Alexander Balbir, PhD: Wounded Warrior Project’s Independence Program Offers Services and a Safety Net

The core services of Wounded Warrior Project’s Independence Program include case management, resource management, care coordination, home health aide, alternative therapies, and more, with the primary goal of helping service members and their families rebuild a normal routine, plan for and succeed in the long-term, independently. But the program is always there as a safety net if new challenges arise.

Dr. Alexander Balbir is the Director of Independent Services at Wounded Warrior Project.

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The program is called the Independence Program. And if we offer everything and we pay for everything, all the goods and all the services, and do not help these individuals plan for their future, then we have a problem. They become dependent and reliant on us. Very early on in the program when we were getting our bearings, we looked to really understand what they needed, and they asked for many things and we delivered. But then we started to move towards understanding what our core services were - our case management, our resource management, our ability to care coordinate, our ability to provide some of these skilled care and home health aide types of services, and these alternative treatments. We really felt that those were the core benefits to being in this program and that’s what people relied on most. Now if individuals need, or individuals have, a sudden emergency with their finances, we can help support them. It’s easy for us to give them the opportunity to get back on their feet by making a mortgage payment. But then we work with them and our partners to help them budget better and that’s where we’re teaching them the long-term skills and providing for them. Or, for instance, if you’re working with an individual who wants to start a gym membership and really work on their fitness. We’ll cover the first couple months of their experience, but then we work with them to budget this as part of their - as part of their normal routine. Because that’s really what we’re building here, we’re building a routine. We’re building skills for them to manage their finances independently and as a family. And we’re there to support them as the backstop or the safety net for them when things aren’t going well. But our goal for the long-haul is to make sure that they are as independent as possible and teaching them those life skills. BrainLine is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families.

Posted on BrainLine September 27, 2021. Reviewed September 27, 2021.