When military families transition from military to civilian life, there are numerous social services available to help aid in the process. However, these services have differing availabilities depending on program eligibility requirements, area of residence, and details surrounding the time in service. The three most sought after services for veterans involve housing, employment, and financial assistance. A deeper dive shows there is a growing trend for a need of emergency financial assistance for veterans.
Luckily, there are numerous national veteran service organizations that provide emergency financial assistance for disabled veterans, veterans, and transitioning service members. Three large national organizations in particular that provide emergency financial assistance to veterans are the American Red Cross, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and USA Cares. To inquire further, check with your local Veteran Service Officer (VSO) or your local VA contact.
The VA offers various financial assistance programs as well so check your eligibility. In terms of veterans with disabilities, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organizations has an emergency financial assistance partner program that can support rent or mortgages, pay various utility bills, and assist with costly automobile expenditures. Under the Military Heroes Fund, eligible veterans wounded, ill, or injured post 9-11 can receive emergency financial assistance. Many other organizations, like Wounded Warrior Project, will assist disabled veterans in their connection to valuable financial resources.
Depending on where you live, the availability of services and support differs greatly. The states with the highest concentration of support organizations are Texas, Florida, Washington, and California, due to the high number of veterans in these states.
The emergency financial assistance for veterans in Texas includes the national providers mentioned earlier but adds in an Army Emergency Relief Fund agency. Additionally, Texas bolsters a strong American Legion presence that offers a wide array of financial services. The Texas Veterans Commission also created a donation-based fund to support veterans, entitled the Fund for Veteran’s Assistance.
Similar to the program in Texas, Florida has some unique program offerings. The emergency financial assistance for veterans in Florida includes Project: VetRelief. This program provides eligible applicants with immediate financial assistance to support veterans and their families in times of need. Additionally, the Florida VA follows the ‘No Florida Veterans Left Behind’ motto and offers financial support in various forms to eligible applicants.
The emergency financial assistance for veterans in Washington includes a unique County Veterans Assistance fund. These benefits are distributed at the county level and provide emergency financial assistance to help with rent, utilities, food, and other essential living expenses. This generous program has specific eligibility requirements so contact your local veteran service officer or local county VA.
CALVET, the California Department of Veteran Affairs, has developed a thorough listing of support agencies. The emergency financial assistance for veterans in California is expansive, including a CALVET born program named the California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF), which provides short-term financial assistance to veterans. There is also the not-for-profit organization ReserveAid, whose goal is to provide financial assistance to reservists and national guard families experiencing financial hardship. In California there is also the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes fund for disabled veterans and wounded troops dedicated to providing financial aid in needy times.
Thankfully there are numerous programs and organizations providing emergency financial assistance to veterans of all eras and in all states. However, each state has different program offerings and nomenclature for their financial assistance programs so visit your local VA office or contact your local veteran service officer (VSO) to uncover what resources are available in your community. Remember, there are numerous national organizations as well that can provide support in your most difficult of times. You can view a list of them here.