Financial Help for Veterans

Financial assistance is available to veterans to meet their basic life needs.
Financial assistance is available to veterans to meet their basic life needs. (Image: DreamPictures/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Upon arriving home from active duty, some veterans find themselves in dire financial straits. Whether the problem is a delinquent auto loan, a defaulted mortgage or simply difficulty meeting basic monthly bills, veterans of the United States military have options to help them get back on their financial feet.

VFW Unmet Needs Program

The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization helps veterans connect with others who have served, and offers assistance to these veterans and their families. The VFW Unmet Needs program provides grants of up to $2,500 to veterans in financial need. Recipients are not required to pay the funds back to the VFW.

To qualify for the program, the veteran must have been honorably discharged or on active duty within 36 months of applying, and the financial hardship must be due to deployment or a military pay issue. The funds are paid directly to the creditor. As of May 2015, the Unmet Needs program has paid nearly $5 million in financial assistance.

USA Cares Combat Injured Program

USA Cares is an organization with a mission to meet financial needs of military families in the post 9/11 era. Its main emphasis is on providing assistance to those injured during combat. The USA Cares Combat Injured program focuses on basic living needs, such as housing expenses, food and utilities, for injured combat veterans who have lost wages while receiving treatment for their injuries and are unemployed or underemployed. Veterans interested in applying for assistance should visit the USA Cares website for more information.

Army Emergency Relief

Army Emergency Relief, which is funded by the U.S. Army, provides financial assistance to current United States Army personnel on active duty, as well as retired veterans. The financial assistance can be used to pay for auto repairs, unmet household expenses and other expenses on a case by case basis. To receive financial assistance, veterans should visit a military base within 50 miles from their home. If a military installation is not available within 50 miles, the US Army has a reciprocity agreement with the American Red Cross to help Army veterans in financial distress.

Veterans should be prepared to bring repair estimates, copies of utility bills or other expense statements showing how much is owed. In addition, a Budget Planning Sheet, obtained from the U.S. Army, should be completed, which provides a complete financial picture for the reviewing officer assigned to each case.

Hope for the Warriors Critical Care Coordination

Hope for the Warriors Critical Care Coordination provides immediate financial assistance to injured veterans who have incurred significant financial distress as a result of their combat related injuries. These grants help provide for expenses such as childcare, gasoline, groceries, furniture and mortgage or rent assistance. Veterans can apply for assistance once per year and payment is always made to the creditor or a third party vendor. This organization takes care of contacting Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and other third parties that may be involved in the wounded veterans case, taking much of that stress out of the veterans life. It does not provide grants for vehicle purchases or vehicle repairs.

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