National Resources for Military Personnel and their Families
Services and resources noted below are included on this page because they are provided by national organizations. Similar services may be offered by state or local organizations. Be sure to read the pages devoted to state and local military assistance resources.
One Source Assistance
Military One Source is a comprehensive resource website and helpline that provides extensive resource information and publications on family life, deployment, benefits as well as three types of short-term, non-medical counseling services for active-duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families through face to face, telephone, and online consultations.
If you would like to contact a Military OneSource consultant for assistance with a particular issue, please use the phone numbers below or go to the Military One Source website to access the online tools.
- Stateside: CONUS: 800.342.9647
- TTY/TDD: 866.607.6794
Army One Source provides resource information on family readiness, benefit, and entitlement programs along with the most current information available to assist active-duty, guard or reserve members their family. Learn more about the services provided here or call 877.811.ARMY (2769).
The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a resource website that connects Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them. It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation, and community reintegration. Visitors can find information on a variety of topics that supply an abundance of vetted resources. For help finding resources n the site, visit the How to Use this Site section of their website. Major information categories include:
- Benefits & Compensation
- Community of Care
- Education & Training
- Family & Caregiver Support
- Homeless Assistance
- Military Adaptive Sports Programs
- Other Services & Resources
- Transportation & Travel
Military OneSource MilTax, offers a secure and free tax preparation and e-filing software for service members, including members of the National Guard and reserves, immediate family members, and eligible survivors.
Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation
Army Morale, Welfare & Recreation is a comprehensive network of support and leisure services designed to enhance the lives of soldiers (active, Reserve, and Guard), their families, civilian employees, military retirees and other eligible participants.
The Coast Guard Morale, Well-being, and Recreation (MWR) program exists to uplift the spirits of the Coast Guard Family and be an essential element of Coast Guard readiness, retention, resiliency through customer-owned and driven MWR programs and services.
The Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) is a comprehensive set of programs that support and enhance the operational readiness, warfighting capabilities, and life quality of Marines, their families, retirees, and civilians. The programs include employment, education, and transition assistance; fitness and recreation, deployment support and family team building, child care and youth activities, prevention, counseling, and victim support; golf courses; dining and entertainment; and shopping.
The Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division administers a varied program of recreation, social and community support activities on the U.S. Navy facilities worldwide. The programs provide active-duty, reserve and retired Navy personnel and their families with sports and physical fitness activities, child development and youth programs, and a variety of food and beverage services.
The Defense Centers of Excellence provides advocacy services to active military, veterans, and families of active military and veterans. Services include advocacy, specialized information and referral, and veterans benefits assistance. Services are targeted to individuals dealing with mental health issues and traumatic brain injuries. The Center provides services free of charge and has no geographic restrictions.
To learn more call their Service/Intake and Hotline at 866.966.1020.
Subsidized Child Care for Military and Federal Families
In an effort to help military families in need of care, KinderCare has partnered with Child Care Aware® of America to offer fee assistance for eligible active duty military families and a solution to address their child care needs when care at an on-base Child Development Center (CDC) isn’t available.
A Child Care Subsidy Program administered through the USDA (formerly administered by the General Services Administration (GSA)) for eligible Active Duty members or Active Duty Reservists of the U.S. Coast Guard called to action for 180 days or longer, U.S. National Park Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. General Services Administration who don’t live or work near a Child Development Center (CDC) is also available.
National Caregiver Support Line
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has opened a toll-free National Caregiver Support Line. The support line serves as a primary resource/referral center to assist caregivers, veterans and others seeking caregiver information to help in the care of our nation's veterans. Calls to the National Caregiver Support Line are answered by VA employees who are licensed clinical social workers.
Open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The National Caregiver Support Line toll-free number is 855.260.3274.
The U.S. Department of Labor has devoted a portion of their website to VETS (Veterans' Employment and Training Service). Here you will find resources and expertise to assist and prepare veterans in obtaining meaningful careers, maximizing their employment opportunities, and protecting their employment rights. For further information, visit their website or call 866.487.2365 (TTY: 877.889.5627).
Family Assistance for Military Personnel
The VFW National Home for Children serves American servicemen and women by providing help and resources to their families. Located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, but serving the entire country, the VFW National Home for Children has been a safety net for the families of our nation's veterans and active duty military since 1925.
The National Home's Military Family Program is open to families of active-duty military personnel, veterans, and and relatives of VFW and VFW Auxiliary members. The family can be one or both parents with one or more children. Families are welcomed to the small-town community where they may live for up to 4 years. They work to identify what they need and want to accomplish, during which time they are provided: housing, education, daycare, basic needs, recreation, case management, and more.
To learn more information about the Military Family Program or any of the other programs offered by the VFW National Home for Children, visit their website or call the National Home Hotline at (800) 313-4200.
Mortgage Assistance for Military Personnel
Mortgage payment relief and protection from foreclosure are provided to active military personnel and reservists through the Service-members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). To be eligible for this program you must have had mortgage commitments before enlisting or being called to active duty. Reservists, guardsmen, and other eligible service-members should contact their lenders and other creditors and provide documentation that they have been called to active duty and are eligible for certain relief under the SCRA. To learn more about this program you can visit the SCRA website or call 800.225.5342.
Programs for Veterans who are Homeless or in Danger of Becoming Homeless
The VA has a National Homeless Call Center that is available 24/7/365. This free service can provide information on VA homeless programs and mental health services in your area and help you get connected to the nearest Homeless Point of Contact at your closest VA facility.
The VA works with local partners to provide a broad array of services, including:
- Prevention services to Veterans and their families don't fall into homelessness and those that do are rapidly re-housed.
- Access to safe, stable, and affordable permanent housing.
- Short-term housing options for those who need a safe place to stay while a permanent solution is found.
- Supportive services so Veterans have help securing housing and have the support they need to stay housed.
- Healthcare and dental care programs.
- Easy access to mental health, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis treatment services for those who need it.
- Vocational training and employment services to get Veterans back to work.
- Benefits and income support for Veterans who have earned them.
To learn more about this program and its services, visit the Homeless Veterans website where you will have access to a confidential chat option or call the hotline at 877.424.3838.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
Under the SSVF program, Veteran Affairs awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that can provide supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transition to permanent housing. Agencies that are awarded funds through this program then provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include:
- Health care services
- Daily living services
- Personal financial planning services
- Transportation services
- Fiduciary and payee services
- Legal services
- Child care services
- Housing counseling services
In addition, agencies may also provide time-limited payments to third parties (e.g. landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed child care providers) if these payments help Veteran families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis. Find local programs and services in our resource database.
Expedited Social Security Benefits
Military service members receive expedited processing of their disability applications from Social Security. Under an agreement initiated by Social Security, the Department of Defense transmits information that allows Social Security to quickly identify military personnel injured in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The expedited process is available for the military service member who becomes disabled during active duty on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs. Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel also may be able to receive benefits, including dependent children and spouses.
If you or someone you know was wounded while on active duty in the military, find out more about what Social Security can do for you by visiting the website that was designed specifically for wounded veterans.
You can also find out more information by downloading the fact sheet on the subject Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors.
Credit & Debt Counseling
Debt Reduction Services has helped thousands of consumers with debt management and credit counseling services since 1996. The most recent military survey indicated that 20% of military families have over $10,000 in credit card debt. They offer free debt reduction and credit counseling services to active duty enlisted military personnel. Find out more information about these services on their website.
Mental Health and Emotional Resources
This free, online mental health screening tool provides anonymous mental health and alcohol self-assessments for family members and service personnel in all branches including the National Guard and Reserve. The self-assessments are a series of questions that, when linked together, help create a picture of how an individual is feeling and whether they could benefit from talking to a health professional.
The primary goals of the program are to reduce stigma, raise awareness about mental health, and connect those in need to available resources. The self-assessments address depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use and bipolar disorder. After an individual completes a self-assessment, they are provided with referral information including services provided by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
This 24 - hour peer support line is staffed by Veterans of the United States Military who are committed to helping the men and women who are currently serving or have served in the National Guard and Reserve. While their mission is to serve the military and Veterans, they are a separate organization outside of the military and apart from the Veterans Administration. Calls and emails are not discussed with the military, the VA, or anyone else. All conversations are completely confidential and, if you choose, you may remain anonymous.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential hotline, online chat, and text-messaging service. Veterans and their families and friends are encouraged to call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or text to 838-255 to speak with qualified VA professionals 24/7/365. Visit the Veterans Crisis Line website for information on signs of a crisis and a self-check quiz; a resource locator to find support; materials such as posters and flyers to download and distribute and more.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The NAMI website hosts a Veterans Resource Center where visitors will find information about treatment programs for military personnel and their families suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related conditions; bereavement classes; and other support services for children and families of military personnel.
NAMI has partnered with the VA to bring their Family-to-Family Education Program to veterans' families in an effort to address PTSD and the increased risk of suicide veterans and family members often face. This partnership between NAMI and the Veterans Administration is bringing the free, 12-week course to families of veterans across the country.
Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers, and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions.
Survivor Outreach Services is the official Army program designed to provide long-term support to surviving families of fallen soldiers. This site provides detailed information on topics most often requested by fellow survivors including information regarding benefits and entitlements, governmental and non-governmental resources, important legislative news, survivor outreach services support office locations and more. Find out more information by visiting their website or by calling 855.707.2769.
As many as 700,000 children under the age of five have a parent in the military. Recognizing the need for first-rate media-based resources to support military families, Sesame Workshop launched the bilingual (English/Spanish), multimedia outreach initiative Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment (TLC). This critical outreach tool helped military families and their young children cope with the challenges of deployment and build resilience in times of separation and change.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) leads efforts to ensure that American servicemen and women and their families can access behavioral health treatment and services.
The American Psychological Association (APA) also has published some resources for the mental health needs of Veterans, service members and their families. The information includes Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and the impact of deployments on military families and more.
Veterans are often left with invisible scars and may turn to drug and alcohol abuse in an effort to cope. Drug rehab facilities and organizations for veterans throughout the country are well aware of this problem and offer a variety of resources and treatment programs to help tackle the problem.