American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Florida

Disaster Relief


Floridians are no strangers to natural disasters, and that is why I have chosen Disaster Relief as my charity of choice this year.

We cannot fight against nature, but we can always fight against the circumstances that surround us.

It’s normal to find yourself completely lost after a natural disaster or other emergencies, but know that we are here for you. You are not forgotten!

Donate Online


In case of a disaster, there are American Legion programs available to assist you during your time of recovery. If members are in need of continuing housing after a disaster because of damages sustained to their homes and the home is not available to be occupied, they should go to or the local FEMA Disaster Center for FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance. If member is unable to get FEMA or other government-provided temporary housing, members may apply for an individual NEF grant or TFA within the restrictions established for each fund.

How to Apply for Assistance

National Emergency Fund (NEF)

National Emergency Fund (NEF)

  1. Eligibility open to Legionnaires and Sons of The American Legion members (up to $3,000) Legion Posts (up to $10,000).
  2. Applicant must have been displaced from their primary residence due to damage sustained during a declared natural disaster.
  3. Not meant to replace or repair items, only to meet most immediate needs (i.e., temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.) during the period immediately following the disaster.
  4. Does not cover insurance compensation or monetary losses from a business, structures on your property (barns, tool sheds, etc.,) equipment or vehicles.
  5. Membership must be active at time of disaster and the time of application.
Application Requirements:
  1. Application must be submitted to the Department Headquarters within 90 days of disaster.
  2. Disaster must be a “declared” natural disaster for Legion Family members.
    Supporting data (photos, receipts, repair estimates, etc.) should be included if at all possible or statements (testimony) from post/district/department officers attesting to damages to residence requiring displacement.
  3. Only one grant per household per disaster.
  4. Post grants must derive from a declared natural disaster and substantiating documentation must provide that The American Legion post will cease to perform the duties and activities in the community due to losses sustained.
How to Submit:

Please send completed applications and required supporting documentation by fax, 407-299-0901, or to

Download NEF Application

Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) grants

Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) grants


The minor child must not be older than 17, or 20 if still enrolled in high school or is physically handicapped. The minor child must be the biological child, stepchild, or in the legal custody of, a qualifying veteran. A qualifying veteran is defined as a member of the United States Armed Forces serving on federal orders current under Title 10 of the United States Code, inclusive of all components, OR any veteran possessing an up-to-date membership in The American Legion. Active duty applicants can be considered without being a member of The American Legion. A single onetime non-repayable Temporary Financial Assistance grant of up to $1,500 will be permitted for the minor child(ren) of a qualifying veteran.

No child can be considered eligible until a complete investigation is conducted at the post or department level, a legitimate family need is determined, and all other available assistance resources have been utilized or exhausted. For more information or to apply, members will start by contacting their local American Legion post, or Department Headquarters, or visit the website—

Download TFA Application

How to Submit:

Please send completed applications and required supporting documentation by fax, 407-299-0901, or to

PROJECT: VetRelief Emergency Assistance

PROJECT: VetRelief Emergency Assistance

  • Support is available for active-duty military, our veterans and their families
  • Service members must be classified as having an honorable discharge or honorable separation, or general under honorable conditions.
  • Applicants must show income sustainability.
  • Must be a Florida resident for at least 120 days.
  • Membership in The American Legion is NOT required to receive assistance.
  • Currently, hurricane relief efforts are only provided via gift certificates for purchase of food.
Application Requirements

PROJECT: VetRelief provides support for active-duty military, our veterans, and their families who reside in the state of Florida. Currently, funding can only be provided to offset necessities for shelter, food, utilities, some emergency transportation, and critical health expenses. This abbreviated application process is just for the duration of the Hurricane Ian Relief.

Attach the following documents and submit with application. The PROJECT: VetRelief Veteran Services Director will contact you to complete the application process:

  • DD-214, member 4 copy – Must show Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions for discharge
  • Birth Certificates, if applicable
  • Marriage Certificates, if applicable

Assistance for this relief efforts will be given in the form of food gift cards.

How to Submit:

Please send completed applications and required supporting documentation by fax, 407-299-0901, or to

Download PROJECT: VetRelief Application

Auxiliary Emergency Fund

Auxiliary Emergency Fund

The Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) is a national grant assistance program that provides temporary emergency assistance to eligible members of the American Legion Auxiliary who have endured a significant financial setback as the result of an act of nature or other personal crisis.

Application for Members Affected by Natural Disaster

An Auxiliary Emergency Fund grant may provide immediate emergency assistance to American Legion Auxiliary members in areas devastated by a natural disaster, such as fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other severe weather. The applicant must have received damage to the primary residence and/or been displaced or evacuated from the residence and had out-of-pocket expenses for food, clothing, and shelter. Grants may be awarded up to $2,400.


The applicant must be an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) member. Applicant must have maintained ALA membership for three consecutive years (the current year and immediate past two years). Application must be received within 6 months of disaster. One grant per grantee in a 12-month period will be awarded.

Department AEF Grant Application | AEF Disaster Grant Online Application | AEF Disaster Grant Application

Application for Members Needing Temporary Assistance

An Auxiliary Emergency Fund grant may provide temporary assistance to eligible members during a time of financial crisis when no other source of aid is readily available to pay for shelter, food, and utilities. Grants may be awarded up to $2,400 with the intent is to help members who have suffered a financial setback and offer a helping hand until financial stability is reestablished. Assistance will not be granted to pay medical expenses or credit card debt.


The applicant must be an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) member. Applicant must have maintained ALA membership for three consecutive years (the current year and immediate past two years). One grant per grantee in a 12-month period will be awarded. Applicant must have exhausted all other financial options and be able to provide past due bills.

Submit AEF Temporary Assistance Application Online | Download AEF Temporary Assistance Application

Resources from Veteran Affairs

Resources from U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Assistance for Uninsured Hurricane Damage

Individuals and households with uninsured damage from Hurricane Ian in 13 Florida counties can apply for FEMA assistance. (Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and Seminole counties) Apply online at, call toll-free 800-621-3362 or download the FEMA App for mobile devices.

Disaster Assistance for Veterans

Essential resources are available for Veterans, dependents, survivors and caregivers who have experienced a natural disaster. Whether you are receiving VA disability, a VA pension, utilizing VA education, VA home loan or insurance, VA is here to help you and protect your benefits.

Watch Video

Local VA Facilities

If you need any assistance or want to check on the status of your local VA facility please use the information below:

Other Assistance for VA Beneficiaries

As a VA beneficiary, you should be aware of assistance available to you because of a natural disaster. This includes protections for your school attendance, VA home loan, VA payments, and insurance.

School Attendance
  • If your school is, or was, temporarily closed due to the recent hurricanes in Florida, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will consider your attendance as continuous, and your benefits will not be affected.
  • Students using Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) or Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program):  As long as the enrollment was submitted prior to the recent tornados, no further action is necessary to continue to receive benefits.
  • Students Using Chapter 30 or 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill) should continue to verify their attendance until further notice as if the school did not close. Doing so will ensure that benefits are not affected. Students may verify their attendance, using the WAVE website or by calling 1-877-VACERT.
  • Students using Chapter 33 who are currently required to verify enrollment (students attend Non-College Degrees (NCD) programs in receipt of Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) or kickers should likewise continue to verify their attendance until further notice as if the school did not close to ensure that benefits are not affected.
  • Please contact our Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits. If you’re unable to contact us by phone, you can send us a secure inquiry through Ask VA.
  • If your school remains open, but you are unable to attend (i.e., if you had to relocate as a result of the natural disaster), VA is unable to continue GI Bill benefit payments. When you are no longer pursuing classes, your school must report the termination to VA as soon as possible.
Loan Guaranty Program
  • VA provides information online about policy and procedures regarding natural disasters related to VA-guaranteed loans found here.
  • Loan Guaranty Service will engage with every Veteran with a VA-adapted home located in the impacted disaster region to determine if the Veteran sustained property damage and provide further assistance in rebuilding.
  • Mortgage servicers can extend forbearance and other mortgage options to Veterans with VA-guaranteed loans in the affected disaster areas, whose ability to repay their loans has been impacted directly or indirectly by the disaster.
Benefit Payments
  • If a Veteran or beneficiary does not/cannot receive a benefits payment due to the effects of the natural disaster and indicates financial hardship, the contact center agents must request a one-time special payment address where a replacement payment can be sent.
    • This can be a Direct Deposit account (into which VA can issue an electronic funds transfer (EFT) / direct deposit payment) or a mailing address out of the area impacted by the tornadoes (to ensure the check can be delivered). Affected ZIP codes where post offices are closed can be found at this link, the USPS updates this information routinely.
    • If a bank account is provided, include the routing number, account number, type of account (checking or savings), name of bank and name of individual on the account (the beneficiary or otherwise).
  • VBA can issue a same-day EFT payment to affected Veterans. To do this, the Veteran needs to enroll in Direct Deposit.
  • If a Veteran does not have a bank account into which they can receive direct deposit, VA has established the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) to give Veterans and beneficiaries access to military-friendly banks and credit unions they might not otherwise be able to access due to lack of awareness, individual credit history, and / or legal history. Veterans can find more information about VBBP here.
  • If Veterans call us, they can change their address or switch to direct deposit over the phone.
  • VA provides assistance to help ease the hardships of those affected. VA offers Instant Loan Approval online and expedited same day processing for policy loans when Veterans contact the Call Center.
  • In addition, we expedite same day processing and approval of the following policy actions:
    • Withdrawals from dividend credit and deposit accounts
    • Extension of premium payment grace period
    • Extension of reinstatement deadlines
    • Processing of death claims
  • The Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) is following disaster alerts that are issued by each state department of insurance in the event of natural disaster. These alerts generally provide a moratorium on lapsing or extension of premium payments. OSGLI follows these procedures for all-natural disasters.

Veterans may call the Insurance Center at 1-800-669-8477 or OSGLI at 1-800-419-1473.

For more information on benefits, visit our website here. Or call us free at 1-800-827-1000. Additionally, you may also access this link for disaster-related information.

Florida Specific Resources:
National Resources:

VA Information

1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) is always the right number
Veterans Crisis Line: 988 and press 1, Chat, or Text 838255
Vet Centers: 1-877-927-8387
Homeless Veteran Resources: 1-877-424-3838 or Chat
White House VA Hotline: 1-855-948-2311

Other Resources

Other Resources

  • Division of Consumer Services – Disaster Resources & Information
  • State Assistance Information Line (SAIL): 1-800-342-3557
    Please stay tuned to your local officials and/or log on to the
  • FEMA: FEMA’s role is to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters. Find information specific to Hurricane Ian on FEMA’s website HERE, by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (800-621-3362), or registering online at
  • National Flood Insurance Program: Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders are encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance in addition to their flood insurance claim. Policyholders impacted by Hurricane Ian are encouraged to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible for more information about filing a claim. Get more details about filing a claim HERE, or reach NFIP assistance directly HERE, or by calling 1-877-336-2627.Once starting a claim, FEMA suggests documenting all damage, including photos and videos, recording serial numbers and securing receipts. FEMA also recommends policyholders should take steps to stop the spread of mold if safe to do so.
  • Citizens Property Insurance: Citizens Property Insurance is urging policyholders to contact them as soon as possible in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Citizens representatives can be reached online HERE, or by calling 1-866-411-2742. Additionally, Citizens is warning policyholders to be wary of unlicensed contractors and “deals that sound too good to be true.” Policyholders are discouraged from signing anything before consulting with an insurance agent. Citizens policyholders can report suspected fraud online HERE, or by calling 1-855-748-9596.
  • U.S. Housing and Urban Development: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also offers disaster recovery assistance following Presidentially-declared disasters. Read more from HUD HERE.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration: Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.
  • Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website provides information about preparing, responding to and recovering from a disaster. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to Hurricane Ian. Survey responses will allow the state to expedite Hurricane Ian recovery efforts by gathering data and assessing the needs of affected businesses.
  • Food and Water: As information becomes available, Floridians in need of food and water can find a nearby point of distribution location HERE. Storms can affect public water treatment plants, water lines and private wells—citizens affected by the storms must err on the side of caution until their water is tested. Learn about Boil Water Notices from the Florida Department of Health HERE.
  • Medications: Early prescription refills are permitted during a state-declared State of Emergency. Learn more from the Florida Department of Health HERE.
  • National Disaster Distress Hotline: Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a National Disaster Distress Hotline (800-985-5990), video conference is available for the deaf or hard of hearing HERE.
  • Shelter: Shelters are currently open and available, and locations can be found HERE, or through the American Red Cross HERE, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
  • Mental Health Resources: You are not alone. If you are in need of support through any disaster, crisis or circumstance, please reach out. Florida 211 connects individuals to local helpline call centers that have crisis counselors for disaster recovery and can provide information on access to local resources such as housing, food and health care. Connect by phone 24/7 by dialing: 2-1-1. Also, the American Red Cross Disaster Distress Helpline is a national helpline that provides crisis support services for individuals in emotional distress that are impacted by disaster. Connect by phone 24/7 by calling or texting 1-800-985-5990.
  • Price Gouging Hotline: Florida Attorney General Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains open for Floridians statewide to report instances of severe price increases on essential commodities needed to prepare for the storm. Florida’s price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for, or recovering from, a storm during a declared state of emergency. If you feel you have been a victim of price gouging, report online HERE, by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM, or by downloading the NO SCAM app.

How You Can Help

National Emergency Fund

National Emergency Fund (NEF)

A full 100 percent of donations to the National Emergency Fund are turned into grants for individuals, families and post impacted by natural disasters. Donations are not used to cover administrative or promotional costs. Assistance through the National Emergency Fund is available to Legionnaires, Sons of The American Legion members and Legion Posts.

Donate online to NEF

Mail to National Headquarters:
The American Legion
Donation Processing
PO Box 361623
Indianapolis, IN 46236-1626

For more information Call 1-800-433-3318.

The American Legion Department of Florida: Hurricane Relief

The American Legion Department of Florida: Hurricane Relief

The Department of Florida will be collecting monetary donations only at the present time. Please check back for updates in the near future.

Donate online to Department of Florida Hurricane Relief Aid

Checks payable to The American Legion, Department of Florida, note “Hurricane Relief” in the memo.
Mail Donations to:
The American Legion Department of Florida
Hurricane Relief
1912 A Lee Rd
Orlando, FL 32810

PROJECT: VetRelief

PROJECT: VetRelief

PROJECT: VetRelief is a 501(c)(3) program of The American Legion, Department of Florida, which provides one-time financial relief to qualified applicants for cost of necessities, such as: food, shelter, utilities, some emergency medical needs, emergency transportation needs. This program does not specifically provide disaster relief, but can assist, mentioned above, for basic necessities due to setbacks from disaster related events.

Donate online to PROJECT: VetRelief

Make checks payable to PROJECT: VetRelief .
Mail Donations to:
PROJECT: VetRelief
1912A Lee Rd
Orlando, FL 32810

Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF)

Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF)

Since the Auxiliary Emergency Fund was established, more than $6 million has been awarded to more than 6,500 members. To continue providing this assistance, we need your generous support. Please donate today and know that you are helping make a better tomorrow for your fellow Auxiliary members.

Donate online to AEF