- Army Emergency Relief (AER) Overview
Army Emergency Relief is the U.S. Army's own nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating financial distress on the force. AER provides grants and zero-interest loans to Active Duty and Retired Soldiers and their Families. Over 4 million Soldiers supported since 1942. AER officers are conveniently located at installations around the world. Visit ArmyEmergencyRelief.org to learn more.
AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. The three separate scholarship programs are:
Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States.
• Stateside applicants must be full time students.
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa.
• Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location.
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Off post students are not eligible.
• Spouses may be part time or full time students.
Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependant Children
• Dependent children, stepchildren, or legally adopted children of Army Soldiers on active duty, retired or deceased while in active duty or retired status.
The children of Grey Area Reservists/National Guard are eligible as well.
Scholarship awards will be awarded up to half the cost of tuition. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as evidenced by income, assets, Family size, and special circumstances.
Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/resources/
- AER Resources and Forms
AER can normally assist with emergency needs for:
- Security deposit and first month rent for primary residence
- Rent or mortgage payment for primary residence
- Utilities: gas, electric, water, sewage, trash, primary phone, cable, and internet
- Food, to prevent privation
- Emergency travel
- Emergency POV issues: gas, repair, insurance, insurance deductible, loan payment for essential vehicle, rental vehicle, or repossession recovery
- Funeral expenses
- Emergency medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance
- Repair or purchase of stove, refrigerator, washer, or dryer for primary residence
- Repair or purchase of HVAC for primary residence
- Minor home repairs; plumbing, electrical, or roof repairs
- Purchase of economical/essential furniture (initial setup or disaster situation only)
- Purchase of child car seat
- Privation issues due to non-receipt of pay or loss of funds
- Certain PCS moving costs if Soldier does not have government credit card and did not receive advance travel pay
AER does not assist with:
- Nonessential needs
- Ordinary leave or vacation
- Consumer debt, credit cards, or overdrawn bank accounts
- Business ventures or investments
- Fines, legal expenses, judgements, liens, bail, divorce, or child custody case
- Home purchase, improvements, or repairs (other than mentioned above)
- Lease of a vehicle
- Income taxes
Active duty Soldiers needing assistance will need to complete an application (AER Form 101) for Army Emergency Relief Assistance. Through the Quick Assist Program, your Commander or First Sergeant may approve assistance of up to $2,000 for Active Duty RA Soldiers (loan only; other requirements may apply). In Section 16 of AER Form 101, choose QAP and have your Commander/1sg complete sections 21-24. Please utilize the AER checklist (found under Resources and Forms) to determine other documentation needed.
Active duty Family members requiring assistance when their Soldier is not in the local area will need to provide a current Military ID, an Army Emergency Relief (AER) Special Power of Attorney (SPOA), Form 53, copy of orders, current address and contact information of Soldier, and other substantiating documents provided on the AER Checklist.
Forms are available at https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/resources/?fwp_resources_categories=forms
The Fort Rucker AER office also provides emergency assistance to members of other services through their respective aid societies. If an Army installation is not within the area, Army service members can receive assistance at any Navy/Marine Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society or Coast Guard Mutual Aid Society. If there is no military aid society within a 50 mile radius, assistance can be obtained by calling the American Red Cross, (877) 272-7337.
AER also provides scholarship programs for spouse and dependent children of active duty, retired, and fallen Soldiers. AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. Forms and detailed information on the AER scholarship programs can be obtained by visiting:
- Resources and Forms
AER Category Checklist
Commander/1SG AER Quick Assist Fact Sheet
Assistance Application Form 101
Routine Request Financial Summary/Budget Form
Quick Assist Program Budget Form 57
Spouse Re-Licensing/Re-Certification Assistance Checklist
- Education Programs
Spouse Education Assistance Program
The Spouse Education Assistance Program is a need-based scholarship program established to assist Spouses of Army Soldiers in obtaining their first undergraduate degree. Applicants must apply each year and may receive assistance for up to four academic years of full time study or eight academic years of part time study if they meet the eligibility criteria explained below.
- Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States.
- First undergraduate degrees only.
- May be enrolled part-time (minimum of 6 credit hours per semester or term) or full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per semester or term) in an accredited postsecondary or vocational institution.
- Must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.
- Active duty military personnel are not eligible.
- May not be fully funded by other sources
The award amounts vary each year based on the number of applicants, total approved scholarship budget, the applicant's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) reported on the Student Air Report (SAR) from the FAFSA, and the average Cost of Attendance to attend a college or university in the United States as provided by the College Board. For 2016-2017, the Spouse awards ranged from $500 to $1,900
Accredited postsecondary or vocational institution must be listed in the US Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Insitutions http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx
Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at www.aerhq.org
The Army-wide annual AER fund campaign is held 1 March – 15 May of each year. You may contribute online at http://www.armyemergencyrelief.org, through your AER unit representative, or your local AER office. Donations are accepted year-round. All contributions are tax deductible. Support the Army’s own non-profit organization – a Strong Tradition of Soldiers helping Soldiers!