FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- More emergency assistance for Soldiers and their families is available through Army Emergency Relief.

Expenses for family-member dental care, basic furniture needs, and replacement and rental vehicles are covered effective Jan. 1 through the program, said Wallace Turner, the installation's AER officer.

"These new opportunities for assistance reinforce AER's mission of the Army taking care of its own," he said.

The additions were made to meet the changing needs of today's Soldiers and their families, according to a statement released March 1 by AER National Headquarters.

Dental care eligible for AER assistance includes diagnosis, fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, sealants and emergency care to alleviate pain.

Basic furniture needs include beds, cribs, sofas, chairs and tables. The intent is to assist Soldiers and their families establishing a household when their quarters have no furniture.

Help also is available to Soldiers who lost their furniture in a natural disaster.

Assistance for a replacement vehicle helps Soldiers when the cost to repair their current vehicle is more than it is worth.

Help for dental care, basic furniture needs and a replacement vehicle is limited to $4,000.

A rental vehicle for Soldiers who are on emergency leave or waiting for the repair of their primary vehicle is generally available for seven to 10 days.

"AER also provides grants and interest-free loans for medical and hospital [expenses], emergency travel, rent, utilities and funeral expenses as well as loss of funds and nonreceipt of pay," Turner said.

Last year, more than $700,000 was distributed to Fort Meade Soldiers.

Assistance is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must comply with Army Regulation 930-4, which governs the program.

Applicants must complete AER Form 700 and have it signed by their commander or first sergeant to verify they are on active duty. Soldiers above the pay grades of E8, W3 or 03 do not require the signature.

Blank forms can be downloaded on AER's website at www.aerhq.org. Once the application is completed and approved, applicants can schedule an appointment by calling the AER office at 301-677-5590 or 301-677-5768.

Page last updated Thu March 29th, 2012 at 00:00