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Financial Assistance

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Call "2-1-1" Toll Free: Local Health and Human Services Resources

The best way to find available health and human services resources in your area is by calling the 2-1-1 help number.  A trained resource and referral specialist will know what services are available in your area. Sometimes the 2-1-1 line can be a problem from a cell phone, or may not yet be available in your immediate area. If you can't get through on 2-1-1, you can go to www.211.org and type in your zip code. It will provide an alternate number where one is available.

External Website: 211.org

American Red Cross (Active Duty/Families and Military Retirees/Spouse or Widow/er)

The American Red Cross partners with the Air Force Aid Society, Army Emergency Relief, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to provide reliable financial assistance to eligible applicants 24/7/365.  Assistance can include funds for emergency travel, burial of a loved one, emergency food and shelter, etc.

Contact:  American Red Cross Emergency Communications Center at 1-877-272-7337

External Website: American Red Cross

Armed Forces Foundation (Active Duty, Veterans Separated/Mobilized in Past 18 months & Families)

The Armed Forces Foundation serves active duty servicemembers, veterans separated from active duty in the past 18 months and Reservists and Guard who have been mobilized for at least 6 consecutive months of service that has ended in the last 18 months.  An online application is available for consideration of the following assistance:  mortgage (civilian housing only), rent, utilities, airfare and housing for family member assisting injured servicemember, child care during illness or surgery and car payments and insurance if sole transportation.

External Website: Armed Forces Foundation

Disability Compensation (Department of Veteran Affairs)

The Department of Veterans Affairs manages compensation programs for eligible veterans with service-connected disabilities and surviving family members.

VA Compensation

For Veterans

  • Disability Compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities.
  • Special Monthly Compensation for veterans needing aid and attendance from another person or for a specific disability like loss of use of a limb.
  • Individual Unemployability for eligible service-connected veterans whose disability prevents them from performing the mental and/or physical tasks required to get or keep substantially gainful employment.

For Family Members

  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for a surviving spouse, child, or parent of servicemembers who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training or survivors of veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities.
  • Aid and Attendance/Housebound for VA-pension eligible spouses and surviving spouses needing aid and attendance by another person or who is substantially confined to their immediate premises because of permanent disability.

Other Related Resources

VA Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors, Chapter 2 Service-connected Disabilities

Fact Sheet:  VA Disability Compensation

Fact Sheet:  Presumptive Disability Compensation

Fact Sheet:  Individual Unemployability

Fact Sheet:  VA Pension

VA Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors, Chapter 13 Dependents and Survivors Benefits

WomenVetsUSA "Getting Organized/Applying for Veteran Health Care & Benefits: Representation, Claim Forms, Guide & Other Information"

External Website: VA Compensation

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (DoD Civilian Employees)

The Federal Employee Education and Assistance (FEEA) Fund is set aside for Department of Defense civilian employees. On average, FEEA makes over 1,000 no-interest loans each year, helping civilian federal and postal employees get back on their feet in times of unexpected financial hardship.

External Website: Federal Employee Education and Assistance

Fiduciary Program (Department of Veterans Affairs)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Fiduciary Program was established to protect veterans and other VA benefits program beneficiaries who are unable to manage their financial affairs due to injury, disease or age.

Medical or a court of competent jurisdiction documentation is required for VA to determine an individual unable to independently manage his or her financial affairs.  When a VA beneficiary is determined unable to manage his or her financial affairs, VA will appoint a fiduciary normally chosen by the beneficiary.  The fiduciary must undergo an investigation of their suitability to serve. This investigation includes a criminal background check, review of credit report, personal interview, and recommendations of character references.  Once a fiduciary is appointed, the fiduciary is responsible to the beneficiary and oversees financial management of VA benefit payments.  Family members or friends usually serve as fiduciaries for beneficiaries; however, when friends and family are not able to serve, VA looks for qualified individuals or organizations to serve as a veteran's fiduciary.

Fact Sheet:  VA Fiduciary Program (February 2015)

External Website: VA Fiduciary Program

Fisher House Foundation (Lodging and Travel for Military Families)

The Fisher House Foundation provides travel assistance and nearby housing to military families so they can be close to their loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

External Website: Fisher House Lodging and Travel Programs

Hope for the Warriors (Post 9/11 Active Duty, Veterans, Families & Caregivers)

Hope For The Warriors® provides comprehensive support programs across the nation for post-9/11 active duty, Reserve and National Guard servicemembers, veterans, military families and caregivers from all branches of service that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources.

Programs include:

  • Critical Care Coordination: Immediate Financial Assistance
  • Above & Beyond: Career Transition programming
  • Spouse/Caregiver Scholarships: Awarded two times per year
  • Outdoor Adventures: Outdoor sports opportunities
  • Team Hope For The Warriors®
  • A Warrior's Wish®: Wish application information

External Website: Hope for the Warriors

Luke's Wings (Air Transportation--Wounded, Hospice Care, Special Ops & Texas Servicemembers, Veterans & Families)

Luke's Wings provides families with travel agency services and travel tickets so they can visit during the service member's hospitalization and rehabilitation.  Luke's Wings understands that servicemembers' recovery depends greatly upon family contact and involvement.

The four Luke's Wings programs include:

Wounded Warrior Transportation Assistance Program

Veterans in Hospice Care Transportation Assistance Program

Texas Veterans Transportation Assistance Program

Special Operations Command Transportation Assistance Program

External Website: Luke's Wings

Operation First Response (Wounded Servicemembers & Families)

Operation First Response, Inc., supports wounded servicemembers and their families with personal and financial needs. Services are provided from time of injury, through recovery and reintegration from military life into the civilian world. Financial aid varies as each case is based on individual needs and may include:

  • rent/mortgage payments
  • payment of overdue utilities
  • vehicle payments and repairs
  • groceries
  • clothing
  • air transportation
  • ground transportation which includes taxi rides to and from DC area airports, dollars given to purchase gas for traveling by car to medical facilities and train tickets
  • personal requested items by service members and their families

Eligibility criteria and application:  http://www.operationfirstresponse.org/?page_id=3600

External Website: Operation First Response

Operation Homefront (Post-9/11 Active Duty, Veterans & Families)

Operation Homefront serves American military personnel--active duty, Reserve, National Guard and veterans and/or their families--who served since 9/11 and have unmet needs due to financial hardship, death, injury, or physical or mental detriment in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Operation Homefront provides direct services to alleviate a military family's or individual's actual/complete emergency financial burden, as well as counseling and/or recovery support. Emergency financial assistance is in the form of checks paid directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, dentists and other providers. Other emergency funding assistance, which an applicant receives within 24 to 72 hours, includes the following:

  • Financial assistance
  • Emergency food
  • Emergency home repairs
  • Critical baby items:  formula, food and diapers
  • Home and appliance repair
  • Furniture and household items
  • Local moving assistance
  • Community events
  • Wounded Warrior Transitional Family Housing

External Website: Operation Homefront

Pensions for Eligible Veterans and Surviving Spouses & Children (Department of Veterans Affairs)

Chapter 4, VA Pensions, of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors, provides information on eligibility for VA pensions.  Some veterans may be eligible for a VA pension based on their income. VA also administers a pension benefit to Medal of Honor recipients.

Survivors Pension/Death Pension:  Eligible veteran surviving spouses may also be eligible for a VA pension.  It is as tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.

Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits (Special Monthly Pension)

The VA Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits pension guidance follows:

'Veterans and surviving spouses who are eligible for VA pensions are eligible for higher maximum pension rates if they qualify for aid and attendance or housebound benefits. An eligible individual may qualify if he or she requires the regular aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, or is bedridden, a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, blind, or permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises because of a disability.

Veterans and surviving spouses who are ineligible for basic pension based on excessive annual income may still be eligible for special monthly pension (SMP) if they require the aid and attendance of another in performing their daily functions, or if they are housebound due to a nonservice-connected condition as a higher income limit applies to SMP entitlement. In addition, unreimbursed medical expenses for nursing home or home-health care may be used to reduce countable annual income.'

VA Site for Applying for Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits

External Website: VA Pensions for Eligible Veterans and Surviving Spouses and Children

Rebuild Hope (Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans & Families)

Rebuild Hope is a volunteer-driven, national nonprofit helping disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families in all 50 states overcome financial hardships, improve the financial management of their households, and avoid or overcome poverty as they transition to civilian life.  Examples of assistance:

  • Preventing eviction
  • Finding shelter
  • Putting food on the table
  • Repairing primary vehicles
  • Keeping lights on
  • Supplying heating
  • Finding legal services
  • Finding family mental health services
  • Houeshold budgeting
  • Financial counseling

Eligibility criteria and application:  http://rebuildhope.org/get-help/#A1

External Website: Rebuild Hope

Tax Assistance & Tips: Free and Low Fee

A few organizations offer free and/or low fee tax assistance.  Eligibility for these services are included on their site.


IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

United Way MyFreeTaxes


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly

Unemployment Compensation (UCX Program)

Eligible servicemembers can get Unemployment Compensation based on their active duty service as established by federal and state law and procedures.  Unemployment Compensation is also referred to as the "UCX Program."  Weekly income is provided to servicemembers while searching for work, including those who can find only part-time work.

While it is based on a federal law, the program is run by each State. A State may have its own rules, in addition to those outlined here.

State Workforce Agency/CareerOneStop Locator

Other Resources

Department of Defense "Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers (UCX)"

Stateside Legal

The Military Wallet "Unemployment Benefits After Separating from the Military"

USA Cares (Post 9/11 Active Duty, Veterans & Families)

USA Cares assists post-9/11 OIF/OEF servicemembers, veterans and their family members who are in financial crisis due to military service or circumstances beyond all personal control.  USA Cares provides emergency assistance (food, utilities and other essentials), home eviction and foreclosure prevention aid and job connection services for combat injured and other servicemembers and veterans.  An application must be completed and assessed for program eligibility. 

If USA Cares is unable to assist, they will refer to other agencies whenever possible. 

External Website: USA Cares

U.S. Soldiers Foundation (Active Duty, Veterans & Famlies)

The U.S. Soldiers Foundation, a veterans serving veterans non-profit organization, provides additional services to our soldiers, veterans and their families which are not currently being provided.  This aid will be in the form of:  insurance, medical, dental, psychological, spiritual, and financial assistance, job placement and education and training.

External Website: U.S. Soldiers Foundation

VFW Unmet Needs (Honorably Discharged Within Last 6 Years)

VFW Unmet Needs "is there to help America's service members who have been deployed in the last six years and have run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other military-related activity. The program provides financial aid of up to $5,000 to assist with basic life needs in the form of a grant -not a loan- so no repayment is required. To further ease the burden, we pay the creditor directly."

Unmet Needs Eligibility Criteria

Unmet Needs Application Form

Unmet Needs Disaster Assistance Application Form

Contact Unmet Needs

Phone:  1-866-789-6333

E-mail: unmetneeds@vfw.org

External Website: VFW