Financial Assistance Programs

Zero-Interest Loans and Grants

  • U.S. Army Spc. Josiah Smith, assigned to 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, operates the Carl Gustaf M3 84-mm recoilless rifle during the Expert Soldier and Expert Infantry Badge (E2B) train-up on Oct. 19, 2023 at Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy. The E2B tests U.S. Army Soldiers' mastery of warrior tasks and are a fundamental part of the Army's method of building lethal, cohesive teams and expert leaders through difficult, realistic training. Over 1,400 Soldiers from units across Europe, including service members from seven European countries, are training for expert badges on Caserma Del Din, Italy. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kevin J. Eros)

Categories of Assistance

All assistance requests are unique and considered on an individual basis.

  • Emergency travel
  • Natural disaster preparation and evacuation
  • Mortgage, rent and initial deposit
  • Temporary lodging
  • Food
  • Healthcare not covered by TRICARE
  • Vehicle costs
  • Utilities
  • Funeral expenses
  • Basic essential furniture
Check out all the Categories of Assistance for 2023
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Eligibility

The following individuals are eligible for AER assistance in accordance with Army Regulation 930-4:

  • Soldiers on active duty and their eligible dependents
  • Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers activated on Title 10 orders for more than 30 days and their eligible dependents
  • Soldiers retired for longevity, medical or upon reaching age 60 (reserve component) and their eligible dependents
  • Surviving spouses who have not remarried and children of Soldiers who died on active duty or died after reaching retirement eligibility

Three Ways to Apply

1. Talk to your chain of command

Your chain of command has the power to approve immediate financial assistance up to $2,000 through the Quick Assist Program. Your chain of command can also refer you to the on-post AER officer. Your chain of command is empowered to help. Just ask!

2. Visit your AER officer

Any Soldier (active or retired) can visit their nearest AER officer. Officers are conveniently located at many Army installations around the world. No Army post nearby? No problem! Soldiers can visit any military installation and request AER assistance from any military aid society.

Find your nearest office

3. Call the American Red Cross

Not located within 50 miles of a military installation? The American Red Cross is authorized to provide financial assistance on behalf of AER. Call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 and select the option for financial assistance.

See if you're within 50 miles of an office

Already have an existing loan?

Service your loan with a Defense Finance and Accounting Service, online payment or through the mail. Click below to learn more.

Manage your loan
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“I do not know how to thank you enough for the kind gesture and for ensuring transitioning veterans and their Families are taken care of. Often with transitions comes uncertainty and challenges with adjustments. The AER grant tremendously benefits all veterans who submitted documentation for the Lt. Gen (Retired) Nathaniel R. Thompson Jr. Career Skills Support Program.”

—retiring noncommissioned officer/Career Skills Support Program recipient

Other Programs

Quick Assist Program

AER’s most powerful program. Company commanders or first sergeants can approve financial assistance up to $2,000. Last year, 8,000 Soldiers received over $10 million in financial assistance from their chains of command. Give leadership the opportunity to help. Talk to your chain of command.

More on QAP

Wounded Warrior Assistance Program

Soldier for life! Army Wounded Warriors receive personal access to AER assistance. Applicants located within 50 miles of a military installation should visit the on-base military aid office for a consultation. Applicants not located within 50 miles of an installation should contact their AW2 advocate or AER HQ.

Survivor Assistance

Surviving spouses and children of active and retired Soldiers are eligible for financial assistance through AER’s Survivor Assistance Program. Assistance is provided as grants, and monthly stipends may be available for the most destitute.

Learn more about the Survivor Assistance Program

Wounded Warrior Comfort Grants

Soldiers medically evacuated from hostile fire or imminent danger area, peacekeeping operations or training exercises within CONUS receive immediate financial assistance. A $1,000 grant is provided at the time of hospitalization.

Contact your nearest AER office for more

Educational Scholarships

Spouses and children of active and retired Soldiers are eligible for educational scholarship programs. AER provides over $13 million in educational scholarships every year.

Learn more about scholarships

Childcare Assistance

Families enrolled in the Army Fee Assistance program are eligible for up to $1,500 in child-care assistance ($500 per month for three months) in addition to assistance provided through the program. Families must be enrolled in Army Fee Assistance and demonstrate valid need through the completion of a budget.

Learn more about child-care assistance

Retired Lt. Gen. Nathaniel R. Thompson Jr. Career Skills Support Program

Retiring and separating Soldiers in the U.S. Army’s Career Skills Program are eligible for grants ($500 to $2,000 depending on location) to assist with costs and lessen the obstacles that can come with making the military-to-civilian transition.

Learn more about CSP assistance

Financial Frontline

Soldiers with AER loans who are eligible and fulfill the requirements can gain credit toward their loans by:

  • Reviewing and completing the financial training videos on the Army G-9 website within 90 days of the loan creation date
  • Scoring an 80 or higher in the first three attempts on the test in AER’s Loan Portal

Specialists/corporals and below can receive up to $500 and sergeants and above can receive up to $250 on their current loan balances. Credits will not exceed the current balance of the loan.

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Retired Col. Greg Gadson

“AER was one of the first organizations that made a direct contribution to my Family after being seriously wounded. AER was right there to make a difference so that we could begin to take on the challenges ahead. As a 26-year service member, I’ve seen countless times where AER has stood up and taken care of Soldiers, including myself.”

—Retired Col. Gregory Gadson, actor, motivational speaker

Gadson is a member of AER’s Board of Managers. He was serving as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, in 2007 when an IED took both his legs above the knees and he lost the use of his right arm and hand. He continued to serve on active duty and led Fort Belvoir, Virginia’s garrison before retiring.

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