Army Emergency Relief has always taken care of its own, and while we hear so very often how Army Emergency Relief assist with every day financial emergencies, but military personnel not receiving their pay because of a government shutdown is rarely considered.

As with all crisis facing Soldiers and their families, Army Emergency Relief will be there to provide financial assistance to prevent further hardship. The organization is prepared to meet the valid needs requested to ensure the rich long tradition of taking care of Soldiers and families continues.

While congress and the President of the United States has taken steps to protect our Military Members there is a possibility that military members may be impacted financially and may need AER assistance if there is a disruption in military pay, keep in mind AER assistance is not intended to replace military pay and can’t be used as such nor to replace the loss of income, but AER can and will be used to bridge the gap until the normal pay process resumes.

There have been many questions as to whether AER requests can be processed in advance of a shut down. It is important to note, in keeping with AER policy and guidelines, requests made for financial assistance due to a shutdown will only be processed if a shutdown occurs.

A shutdown will not affect retired military pay, since military retirement pay is funded by an annuity fund.

Finally; for government civilians, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund offers disaster relief assistance to eligible federal employees. When a disaster occurs, assistance can be given as a grant. Additionally FEEA also assist federal employees with a no-interest loans to help with bridging the gap in times of financial emergencies.

As federal employees, there are some requirements, however, help is available to assist with basic needs such as paying mortgages and utilities to prevent homelessness. The assistance is provided through zero percent interest free loans. For those civilian employees who request emergency assistance from FEEA, the application can be found at the following: www.feea.org/gethelp.

Fort Lee’s Army Emergency Relief Office can be reached by contacting Patsy Piggott at (804) 734-7952 or patsy.m.piggott.civ@mail.mil or Tonya Brock at (804) 734-7954 or tonya.d.brock2.civ@mail.mil.