As recovery efforts continue in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and relief efforts from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria remain steadfast in Puerto Rico, The American Legion reminds victims that assistance is available.
The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund (NEF) provides immediate financial assistance to American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members and posts affected by natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and flooding. The fund provides up to $3,000 for qualified Legion Family members and up to $10,000 for posts.
Since Harvey and Irma struck, nearly $43,000 in NEF grants have been given to 82 Legion Family members.
The NEF covers expenses such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing and other daily household needs. The grant is not intended to replace household items, and it does not cover insurance compensation or monetary losses from a business, structure on property, equipment or vehicles.
In order to qualify for an NEF grant, an applicant must:
• Have been displaced from his or her primary residence due to a declared natural disaster. A post, district or department leader must attest to this when filling out the NEF application.
• Provide copies of receipts of items required to meet immediate needs, such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.
• Be an active member of the Legion or Sons at the time of the disaster and time of application submitted.
Legion posts that served as community shelters during Harvey or Irma may be eligible for an NEF grant to offset their costs in providing food and other needs to victims in need.
The NEF application is available at www.legion.org/emergency. Upon recipient of the NEF application to American Legion National Headquarters, checks will be placed in the mail within 48 hours. The 90-day requirement for grant submission is waived for Harvey, Irma and Maria victims.
Additionally, American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) grants are available to qualified children (18 years or younger) of Legion-eligible veterans. TFA grants help meet the cost needs of shelter, food, utilities, clothing, and health expenses. No child can be considered eligible until a complete investigation is conducted at the post or department level, a legitimate family need is determined, and all other available assistance resources have been utilized or exhausted.
For more information about TFA, visit www.legion.org/financialassistance. To apply for assistance, contact the local American Legion post or American Legion department (state) headquarters.