Individuals filing their 2012 Pennsylvania personal income taxes can help Pennsylvania’s military personnel and their families by donating part or all of their refund to the Military Family Relief Assistance Program.
The program provides grants of up to $3,500 to Pennsylvania members of the armed forces and their families who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of military service. The tax form includes instructions on how to donate.
“All Pennsylvanians have a very special opportunity to make a donation to the Military Family Relief Assistance Program by simply checking off a box on their income tax return,” Major General Wesley E. Craig, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general said. “Service members and their families sacrifice so much, it’s only right that we are there for them in times of adversity. This program is a great way for all of us to lend a helping hand.”
Examples of how the grants helped service members in 2012 include:
· A service member from Cumberland County did not have the funds to cover the funeral and burial costs for his son. A grant for $3,500 was given to assist the family with this unexpected burden.
· A service member from Lackawanna County was unable to afford the replacement of the furnace in the family’s home. A grant for $3,500 was given to assist with the cost.
· A service member from Westmoreland County had been wounded in action and had recently undergone surgery. The family needed assistance with monthly bills and car repairs until incapacitation pay would begin. The family received $3,500.
· A service member from Lebanon County received $3,500 after the family’s home was completely destroyed in a fire.
Since the program began in 2006, more than $1 million has been donated by individuals filing their Pennsylvania personal income tax returns.
“I highly encourage service members to take advantage of this valuable benefit. If you think you might be eligible for a grant, you really should apply,” Craig added.
Members of the armed forces who are residents of Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for assistance while they are serving on active duty for 30 or more consecutive days with the Army, Army Reserve, Navy, Navy Reserve, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve, or the Pennsylvania Army or Air National Guard.