Help For Military Families During COVID-19 Pandemic
Help For Military Families During The COVID-19 Pandemic
During this time, many military families might be struggling either emotionally or financially. A spouse might have lost their job, they might need to spend more money on childcare, and regular resources could be limited. The good news is that there are different programs and organizations that can help.
Military Relief Societies
The military has relief societies for each branch of the military. Here is what they are doing during this time:
- Army Emergency Relief (AER)– They are allowing people to request relief by email instead of meeting with someone in person. They are also allowing Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers to apply on a case-by-case basis.
- Airforce Aid Society – They have stated that they will be still conducting business, even if the base is “shut down.”
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society– They have a Quick Assist Loan that offers up to $500 in a zero-interest loan as well as other programs and loans to help military families.
- Coast Guard Mutual Assistance– They will allow you to request assistance online, and offer loans of up to $6,000 for loss of pay by a spouse, child care needs, and other costs. They also are offering limited grants for change fees that aren’t being waved.
The Independence Fund has set up Independence@Home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an emergency program to directly support its catastrophically disabled veterans, caregivers, and their families. They are assisting with costs such as mortgage or rent, utilities, childcare, transportation service, home WiFi services, household cleaning, and upkeep, grocery and medical product delivery and streaming services for work and learning.
State Level Help
Different states might have their own relief funds.
- The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs has a Military Family Relief Fund COVID-19 Special Application that is available to submit now. This fund will provide undisrupted assistance to veterans and their families during this crisis.
- Your own state– Keep an eye on what your own state or city might be offering.
Military One Source
At Military One Source, they have added a few new programs to their website. This is what they will be doing in addition to what they already provide:
- They will have a section on their website to provide us with resources, updates, and information about the impacts of COVID-19 on the military community that will be updated regularly.
- As of March 24th, 2020, they will be offering non-medical counseling video sessions for children and youth. This can help your children if they are having a difficult time right now.
- They will be going live on Facebook, Monday through Friday at noon ET, highlighting resources for military families.
The USO is offering programs and activities for military families. You can find these through the different USOs both here in the US and overseas. Some of what they are offering is:
- Digital scavenger hunts
- Movie trivia online
- Live streaming storytimes
- Workshops for military spouses online
- Virtual “Coffee Connections Live” series
- Virtual creative arts programs
- Free DIY workout routines online
- Holiday fun online
Blue Star Families, in partnership with the Association of Defense Communities, is launching COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI) to establish a clearinghouse for vetted, official information both to and from military and veteran families about benefits, as well as updates during the pandemic. They will provide resources and expertise with daily updates through a newsletter, host virtual town halls, bring military community, family organizations, and experts together to identify and advance best practices and policy solutions and create a repository to capture and document best practices and lessons learned.
The longer this pandemic goes on, the more relief and help might come out to help military families as well as civilian ones. This isn’t an easy time and if you do need that extra help or support, make sure to look into these programs and organizations to find relief.