If you are having financial or legal problems, you may feel embarrassed and wonder what other people will think. Perhaps you have made mistakes, kept the problems to yourself, or made hasty decisions in order to cover up what you’re going through. You may feel as if you don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. No matter the reason for your legal or money problems, you should reach out for support.
Back to the top
What financial or legal-related issues should I keep an eye out for?
Even the most responsible person can run into financial or legal problems. If you are dealing with money issues, your first impulse may be to borrow more money — but be aware that the additional debt and terms of some loans can quickly put extra strain on your finances and may lead to even more serious financial trouble.
Some Veterans are dealing with physical or emotional issues that may be related to financial or legal problems. You may lose sleep or feel severe stress because of the money or legal issues you are facing. Alternatively, your physical or emotional issues may be contributing to your financial or legal problems. For example, some people may gamble, spend money, or buy things because they think that doing so will make them forget about their other issues, but later they regret these actions.
Back to the top
What can I do about financial and legal issues?
There are steps you can take to help improve and better cope with your financial or legal situations. Try to remember to:
- Develop a budget for your expenses.
- Avoid quick fixes to debt, such as short-term loans or maxing out your credit cards.
- Be cautious of scams that sound “too good to be true.”
- Let trusted people or reputable organizations help you avoid financial or legal trouble.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol, especially when making financial decisions.
- Take medications only as directed by your doctor, and do not use illegal drugs.
- Be open to changing your behavior and habits.
It’s important to be aware of the resources available to you in order to overcome your financial or legal problems. As a Veteran, you have access to information about legal services and financial guidance from reliable sources such as VA, Vet Centers, and accredited Veterans Service Organizations. In some states, there are special courts available for Veterans with mental health needs, including issues related to substance use. If you are facing criminal charges, you may want to see if your community operates a Veterans Treatment Court.
NEED HELP NOW?
Call The Veterans Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255 And Press 1. Or Send A Text Message To The Veterans Crisis Line At 838255.
Free, confidential support 24 / 7 / 365.
Give the San Jose Vet Center a call, at (408) 993-0729 to get back to your best life.
CALL – EVEN ANONYMOUSLY
San Jose Vet Center is open:
7 AM to Midnight on weekdays
8 AM to 4:30 PM on weekends (including holidays)
Give them a call to get back to your best life. (408) 993-0729