Financial Help for Veterans

Military veterans who find themselves in urgent need of financial assistance can explore a number of resources, from grants designed to help with everyday expenses like rent and transportation to more long-term options.

Written by: Craig Richardson

Many of us struggle to cover the costs of our day-to-day living expenses, like housing, food and transportation. An uncertain financial picture can be further clouded by an unexpected and untimely financial hurdle or hardship, like a medical expense or a car repair.

For veterans, active-duty service members, and their families, there is a range of financial assistance programs and debt relief options to help out when times feel helpless. Financial assistance for veterans can come in the form of grants, stipends or loans from a variety of organizations.

Emergency Financial Assistance Programs

There are a number of federal, state, and nonprofit organizations that offer financial assistance to veterans, active-duty personnel, or their families in times of financial emergencies. Emergency financial assistance can include cash grants to help with everyday expenses like food or shelter, or unexpected financial emergencies.

The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA)

The American Legion offers its Temporary Financial Assistance program, which awards cash grants to help qualified applicants cover the costs of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses. The TFA is usually awarded to the minor children of current active-duty personnel or American Legion members, and is a single, onetime, non-repayable grant of up to $1,500. To become eligible for a TFA, an investigation is conducted at a post or by a department to determine a legitimate need.

Operation Family Fund (OFF)

Disabled veterans who were injured while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom can apply for short- or long-term emergency financial assistance for medical and living expenses through Operation Family Fund, a private, nonprofit organization. OFF’s disperses financial grants and can cover day-to-day expenses, emergency expenses like vehicle repair or legal fees or support programs like trauma counseling.

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes

Veterans disabled while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn can apply for financial assistance from the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. The nonprofit offers emergency financial aid to cover urgent expenses for utilities, mortgage or rent payments, car loan payments, groceries and more.

Financial Assistance for Veterans Wounded During Active Duty

Some organizations were created or have set up financial assistance programs to support veterans who were wounded while on active duty. Others direct funding to caregivers and family members who help care for veterans in the aftermath of a service-related injury or disability.

The National Association of American Veterans, Inc. (NAAV)

With the goal of supporting the caregivers of injured veterans working toward a healthy reintegration into society, the National Association of American Veterans, Inc., offers its Military Family Program. Founded in 2007, the program provides funds for training, career coaching and counseling, employment, housing, legal referrals, respite care and more resources for military families caring for severely wounded veterans.

USA Cares

USA Cares offers financial assistance and post-service skills training to post-9/11 military veterans, service members and their families. Its Military Assistance Response Program assists veterans or active-duty service members in dealing with such short-term financial hardships paying essential bills. The goal of the Military Assistance Response Program is to help create long-term stability for veterans by improving their quality of life.

Operation First Response

Wounded veterans can receive financial assistance from Operation First Response and its Family Assistance Program while they go through the VA claim process. This funding can be used for basic financial needs such as clothing, rent or mortgage payments, groceries, auto loan payments and more, or for expenses related to travel for medical care.

Semper Fi & America’s Fund

Financial help for veterans to cover housing, transportation, bedside support, caregiver support and more is available from Semper Fi & America’s Fund, a group that supports the wounded, ill, and injured members from all branches of the Armed Forces. The aim of the organization is to provide support from injury through recovery, helping integrate service members back into their communities.

Financial Assistance Programs for Women Veterans

While most emergency financial assistance programs are designed to help both male and female veterans, some organizations have created funding opportunities exclusive to women veterans, their families and caretakers.

Combat Female Veterans Families United (CFVF United)

Combat Female Veterans Families United is a nonprofit organization that offers financial assistance to female combat veterans who are transitioning to civilian life. Funds can be used to cover basic living expenses, including mortgage and rent payments or hotel lodging expenses through CFVF United’s emergency financial assistance.

Dixon Center

Female veterans and their families who are dealing with financial hardship can receive a one-time financial grant through the Dixon Center’s Women Veterans Emergency Financial Assistance program. The grant funds can be applied to housing costs, food, utilities, infant supplies, vehicle repair, gas or insurance for a vehicle, and other expenses.


Female veterans who are looking for help in navigating the civilian workforce can find help through the Military Women eMentor Program, an online mentorship program. Mentors help link female veterans to job resources and career transition opportunities.

Grants for Veterans

There are a number of grant programs specifically aimed at providing emergency financial help for veterans. The grants are free and designed to help struggling veterans with bills, mortgage and rent payments and other housing costs, medical fees, and other financial difficulties. To see what’s available, a searchable list of veteran-specific grants can be found at

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

The Unmet Needs program, administered by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), is a program designed to help families experiencing financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other military-related activity or injury. Qualified families can receive grants of up to $1,500 to pay for basic living expenses.

Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot

Nearly 25 percent of all veterans opt to reside in rural communities, which can limit access to long-term health care and support services. To address these issues, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs created the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot grant program to support veterans and their families who reside in rural or underserved areas of the country. Through its Office of Rural Health, the VA is working to offer these veterans access to health care and other services.

Grant and Per Diem Program

The VA’s Grant and Per Diem program is a VA Homeless Program initiative that funds community agencies offering services to homeless veterans in order to help them obtain and retain permanent housing. According to the VA, the program’s purpose is to “promote the development and provision of supportive housing and/or services with the goal of helping homeless veterans find residential stability, increase their skill levels, and/or income, and obtain greater self-determination.” The Grant and Per Diem Program funds are sent to organizations with supportive housing or service centers for veterans in need.

Veterans Cemetery Grants Program

Through the Veterans Cemetery Grants Program, grants are available to states, territories and federally-recognized tribal governments to provide gravesites to veterans in areas where the VA’s national cemeteries cannot fully satisfy their burial needs. Established in 1978 to complement the VA’s National Cemetery Administration, this support is granted only to states, tribal governments, or U.S. territories.

Crowdfunding for Veterans

If you’re a veteran who doesn’t qualify for or otherwise fit the criteria for emergency financial programs, there are other options to help you overcome a crisis and get back on your feet. Fundraising sites like offer options for veterans to raise money to be used for anything from short-term financial needs to health care and treatment. There are no eligibility requirements to start a fundraiser and you can receive funds within days of raising donations.

About The Author

Craig Richardson

Craig Richardson is a military veteran who started his journalism career while serving in the Navy. Following overseas deployments to the Med and Middle East, including service in Operation Desert Storm, he left for the private sector but continued with journalism. He has worked for several publishers and news organizations over nearly 30 years and continued to cover stories with ties to veterans and military affairs throughout his career.


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