Financial Assistance Programs
Zero-Interest Loans and Grants
Categories of Assistance
All assistance requests are unique and considered on an individual basis.
- Appliance costs
- Cranial helmets
- PCS travel
- Child car seats
- Dental care for dependents
- Home repair
- Non-medical attendant travel
- Invitational travel order
- Immigration and passport fees for dependents
- Special needs medical equipment
- Spouse relicensing and recertification
- Childcare (Army Fee Assistance enrollment required)
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. 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
“AER is a critical lifeline when Soldiers and Families are most in need. And obtaining assistance through AER can mean the difference between a short-term financial setback or a long-term and costly financial obligation.”
—Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Harbour, garrison senior noncommissioned officer, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
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.
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.
Surviving spouses and children of active and retired Soldiers are eligible for financial assistance. Assistance is provided as a grant for an individual request. Monthly stipends may be provided for the most destitute.Contact your nearest AER office for more
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. AER has provided over $3 million in comfort grants since inception.Contact your nearest AER office for more
Spouses and children of active and retired Soldiers are eligible for educational scholarship programs. AER provides over $8 million in educational scholarships every year.Learn more about scholarships
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
AER was very helpful during the untimely passing of my spouse. He was our only income. I am very appreciative of the timely manner of assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for AER assistance?
- Active duty Soldiers and their eligible family members
- Soldiers retired from active duty because of longevity and their eligible family members
- Retired Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers receiving retired pay and their eligible family members
- Medically retired Soldiers and their eligible family members, including those placed on the Permanent Disability Retired List or Temporary Disability Retirement List
- Surviving spouses and children of Soldiers who died while on active duty (including those on Title 10 Orders) or in an eligible retired status
- Members of the Army Reserve Component (National Guard and Army Reserve under Title 10 U.S.C) on Active Guard Reserve tours and their eligible family members
- Members of the Army Reserve Component (National Guard and Army Reserve under Title 10 U.S.C) on continuous Active Duty for more than 30 consecutive days and their eligible family members
Any Soldier, regardless of rank, and their eligible military identification card-holding dependents in the categories listed above can seek assistance from AER.
Can my spouse obtain AER assistance if I’m deployed or TDY?
Yes, a spouse or other eligible dependent may seek AER assistance without their sponsor being present when the Soldier is unavailable.
Unavailable is defined as:
- When the Soldier is outside the same geographic area as the dependent due to temporary duty travel, field exercise or deployment
- When the Soldier is inside the same geographic area and (determined by the chain of command) they will be unavailable to visit the local AER office in a timely manner to meet a valid emergency need
- When the retired Soldier is working outside the local or primary area where the family resides or is hospitalized, incarcerated or otherwise unavailable for a legitimate reason that would prevent them from requesting assistance
Options for requesting assistance when the Soldier is unavailable:
- Special Power of Attorney
- Spouses or other authorized dependent must have a valid SPOA from their sponsor granting them authority to act as the sponsor’s attorney-in-fact to “establish, change, or stop allotments” as required by Financial Management Regulation DoD 7000.14-R, para 400803.
- Note: “A general power of attorney is not acceptable to establish, change or stop and allotment.” (FMR 7000.14-R, para 400803)
- Account Allotment and Authorization Form (AER Form 55)
- Allows active duty or retired Soldiers to provide one-time authority for a spouse or other eligible dependent to obtain financial assistance in the name of the Soldier when they are unavailable. Upon request, the AER Form 55 will can be initiated by the local AER officer. The AER officer will email the form directly to the active duty or retired Soldier for signature on behalf of the eligible family member.
- Email from the active duty Soldier’s .mil account stating they concur with the assistance, dollar amount and repayment
- Under no circumstance can a personal email account be used to provide concurrence.
Is there a dollar limit on AER assistance?
Every request is unique and considered on an individual basis. There is no upper limit for AER support, however, the most common assistance we provide is $1,500 for a 15-month loan.
Some categories of assistance have dollar limits and other categories have requirements related to grants versus loans.