An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 17, 2020

Need emergency assistance for unplanned travel this holiday season? You may qualify for CGMA funding

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

Emergencies happen, of course. But the stress and financial strain may increase exponentially if your emergency comes during the pandemic holiday season. Coast Guard Mutual Assistance logo

The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) offers eligible Coast Guard members help paying for travel, food, lodging and childcare through its Emergency Assistance Program.

CGMA primarily covers unplanned travel for Coast Guard members resulting from a death or the serious illness of a loved one, paired with the member having exhausted their financial resources. 

 “CGMA's emergency travel program encompasses the globe, and is extremely versatile,” said Sean Fennell, CGMA’s chief information officer and a retired Coast Guard chief warrant officer. “Probably the longest journey we assisted with was for a family of five to travel from North Carolina to Guam,” he said.

A junior member needed help getting himself and his family home to Guam in time to attend his grandmother’s funeral, who had raised him. 

”Without timely assistance from Mutual Assistance, the flight cost would have been overwhelming for this young family,” said Erica Chapman, CGMA’s education services specialist.

Each emergency is different, so CGMA adjusts as needed. 

“So often Coast Guard members are stationed far from family, and urgent travel can be a financial burden,” Chapman said. “Sometimes it can be as simple as providing gas money.” 

“CGMA’s emergency travel is always there when the most unfortunate and unforeseeable happens,” Fennel said. “This is one of the best ways that CGMA is always 'Helping Our Own’.”

The Emergency Assistance Program also provides resources for living expenses, funeral expenses, loss of funds, home and vehicle repairs, fires and other disasters. 

CGMA Emergency Assistance Program