Frequently Asked Questions About AmeriCorps Service for Veterans

Add these frequently asked questions to your outreach materials when recruiting veterans to serve as AmeriCorps members.

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is an opportunity for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and their country through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. AmeriCorps members address critical needs in literacy, health, housing, technology, the environment, economic development, and many other fields. It is a chance to apply your skills and energy toward helping others and strengthening the organizations that make a positive difference in Americans’ lives.

Is it a government program?

Yes and no. AmeriCorps is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. However, virtually all AmeriCorps positions are hosted by local nonprofits, government agencies, and faith-based organizations that have applied for and received AmeriCorps grants. You are considered an “AmeriCorps member” and not an employee of the Corporation or of the organization or agency you serve with.

Why should I join?

AmeriCorps service offers an opportunity to continue to serve your country while you build skills and gain connections that can help you transition to the civilian workforce or to a new career. You can help children, the elderly, the poor, and others who are in great need, including some of your fellow veterans and their families who are experiencing hardship.

What kinds of opportunities are available?

All kinds. You can contribute with your hands or your mind, in an office or in the great outdoors, by yourself or with a team. It all depends on the particular program you serve with, and with thousands of service opportunities to choose from nationwide, chances are good you’ll find a position that matches your interests, skills, and goals.

Do I have to move to serve?

No! AmeriCorps positions are available in all 50 states and several U.S. territories. Unless you live in a remote area or are looking for a particular type of position that is not available everywhere, chances are you’ll find plenty of options to choose from right in your own community. If you are open to moving to serve, the AmeriCorps VISTA program offers some limited relocation assistance.

What do I get out of it?

In addition to the satisfaction of making a difference in your community and developing useful work skills, you might receive a modest living allowance, student-loan forbearance, health coverage, and child care. After completing your term of service, you will receive an AmeriCorps Education Award that can be used to pay off qualified student loans or to finance college, graduate school, or vocational training at eligible institutions.

Will I lose any of my veterans benefits?

Individual circumstances may differ, but generally, no, AmeriCorps service should not jeopardize any veterans compensation, pension, G.I. Bill, or other benefits you or your family receive. In the case of your G.I. Bill educational benefits, the AmeriCorps Education Award can be used at any college or university that accepts the G.I. Bill. Your AmeriCorps stipend and Education Award are considered taxable income, however, which could affect other non-veteran relief and benefit programs you or your family participate in.

How long is the commitment?

It can be anywhere from a few months to a full year, and can be part-time, half-time, or full-time, depending on the program.

What if I get called back to active duty?

We encourage AmeriCorps members to commit to serving their full terms, but activation or recall to active duty would be a “compelling personal circumstance” that would release you from service. If you have completed at least 15 percent of your AmeriCorps service term, you can still be eligible for a prorated Education Award.

Where can I get more information?

You can e-mail AmeriCorps or call 800.942.2677 with any questions. Check out the AmeriCorps website to learn more about AmeriCorps, find programs in your geographic or interest areas, and (if ready) apply to serve.

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