It’s difficult for the average citizen to imagine how disasters affect our active military members and their families. While there are many factors that have impacted our troops, each branch of the military has made adjustments to provide resources to assist their active duty, reserves and veterans.
There are times when circumstances arise beyond our control. A global pandemic is a perfect example. Due to Covid-19, there is an increased number of servicemen and woman who need financial assistance. Is that something that’s available? According to militaryonesource.mil, “Depending on the circumstances, service relief organizations provide emergency financial help with interest-free loans, grants or a combination of loans and grants. They can also offer other kinds of financial assistance. Most loans and grants from military relief organizations are for one-time financial needs such as rent and utilities, for example. Each organization limits the kinds of financial expenses it will cover.”
Army/ National Guard
The AER (Army Emergency Relief) is where active or retired Army or National Guard members can go for assistance. There are over thirty categories for which you can request aid. For example, they will provide funds to help you with anything from rent and utilities to auto maintanence and repair. Additionally, they will help with the cost of childcare, car seats and food. Due to the pandemic, all requests can be made electronically and processing times have increased in order to provide financial services at an expedited rate. For more information, head over to armyemergencyrelief.org.
Navy/ Marine Corps
If you’re active or retired navy/marine corps, the NMCRS (Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society) is the place to go for financial assistance. The have a dedicated section on their website for Covid relief. Should the need arise, you have the option apply for a couple different loans. These loans range from $500 to $1500 and are interest free. You can also defer your existing payments if your finances have been affected by the pandemic. Contact your local office to see if you qualify for financial assistance. If you need help locating the office closest to you, click here to search by zipcode.
The AFAS (Air Force Aid Society) is the place to go for active and retired airmen/woman who need assistance. They offer various services that can help with things like rent/utilities, disaster relief, medical expenses, and childcare. If you require funds for something outside of their listed services, they offer loan options as well. To apply, simple visit the AFAS Member Portal by clicking here.
The CGMA (Coast Guard Mutual Assistance) is the place to go for any active or retired coast guard members. In response to the pandemic, the CGMA has expanded both the programs and eligibility of their services. They offer child/elder care grants, access to tutors to help with distance learning, as well as other financial aid opportunities. For more information, visit their website by clicking here.