AER - COVID19 - All Graphics

Life is full of surprises, and many of those surprises can be expensive complications. That is where Army Emergency Relief steps in to help you get through it. AER is a non-profit, financial assistance organization dedicated to providing emergency loans and grants to Soldiers and Families that are always free of interest or loans.

Beginning today, and running through July 30, AER is asking for donations to help Soldiers, retirees and their families navigate short-term financial emergencies, according to Matt Howland, AER’s chief of Marketing and Communications.

“Over the past year, we expanded programs and eligibility to ensure Soldiers had access to the financial assistance they may need, including an intense focus on assistance for the hardship caused by COVID-19,” Howland said. “All told, through the Support of Soldiers helping Soldiers, we provided over $5M in assistance in response to COVID-19.”

Howland stressed that Soldiers should not consider donating to AER because they fear their own financial future, “but because they wish to support the resiliency and financial future of their brothers and sisters in arms - just as those brothers and sisters will provide similar support to others in their squad. Resiliency abounds.”

AER launched childcare and remote education assistance last year, but under the original guidelines, Howland said assistance was provided in the form of grants, zero-interest loans, or a combination of both.

“We’ve determined the best way for us to meet the need would be to enhance the assistance to a needs-based 100% grant for hardship caused by COVID-19,” Howland said. “This means Army Families requiring financial assistance for childcare or remote education (because of COVID-19) will receive a 100% grant to meet their valid needs. Documentation is required to validate the need and families should work with their local AER officer to request assistance.”

AER Childcare Assistance

• Assistance for before/after school care, childcare facility, nursery school, private licensed sitter, or private licensed caregiver for an Exceptional Family Member

• Recipient of childcare must be age 12 or younger

• Spouse must be employed or pursuing a college degree or professional certification, reentering workforce following unemployment due to COVID-19, or pursuing employment while Soldier is geographically unavailable

• Proof of reduced capacity or childcare center closure required AER Homeschool and Remote Education Assistance

• Assistance for traditional full-time homeschool families and remote education due to COVID-19

• Assistance available for dependent children in Pre-K through 12th grade or pursuing an undergraduate degree, including tutoring support

• Maximum $2k per academic year for dependent children in Pre-K through 12th grade, $3k for dependent children pursuing undergraduate degrees

• Instructor must provide a letter of support for tutoring

As Fort Belvoir does not currently have an AER officer, Soldiers needing immediate assistance have several options: They can utilize AER Quick Assist by speaking with their company commander or first sergeant for a loan approval; direct access to AER at Joint

Base Myer-Henderson Hall, 202 Custer Road, Fort Myer, VA, or call (703) 696-8435