Monday, September 14, 2009

Relief Societies

Private military relief societies can help service members solve emergency financial problems.

There are four private, nonprofit societies: Army Emergency Relief, Air Force Aid Society, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. Each has local representatives on military installations, usually in family centers, and operates under different policies and procedures.

They offer education assistance programs for spouses and children and can help service members and families with debt management.

The societies rely solely on donations for their support and do not charge for their services.

Anyone seeking aid should bring a military ID, leave papers, leave and earnings statement, and other information or documents that show an emergency financial need. Some aid comes through direct grants, but most is in the form of interest-free loans.

Typical clients include active-duty members and family members. Retirees and their families facing short-term financial problems may qualify for assistance, as well as surviving spouses of active-duty and retired service personnel.

Contact: Army Emergency Relief,; Air Force Aid Society,; Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society,; Coast Guard Mutual Assistance,