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United States Army
(ACS) FINANCIAL READINESS
1591 Bell Richard Avenue
Fort Polk, LA 71459
Resources are available to help you understand and manage your finances, including one-on-one financial counseling to assist you and your family with financial readiness. Services are designed to focus on money management issues throughout your active-duty lifecycle and into retirement. Financial readiness educational opportunities range from basic planning to long-term investing. Check out the information below to see what’s available at your installation.
There is a saying, "The Army moves these people so you know it doesn't cost them anything to move to a new post!"; but whoever it was never served or lived the military life. The reality is that every move does cost the soldier and family out-of-pocket.
It has been said, the average military family loses $2.00 for every $3.00 they spend, due to poor planning. I take exception to that statement, because the reality is that not all expenses are meant to be reimbursed by the military. The consumer affairs program at ACS is designed to help budget for moves. Most soldiers are pretty good "Plan-Budget Engineers", or our families would never be able to make the moves and transitions required of us. So, experienced financial counselors are located in ACS to assist with planning and share their experiences. They will tell you to learned to budget, plan, read, etc, everything about the new place they will be diving, including how to get there and where all the cheap, clean restaurants/cafes/hotels/motels are along the way. You know what we mean; the kind of restaurant/cafe you go into and order 2 or 3 large value meals and divide the meals with the kiddies. This is just one trick, others include how to pack everything edible (except the peanut butter) in an ice chest, (just in case your funds don't stretch as far as you thought they would); and six weeks worth of clothing for the whole family in an overnight bag, (that's because the packers also packed the luggage along with the garbage and household goods).
These incidents listed above probably haven't been experienced by most of you, but if you feel you need more help with planning for your next move, go by or call the ACS Financial Readiness Counselors. The counselor will tell you what the current allowances and entitlements are for your rank. They will help you budget, provide more tips, assist in any way that they can to help you minimize your out-of-pocket costs. 337-531-1957/1958.
Fort Polk is a Medium Cost of living area. There is a shortage of good rental properties due to the damage sustained from Hurricane Laura to the installation. Although repairs are being done the availability cannot keep up with the demand.
Agencies to request assistance while traveling: Red Cross, AER or any other military installation you may be close to.
Agencies upon arrival: Vernon Community Action Council; WIC; Louisiana SNAP; VFW; Helping Hands; Red Cross; Installation Chaplain Office; AER.
Advanced Pay: is no longer available. All Soldiers should have a Travel card to use for expenses that they can not pay for out of pocket. (hotel, food or gas) keep receipts.
ARMY EMERGENCY RELIEF (AER)
BLDG 920 | 1591 BELL RICHARD AVE | (337) 531-1957 / 1958
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOOK | @FORTPOLKAER
Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private, non-profit organization established to assist Soldiers and their Family members in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own. Financial assistance is provided for valid needs in the form of an interest-free loan, grant, or combination of the two. Loans are repaid by an allotment.
Who’s Eligible for Assistance?
• Active Duty Soldiers, single and married, and their eligible Dependents.
• Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers on continuous Active Duty (Title 10, USC) for more than 30 consecutive days and their eligible Dependents.
• Soldiers Retired from Active Duty for longevity or physical disability, and their eligible Dependents.
• Surviving Spouses and Orphans of Soldiers who died while on Active Duty or after they retired.
What Kind of Financial Emergencies does AER Assist With?
• Rent / Mortgage
• Utilities / Deposits
• Emergency Travel
• Dental /Medical Expenses
• Car Seats
• Vehicle Repair / Replacement
• Essential Furniture
• Funeral Expenses
• Non-Receipt of Pay / Loss of Funds
• Minor Home Repairs
• Cranial Helmets
Is There a Limit on How Much Emergency Assistance I Can Request from AER?
Army Emergency Relief can meet each of your valid emergency needs.
What Kind of Assistance Should I Expect?
• An Interest-Free Loan.
• A Grant if repayment of the loan will cause undue hardship.
• Financial Assistance that is partially a Loan and partially a Grant.
How DO I Obtain Financial Assistance from Army Emergency Relief?
Commander & First Sergeant Quick Assist Program
• Expedited Assistance Process.
• Company Commander or First Sergeant can approve AER loan requests up to $2,000.
• Enables Company / Battery Chain of Command to assist Soldiers who have a financial need.
• All Soldiers, regardless of grade/rank, are permitted direct access to AER financial assistance without the Unit Commander’s approval
• Direct Access’ policy implements the following safeguards:
• Soldiers in grades of E-1 through E-4 are required to have completed Initial Entry Training (IET)
• Regardless of rank, financial assistance will be limited to two (2) requests for assistance (Loan or Grant) within a twelve (12) month period without Commander / First Sergeant review.
After-hour, weekend and holiday requests
• All requests for AER assistance during off-hours are processed by The American Red Cross Hero Care Network
• The .American Red Cross Hero Care Network can be contacted by phone, online or via smart phone application
• Call (877) 272-7337
• Visit redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork
• Download the Red Cross Hero Care mobile app
What Should I PROVIDE?
• A Valid Military ID Card.
• Emergency Leave Form/ Leave Form / PCS orders.
• Substantiating documents (e.g. LES, Car Repair Estimate, Rental Agreement, Utility Bill, etc.)
Can My Spouse Obtain Financial Assistance from AER While I’m Away?
Yes. Your Spouse should bring:
• Special Power of Attorney (aerhq.org)
• A Valid Military Dependent ID Card.
• Substantiating documents.
Where Do I Go to Obtain Financial Assistance from AER?
AER Financial Assistance applications are accepted at the ACS Financial Readiness Program Office in Building 920 located at 1591 Bell Richard Avenue on Fort Polk.