Financial Assistance Programs

Zero-Interest Loans and Grants

  • Soldier greeting his wife and daughter inside Monti Physical Fitness Center during the second Welcome Home ceremony for Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division returning from a nine month deployment, July 15, 2019, at Fort Drum, New York.

Thank you for taking the time to look over my situation and listen to everything I had to say. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for my daughter’s medical expenses. AER helped alleviate that stress.

Categories of Assistance

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

  • Emergency Travel
  • Natural Disaster (preparation & evacuation)
  • Mortgage, Rent, Initial Deposit
  • Temporary Lodging
  • Food
  • Healthcare (not covered by Tricare)
  • Vehicle Costs
  • Utilities
  • Funeral Expenses
  • Basic Essential Furniture
Have a request not listed above? Just ask!
  • Appliance Costs
  • Cranial Helmets
  • PCS Travel
  • Child Car Seats
  • Dental Care (for dependents)
  • Home Repair
  • Non-Medical Attendant Travel
  • Invitational Travel Order
  • Clothing
  • Immigration & Passport Fees (for dependents)
  • Special Needs Medical Equipment
  • Spouse Relicensing / Recertification
  • Child Care (Army Fee Assistance req.)


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

When my son was in an accident, AER provided assistance so I could be with him in the ICU. The process was streamlined and the officers were very helpful. It was a relief to have so much support in the middle of an emergency.

Three Ways to Apply

1. Talk to your Chain of Command

The fastest and most effective way to request financial assistance through AER is to 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 base 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 then select the option for financial assistance.

See if you're within 50 miles of an office

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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 chain of command. Give leadership the opportunity to help. Talk to your chain of command.

Wounded Warrior Assistance Program (AW2)

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. Assistance is provided as a grant for an individual request. Monthly stipends may be provided for the most destitute.

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.

Educational Scholarships

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

Child Care Assistance

Families enrolled in the Army Fee Assistance program are eligible for up to $1,500 in child care assistance ($500 per month for 3 months) in addition to assistance provided through the Army Fee Assistance Program. Families must be enrolled in the Army Fee Assistance Program and demonstrate valid need through the completion of a budget.

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.


“Army Emergency Relief plays a central role in helping us preserve readiness by providing vital assistance to our Soldiers and their families. The Army continues to count on AER to assist our service members in meeting their unexpected needs. AER’s support allows our Soldiers to remain focused on the mission and prepared to deploy, fight, and win our Nation’s wars.”

– Hon. Ryan McCarthy, Former Secretary of the Army

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible for AER assistance?

    • Soldiers on Active Duty 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 Family members.
    • Medically Retired Soldiers and their Family members, including both those placed on the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL) or Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL).
    • 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 Reserve Component of the Army (National Guard and Army Reserve under Title 10 U.S.C) on Active Guard Reserve (AGR) tours and their eligible Family members.
    • Members of the Reserve Component of the Army (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.

    NOTE:  Any Soldier, regardless of rank, and their eligible military identification card holding dependents in the eligible 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:

    1. When the Soldier is outside the same geographic area as the dependent due to TDY, field exercise, or deployment.
    2. When the Soldier is inside the same geographic area and determined by the chain of command that the Soldier will be unavailable to visit the local AER office in a timely manner to meet a valid emergency need.
    3. When the Retired Soldier is working outside the local/primary area where the Family resides, 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 (SPOA)
      • 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 while other categories have requirements related to grants versus loans.

Read more FAQs