The Independence Fund endorses free care to Veterans experiencing an emergency suicidal crisis

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Independence Fund strongly endorses the new policy, announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs today, that provides free care to Veterans experiencing an emergency suicidal crisis. This policy expands Veterans’ eligibility for care, including inpatient treatment, at any VA facility or non-VA hospital, regardless of whether they are enrolled with the VA.

The change, required by the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care and Treatment, or COMPACT ACT of 2020, applies to nearly nine million former Veterans who previously did not receive VA health care or services. The new policy goes into effect January 17, 2023.

“The VA’s directive on emergency care for Veterans in crisis is such an important step in improving mental health access for our nation’s heroes,” said Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund. “Too many Veterans die by suicide, and we know early intervention is critical. With this new policy, the VA is ripping up decades-old red tape that has created a bureaucratic stumbling block for many at-risk Veterans, and hundreds of lives will be saved.”

The VA reportedly has about nine million Veterans enrolled in medical care, but an estimated nine million more are eligible but are not enrolled. Roughly 5,000 Veterans are hospitalized in acute psychiatric units every month.

A few things about this new policy worth foot stomping:

  • Veterans will now receive FREE emergency suicide care
  • The VA will now reimburse Veterans who have ambulance costs to hospitals
  • Veterans do not have to be enrolled in a VA system to be eligible
  • The new policy now provides up to 30 days of inpatient care and up to 90 days of follow-on outpatient care

“It’s humbling to see the entire government and VA organization work hard to make such drastic changes to policies that have the potential to literally change thousands of lives of some of our most deserving Americans,” Verardo said.

The new policy removes the financial barrier that prevented at-risk Veterans for years from accessing lifesaving care when they needed it the most.

“The Independence Fund casework team has seen several cases where Veterans came to us, seeking help because the anxiety associated with a bill for medical care left them feeling hopeless,” Verardo said. “I know the entire Veteran community is celebrating alongside the VA community today and it’s a wonderful step toward preventing Veteran suicide.”


Founded in 2007, The Independence Fund (501c3) is committed to serving the Warfighter Community by providing innovative programs and services to support the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual independence of our servicemembers, combat Veterans, their caregivers, families, and those allies who served in combat alongside our troops, through innovative mobility and adaptive technologies and therapies for combat veterans; suicide prevention; caregiver and family support; and Veteran advocacy with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, other government agencies, federal and state legislators, and other partners. The Independence Fund believes in fairness and equality for all veterans and families irrespective of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, and will continue to uphold these American values. 

Media Contact:
Caroline Arey
The Independence Fund
Strategic Messaging Director
[email protected]

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SOURCE The Independence Fund

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