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NEWS RELEASE - Digital Navigator Program Provides Free Technology for Washington State Veterans

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs News Release


March 31, 2023
 

Olympia: Washington Department of Veterans Affairs partners with the Washington State Department of Commerce to launch the WDVA Digital Navigator Program

The WDVA Digital Navigator Program is a grant-funded program through the Department of Commerce.  It provides eligible Veterans or their families with the tools (a kit containing talk, text, and data through T-Mobile, a laptop, and a smartphone with a hotspot) and digital literacy training allowing them to connect to earned benefits such as disability compensation or pension, healthcare, and other services.

Veterans in underserved rural areas, older Veterans, Veterans of color, participants in the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program, and Veterans enrolled in higher education or apprenticeship programs are the primary focus.

Digital Navigators will assist with intake forms, skills training, and enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program, ensuring they stay connected even after their Digital Navigator Program service ends. The program is tailored to each Veteran making sure they receive resources based on their skill level, needs, and lifestyle.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to serve those who serve our country with these vital new tools and resources,” said Commerce Acting Director Kendrick Stewart. “When everyone is well-equipped to learn, thrive and pursue their dreams, it only strengthens our communities.”   

Veterans, Active-duty members, Reserve members, National Guard, members of the same household as a qualified veteran, and members of families currently receiving benefits from a deceased or Active-Duty servicemember in households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline for their household size are eligible.

“The partnership between your Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Commerce is positively impacting the lives of Veterans,” said David Puente, WDVA Director, “We know that connecting veterans to this technology will open doors for veterans to access their earned benefits, higher education or training, tele-health, and peer support services.” 

Digital Navigators served 85 Veterans at the Soldiers Home in Orting and King County Department of Community and Human Services within two weeks and are scheduled to travel to Seattle, Tukwila, Forks, Port Orchard, Spokane, Chelan County and Yakima in the next few weeks to distribute kits to eligible Veterans, Servicemembers, or their families.

“Our Veterans have earned these benefits and I am incredibly proud that our state has made them a priority through the Digital Navigator Program,” said Samuel Herbst, WDVA Digital Navigator Program Manager.

For more information about the program or to apply, call 1-800-562-2308 or visit Digital Navigator Program | WDVA (wa.gov)

To learn more about the Washington State Department of Commerce visit Washington State Department of Commerce

To keep up with the WDVA Digital Navigator Program visit our social media (20+) Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs | Olympia WA | Facebook

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Media Contact
Heidi Audette
Communications and Legislative Director
(360) 485-1812– office
(360) 791-8966 – cell

heidia@dva.wa.gov