Tough economic times can take a toll on any family, but if you are a veteran or a spouse, or a child of one, there could be financial aid available for you.

"We plan to apply and continue serving our veterans with these grant monies," said Toby Cross, director of Nueces County Veterans Affairs.

The Texas Veterans Commission announced the availability of funding for grants to be awarded to organizations seeking to help veterans and their families. Cross said the grant money from the Commission for the program is raised through the sale of $2 Lotto scratch-off tickets, generating money that is then made available for vets who need help.

"Maybe they need a rent payment. Maybe they need a mortgage payment. Perhaps they've lost their job. They need food," Cross said. "Whatever the life sustaining need is, that's what these grant monies are for."

Cross said recently changed criteria will allow for more vets and their families to take advantage of the program; changes that were needed, because many vets were being turned down.