Three organizations that provide cash assistance to veterans and their families are USA Cares, the American Red Cross and Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW. All three organizations provide eligible veterans and their immediate family members with assistance to meet basic life needs, such as food, shelter, utilities payments and emergency travel. USA Cares claims that it responds to all requests for assistance within 48 hours, and the American Red Cross notes that it is available to provide emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
VFW's Unmet Needs program can provide up to $2,500 in financial assistance to a veteran who has encountered unforeseen financial difficulties, and the assistance is in the form of a grant rather than a loan. VFW claims that, as of 2015, the Unmet Needs program has provided more than $5 million to military families to help them with their basic life needs.
Working in partnership with other emergency aid organizations, such as the Army Emergency Relief and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the American Red Cross provides around-the-clock assistance. The organization's website states that eligible applicants will receive reliable, quality assistance in the areas of food, shelter, emergency travel and burial expenses.
The average emergency grant size of USA Cares is $650, and the organization typically distributes between $20,000 and $30,000 in emergency assistance each week, as reported on its website. The organization assists military families during times of situational financial hardship by awarding grants to help meet food and utility expenses, make car payments and pay phone and auto insurance bills.