Do you need financial assistance for overdue bills, repairs, or other critical family needs? If you are active duty, deployed, a veteran, or are a wounded, ill or injured service member -- and meet our criteria -- you may be eligible for assistance from Operation Homefront’s Critical Assistance Program.
Over the past five years, we have helped nearly 14,000 military families just like yours with nearly 35,000 unique requests for assistance. In 2016, 89% of the families helped by this program agreed or strongly agreed that our support helped them feel strong, stable, and secure.
Operation Homefront’s Critical Assistance Program is formerly known as the Emergency Assistance Program. Our name change better reflects the critical assistance provided in order to better serve the needs of our military and veteran families.
Please read this information carefully so that you understand the process for applications, review and notification.
Additionally, PLEASE NOTE NEW ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA for non-housing repair related requests. The eligibility requirements for housing repair related requests only remains the same but with the addition of a requirement for an Honorable or General Discharge (Under Honorable Conditions).
What are the changes?
Our system follows a three step process each month for applicants. There is a 10-day Application and Initial Processing Period, a 10-day Processing and Review Period, and a 10-day Evaluation/Notification period. This replaces the previous 30-day open application period.
Application and Initial Processing Period (1st through the 10th of each month):
Processing and Review Period (1st through the 20th of each month)
Evaluation/Notifications (21st through the 30th of each month)
The application process will begin again on the 1st day of the following month. Families who do not receive assistance in one month and continue to experience financial challenges may re-apply in subsequent months.
Why are you changing the process?
Throughout 2016, we experienced a dramatic increase in the number of applications and requests for assistance through our Emergency Assistance Program. This increase put significant pressure on our limited financial resources and staff. Our new process allows our caseworkers to address the most critical needs as our budget permits.
To ensure we will be able to process applications quickly, we have established an application window that will run from the 1st through the 10th of each month. We will stop accepting applications on the 10th day of each month at midnight Central Time.
We understand there is a real sense of urgency behind every request we receive. Our new system allows our caseworkers to address the most critical cases and make decisions in a timely fashion. The former application process was simply unable to keep up with the large number of requests.
How will applications be evaluated?
All eligible applications for Critical Assistance will be evaluated by Operation Homefront’s professional caseworkers. Cases will be prioritized based on the most critical need, where our short-term assistance can help put military families on the path to long-term financial stability. Final decisions on grants each month will be made by supervising staff, who are professional case workers.
What if I am turned down?
You are invited to reassess your needs and apply again on the 1st day of the following month. For example, if you are notified that you were not selected in September, you may apply again in the October 1st-10th application period.
What information do I need to provide?
To help expedite your request for assistance, you can do the following:
Why do you need this information?
I have a question not addressed here.
If you are unsure if you qualify for assistance or have questions about the application, please call 877-264-3968 (toll free). If you are not eligible for OH services, we can help you find other resources who may be better able to assist you with your needs.
While it is Operation Homefront's wish to meet all assistance requests, requests from ineligible individuals cannot be considered and will delay our ability to assist other, eligible individuals.
Operation Homefront will consider applications for assistance for/from individuals who meet the criteria for one of the three eligibility groups below. If you are unsure if you qualify for assistance or have questions about the application, please call 877-264-3968 (toll free). If you are not eligible for OH services, we can help you find other resources who may be better able to assist you with your needs.
Apply only if you fall within one of the following categories and can provide verifying documentation.
All Clients - Documents Required
Wounded, Ill, or Injured Criteria
Wounded, Ill, or Injured - Documents Required
A service member of rank E1-E6 and one of the following:
- Will deploy to an overseas Hostile Fire Pay theater in the next 90 days, or
- Has returned from an overseas Hostile Fire Pay theater within the past 180 days.
Deployed - Documents Required
1) Honorable Discharge:
o To be considered for any form of assistance, the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must meet the following conditions: Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions)
2) Non-Housing Repair Related Requests:
o For the following categories, applicants MUST BE WITHIN 7 YEARS OF DISCHARGE or active duty deployed with dependents:
Housing Repair Requests only:
o The eligibility requirements for housing repair requests only remains the same: Post 9/11, Wounded/Ill/Injured, Vet/Retired
o Please note: There is no seven years of discharge requirement attached to this program only.
An active duty service member of rank E1-E6 with DEERS-eligible dependents
NOTE: OH is only able to provide food assistance and vision care assistance to individuals in the general eligibility group.
Applicants with a general discharge may be considered by exception.
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IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM OPERATION HOMEFRONT:
The devastation caused from this hurricane season has impacted thousands of veterans and military families. To allow processing of requests, the web-based Critical Assistance Program application will remain open for the entire month of September. However, only requests for assistance as a direct result of the 2017 hurricane season will be considered past the normal application closure date of September 10th.
For emergency help:
Visit FEMA DisasterAssistance.gov to apply for assistance online. If you experience difficulty applying online, you may also call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 to apply during standard hours of operation (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time), 7 days a week
Among others, The American Red Cross offers resources, particularly during the early stages following a disaster: American Red Cross. 1-877-500-8645