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Support for Financial Stresses Caused by COVID-19

Current as of Dec. 15, 2020

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic may affect many aspects of your military life, including financial readiness. If you and your family are experiencing challenges, the Department of Defense offers a number of services to help you take control and minimize financial distress.

Coronavirus-related pays and entitlements

Military service relief organizations

Depending on the circumstances, service relief organizations may provide emergency financial help with interest-free loans, grants or a combination of loans and grants. They can also offer financial preparedness counseling and tuition assistance.

Go to your service relief organization’s website to learn more about eligibility and how to apply for aid, especially if you are impacted by COVID-19, or see our article on Emergency Financial Assistance to learn more:

Financial counseling can help

Service members can access free financial counseling through installation programs and Military OneSource. These counselors understand the financial challenges you may face as a result of COVID-19 and other stressors. Financial counselors can:

  • Help you with personal finance basics. Counselors can go over your finances and suggest ways to control household costs. They can also teach you about managing your budget to stretch your resources.
  • Help you with your credit. Financial counselors can provide information on consumer rights and make appropriate referrals to military and civilian resources responsible for resolving credit issues.
  • Help you develop a debt-repayment plan. Counselors can help you contact creditors and come up with a plan to pay off debt.
  • Coordinate with emergency financial assistance organizations. Counselors can help you learn more about service branch emergency financial aid organizations and request financial assistance, if necessary.

Where to find financial counseling services

Financial counseling is available through your installation’s Personal Financial Management Program, or through Military OneSource. Programs and services may vary by location.

  • Military OneSource provides confidential, short-term counseling to address financial issues such as basic budgeting, money management and debt. Schedule an online or telephone counseling session by calling 800-342-9647 or via live chat.
  • Installation Financial Readiness Management Programs include classes, seminars, one-on-one counseling and additional information to educate service members and their families about consumer rights and help them achieve financial stability. Personal financial counselors can also provide one-on-one calls and online presentations. Contact your installation to learn what services are available. Locate your nearest financial readiness manager by visiting MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.

Free MilTax services are available online

According to the Internal Revenue Service, people received on average $2,577 in direct deposit tax refunds in 2019. File early and replenish your savings with MilTax from Military OneSource if you expect to get a tax refund this year. MilTax provides free tax preparation and e-filing software, along with personalized support from MilTax consultants who understand the realities of military life, specific to service members and their families.

MilTax consultants can answer your questions about COVID-19 tax implications and your 2020 economic impact payment. Access MilTax software, call 800-342-9647 or connect via live chat to schedule an appointment with a MilTax consultant. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

Use this time to learn

If the coronavirus is causing unexpected downtime for you or your family, it could be a good time to build your financial skills and knowledge through free financial educational courses offered by Military OneSource and the DOD.

Check out our Money Matter courses, developed by financial experts who understand military life. Course topics cover car-buying strategies, consumer credit, developing a spending plan and more.

A library of financial resources is also available through installation libraries and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library. These include Consumer Reports, Gale Business Plan Builder, Gale Entrepreneurship, Morningstar Investment Research Center, Weiss Financial and EBSCO eBook Collection (which includes e-books on business and economics topics).

From personal financial counseling to learning opportunities, Military OneSource has resources to help you (service members and their families) maintain readiness. Have questions? Call 800-342-9647 or connect via live chat. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

Installation Program Directory

Find programs and services at your local installation.