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August 12, 2011


AER Commander’s Referral Program amount increases

The Army Emergency Relief (AER) Headquarters has announced, effective Aug. 1, the maximum amount a Soldier can receive through the Commander’s Referral Program will increase from $1,000 to $1,500. Other changes also have been made to the popular program to better serve Soldiers and their Families.

The changes came after AER Headquarters assessed its programs as part of a continual process to ensure they are meeting the needs of Soldiers and their Families.

A recent assessment of the Commander’s Referral Program confirms that it continues to be an effective and expedient means of assistance while keeping the chain of command involved.

In 2010, the Commander’s Referral Program accounted for approximately 29 percent or 15.5 million of all assistance cases Armywide. The program has proven to be highly successful, embraced by commanders, and recognized by the Government Accountability Office as being an effective means to combat payday lenders.

When the program began in 2005, the maximum amount of assistance was established at $1,000. This amount was determined based upon the average loan being around $850. Today, the average AER assistance exceeds $1,000.

In addition to increasing the amount a Soldier can receive through the Commander’s Referral Program from $1,000 to $1,500, the repayment period will be extended from 12 to up to 15 months.

The total amount of the requested Commander’s Referral loan plus any outstanding AER loan balance also increased from $2,000 to $2,500. All other conditions/requirements of the program will remain the same. These changes will be included in an update to the AER Officer’s Section Reference Manual.

Questions about AER programs can be directed to the AER Assistance Section at 703-428-0000.

For information about the AER program in the Fort McCoy community, call Army Community Service at 608-388-6712 or for information about overall ACS programs call 608-388-3505.

(Submitted by Army Emergency Relief Headquarters.)

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