A&FR provides Reservists, their families’ resources during COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs

In this challenging time when Reservists and their families have to adjust to the limitations caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Airman and Family Readiness staff is still here to help.

“This time can be very stressful for many people,” Mandie Holovach, Airman and Family Readiness Programs specialist, said. “It is important for those who may need the assistance, to know about these resources so they know where to go for help. The resources are there to help in alleviating some of the stressors they are facing.”

Like most things right now, A&FR is assisting Reservists and their family members virtually and by telephone and is providing standard and new resources such as the Military One Source, Employee Assistance Program, Military Family Life counselors and the Air Force Aid Society. One of the new resources that is available is free access to the tutor.com website.

To help alleviate the academic stress being experienced by DoD-affiliated personnel and their families due to COVID-19 disruptions, DoD has temporarily expanded eligibility for the Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families program, according to Holovach. The program provides on-demand academic support 24/7 online in more than 100 subjects for grades kindergarten through college students.

“With the temporary program expansion, online tutoring and homework help via https://military.tutor.com/home is now available at no cost to any adult or child in a DoD civilian or Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve or Wounded Warrior military family,” Holovach said.

For Reservists who may be struggling financially, personal financial counselors are available for financial counseling. This service is being provided virtually/phone appointments through this time period. To schedule an appointment with the PFCs, Reservists and their family members can contact their local A&FR office for contact information. In addition, Reserve personnel on extended active duty for over 15 days are eligible to apply for financial assistance through the Air Force Aid Society.

“Some members may have trouble managing mortgage payments during this time,” Holovach said. “A new federal law called the CARES Act establishes protection for homeowners with federally backed mortgages. If you have federally-held student loans, the CARES Act also automatically suspends principal and interest payments through September 30.”

The federal tax deadline has also been extended to July 15.

“The local A&FRC or A&FR office can assist with reviewing resumes and providing feedback to improve resume for those seeking employment,” she said. “In most cases, this is being accomplished virtually or through email at this time.”

To help Reservists and family members stay resilient, A&FRC’s Military Family Life counselors are available to provide free, confidential counseling. This service is being provided virtually and by phone appointments through this time period. To schedule an appointment with the MFLCs, Reservists and their family members can contact their local A&FR office for contact information.

“Please know that there are many resources available to you,” she said. “We understand the struggles that you may be facing during this time. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. There are many resources and individuals that are available to help you get through the challenges you are being faced with. Sometimes it is a matter of where to begin looking and where to start.”

Unfortunately, there are some who would want to take advantage of and scam Reservists and family members in this challenging time, Holovach warns.

“Be aware of an increase in coronavirus-related scams that are targeting consumers and be cautious of providing any PII,” she said.

Lisa Matney, Air Force Reserve Command Community Support coordinator and Airman & Family Readiness liaison, explains that most of the A&FR local offices are offering virtual appointments and trainings to assist the ongoing needs of our Airmen and their families.

“They are continuously receiving referral resources via Employee Assistance Program, Military One Source and MFLC that can assist with personal and work life concerns in regards to COVID-19,” Matney said.

Editor’s Note: Information in this article about non-federal resources does not constitute federal endorsement.