There are many categories of assistance under the Army Emergency Relief Program that are not commonly known to many in our Army family.
AER covers more than 30 different categories of assistance. Find out if you are eligible by reviewing the list below and check out the main categories of assistance. You may be surprised to know that AER covers much more than emergency leave.
Eligibility includes: Active-duty service-members and their Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System dependents; National Guard and Reserve serving under Title 10 Orders and their DEERS dependents; retirees (from active service, Guard or Reserve and their DEERS dependents); medically-retired service-members; surviving spouses and children.
Categories of assistance:
-- Housing (rent or mortgage)
-- Utilities (electric, water, phone, etc…)
-- Basic furniture
-- Appliance repair or replacement
-- Travel expenses (convalescent leave and PCS)
-- Car repairs
-- Car insurance
-- Replacement vehicle
-- Child car seats
-- Cranial helmets
-- Dependent dental care
-- Minor home repairs
-- Funeral expenses
AER can help with up to $3,000 in assistance. If there is a need not listed above, Soldiers can also request an exception for unique situations or assistance above $3,000.
In support of the Army family, Army Emergency Relief also has ongoing plans to increase educational scholarships given to spouses and children.
Last year alone, Fort Leonard Wood Families received $146,145 in 61 scholarships. This is an under-utilized program that is 100 percent needs based. Children can apply through May and spouses are now able to apply year round. For the most current information and application instructions , visit AER's website: www.aerhq.org.
Applications for AER assistance can be obtained from AER's website under "Financial Assistance" tab or picked up at the front desk of Army Community Service. Once all documents are gathered and the application is complete, call the AER staff at 573.596.0212, to schedule an appointment. No appointment is needed for emergency leave travel cases. If you're just not sure if your request is eligible, just call. We always try to find a way to help and say "yes."
(Editor's note: Matthews is the installation AER officer.)