With thousands of U.S. Coast Guard service members and families facing financial hardship as a result of the ongoing government shutdown, the United States Automobile Association (USAA), the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA), Inc. and the American Red Cross are teaming up to help Coast Guard service members and families in need.
Members of the Coast Guard did not receive paychecks this week as the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, for which funding is not being appropriated during the shutdown.
With the support of a $15 million donation from USAA, CGMA will disburse interest-free loans to Coast Guard personnel through the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces’ Hero Care Center’s electronic fund distribution process. Coast Guard service members with dependents will be eligible for a $1,000 loan, while unmarried service members will be eligible for $750. Those needing assistance should visit www.cgmahq.org to learn more.
"The American Red Cross has a long history of providing help during emergencies to members of our military, and we are proud to partner with Coast Guard Mutual Assistance and USAA to administer support to the Coast Guard community during this time of financial stress," said Koby Langley, senior vice president, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.
CGMA and the Red Cross currently partner to provide emergency financial assistance loans to tens of thousands of families in financial distress through the 24/7 availability of the Red Cross Hero Care Center and CGMA’s access to the Coast Guard Community. The Red Cross will administer this financial support program through the Hero Care Center, which will serve as the initial means to get these funds to applicants. The program will then transition to an online/self-service application with an automatic electronic funds transfers (EFT) payment process.
The Red Cross is expanding its Hero Care Center staff to answer calls and process applications. Staffing will be able to support a maximum of up to 10,000 calls per day for a two-week period, with an anticipated peak of 1,200 applications per day. The Red Cross will facilitate processing of all applicants, verification of identity, eligibility, and payment.
The Red Cross Hero Care Center is available for all members of the military, veterans and their families 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with two options for requesting assistance, online and by phone. More information is available here.
The Red Cross Hero Care App is also available to help members of the military, veterans and their families identify and access both emergency and non-emergency Red Cross services from anywhere in the world. The app is available to download for free in app stores, by texting ‘GETHEROCARE’ to 90999 or by clicking on the following link from a mobile device http://3cu.be/sharehc.
Through its SAF programs, the Red Cross has been helping members of our country’s armed forces, our veterans and civilians since 1898. Today the Red Cross provides more than 422,000 services to service members, veterans and civilians through our Hero Care Network.