As a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, the need for financial assistance may increase. This need may be seen with The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program.
Through TFA, The American Legion distributes one-time grants of up to $1,500 to eligible active-duty military and American Legion members in need. Grantees must have minor children in the home and the funds are designed to help meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses so that children have a stable environment during a time of hardship.
Because the safety and well-being of American Legion members and the Legion Family is of the utmost importance, National Headquarters is asking that all TFA investigators suspend home investigations/site visits for TFA applicants during this time. While the home visit is an integral part of the TFA process, the following are other measures to validate and complete the investigation.
Make phone calls. A phone interview with an applicant can be conducted during this time. The applicant can provide documentation necessary to the TFA investigator via fax, or by sending scanned or photographed documents via email or text message.
Complete page 2 of the application. The American Legion is aware that some government offices or community organizations may be closed during this time. As a result it may be difficult to verify that all other forms of assistance have been exhausted. If government offices or community organizations that provide forms of assistance in your area are closed, please note that on page 2 of the TFA application form under the “reasons” section. It is important to complete all the boxes on page 2 which provide the status for seeking additional assistance in order to be considered a fully complete TFA grant application.
Verify financial impact. It is important to note that staying home from work or experiencing any type of quarantine does not necessarily mean that a household’s finances are being negatively impacted, or that a child’s basic needs cannot be met. For example, an employee may be taking paid time off while quarantining; the employer is supplementing financially with paid time off; or the employee may be telecommuting by working from home. For those applicants that are employed but whose work has been financially impacted due to issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, it is standard practice for employers to provide their employees a letter or some type of communication stating their company’s actions/intentions. That communication will typically include options that are available to the employee with regard to work scheduling, pay and/or benefits. This statement, along with an employee’s pay stub, may serve as verification of impacted wages.
This TFA guidance should be in place until such time that local authorities in your state and community have deemed the need for coronavirus prevention measures have passed.