By Holly Logan-Arrington, Robins Public Affairs
/ Published October 18, 2021
As the official charity of the Air Force, the Air Force Aid Society supports Airmen and enhances the Air Force mission by relieving emergency financial distress, helping Airmen’s families achieve their educational goals, and improving their quality of life through proactive programs.
Air Force Aid Society headquarters leaders have made changes to the charity’s assistance options that could impact many Airmen seeking help.
As the official charity of the Air Force, AFAS supports Airmen and enhances the Air Force mission by relieving emergency financial distress, helping Airmen’s families achieve their educational goals, and improving their quality of life through proactive programs.
Angelica Williams, a community readiness consultant at the Robins Airman and Family Readiness Center, said AFAS has broadened the client base it serves as of May 2021.
Now, active-duty Airmen and Guardians, Air National Guardsmen and Air Force Reservists are eligible to receive emergency assistance through AFAS regardless of their duty status.
Additionally, Air Force spouses, dependents and retirees may be eligible to for AFAS assistance.
Williams said a number of benefits have been added to AFAS’ list of available assistance, including the following:
- A grant to pay for a cranial helmet is now available to eligible individuals who provide the proper documentation.
- A grant to cover dependent airfare for emergency leave is now available for one-time use upon AFAS Headquarters approval.
- Q-coded Exceptional Family Member Program families may now receive up to $3,000 within five years to cover the cost of sensory related or repetitive motion equipment or toys and software, or special events specifically for individuals with special needs.
- Airmen undergoing a short-notice Medical Evaluation Board retirement or separation, not including Wounded Warrior, may receive AFAS assistance before leaving active duty military service.
- A grant up to $500 is available through AFAS to military members who are involuntarily dislocated from their dormitories.
- A grant up to $250 per child for the childcare deposit for new daycare enrollment is also available.
- A grant up to $1,000 is available for eligible AFAS customers with permanent change of station orders, to and from outside the continental U.S. based on financial need, with no reimbursement available for pet travel costs.
- Upon AFAS Headquarters approval, eligible AFAS customers may receive assistance with covering the cost of pet emergency treatment and/or surgery, vet bill or deductible, if pet were to be insured.
Williams said the additional assistance available through AFAS sometimes helps Airmen and their families bridge the gap in emergencies.
“These changes help Airmen with an unexpected need that may have been covered as a loan in the past,” she said.
AFAS, however, will discontinue one of its programs for assistance in the near future, Williams said.
AFAS announced in August that it will discontinue its “Car Care Because We Care” assistance program effective Dec. 31, with no new certificates being provided after the end date.
Williams said overall, AFAS’ changes are positive and show the needs of Airmen are constantly being evaluated and addressed through the organization.
“I’ve been able to assist several families in some of these new areas since they began and all were appreciative at the ease in which they received assistance,” she said.
For more information on the recent AFAS changes, visit the AFAS website at www.afas.org.