Sometimes the challenges of life, especially satisfying financial responsibilities during the current fiscal crisis, can become overwhelming. Fortunately, military relief organizations exist to help service members and their families, in every branch of the military, in times of financial emergency. Depending on the circumstances, these organizations can provide interest-free loans, grants, or a combination of loans and grants. The information below will help you understand the kinds of financial emergencies that can be covered and how to apply for financial assistance.
About military relief organizations
Military relief organizations are private, nonprofit organizations (one for each Service) that help service members and their families with certain emergency financial needs. They provide financial help in the form of interest-free loans, grants, or a combination of loans and grants.
Military relief organizations also sponsor tuition-assistance programs for service members and certain family members. Some offer other special programs such as financial counseling. You can find out more on the individual relief organization website.
Help with financial emergencies
Most loans and grants from military relief organizations are for one-time financial emergencies such as for rent, utilities, vehicle repair, certain medical and dental expenses, emergency travel and funeral expenses.
Each organization limits the kinds of financial expenses it will cover. For example, fines and legal expenses, the purchase of a home or vehicle, and other nonessentials are not covered.
Relief organizations by Service
- Army Emergency Relief. Information is available on their website at www.aerhq.org or by calling 1-866-878-6378. If there is no military installation of any type within fifty miles of your location, AER has a support agreement with the American Red Cross to assist Soldiers and their families.
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Visit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society website or call 1-703-696-4904.
- Air Force Aid Society. For details, visit their website at www.nmcrs.org or call 1-800-769-8951.
If there is no nearby emergency relief organization for your Service branch, one of the other military relief organizations can help process your request on behalf of your Service’s relief organization. If no military relief organizations are nearby, the local Red Cross chapter can also process your request. To find your local chapter, visit www.redcross.org.