Army Emergency Relief (AER)

The mission of the AER is to provide emergency financial assistance to soldiers and their families. Assistance can come in the form of loans (which have to be paid back), grants (which are gifts and do not have to be paid back) or a combination of the two.

Those eligible for help from AER include:

–         Active duty soldiers and their family members

–         National Guard and Reserve soldiers who are on continuous active duty of 30 days or more, along with their family members

–         Retirees of active duty (longevity or medical) and their family members

–         National Guard and Reserve who retired after age 60 and their family members

–         Surviving spouses or orphans of soldiers who died on active duty or after retirement

AER assistance can be used for rent, utilities, food, emergency transportation, vehicle repairs, funeral expenses, medical/dental care and any personal needs if pay is delayed.

To apply for AER, the soldier should go to his chain of command. The command has the ability to approve a $1,000 loan or they may send the soldier to the AER office. If one is not available, the soldier may go to the American Red Cross. When going to the AER office, the soldier will need to provide a military ID, LES and any documents showing the need (copies of bills, etc.).

If the soldier is not in the area, the spouse may apply for AER without the soldier being present. The spouse will need to have a military ID, POA and the supporting documents.

There is no limit to the amount of assistance from AER. If the case is approved for assistance, they will cover any amount for an emergency need. While AER welcomes contributions and donations, it is not required to donate to AER in order to receive help from them.

Visit their website for more information –

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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