Military Advantage

Will the Shutdown Hurt Servicemembers? - Updated


The government shutdown is causing anxiety for servicemembers and their families, once again. While the shutdown is hurting morale, it is possible that the worst of the effects (delays in Military Pay) have been avoided. Update: The President signed the bill to protect military pay from the shutdown. The law ensures the funds are available for pay and allowances to members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components who perform active service during the shutdown. The Law also covers pay and allowances for certain civilian personnel and contractors of the Department of Defense (and the Department of Homeland Security in the case of the Coast Guard) whom continue to provide support to members of the Armed Forces. Read the full article on In addition to military pay protections, military health care system, base security, emergency services, DoDEA schools, Base Exchanges, and other essential services will continue to operate. Unfortunately, stateside commissaries will be closed and with the furlough of over 400K civilian employees, servicemembers are likely to have limited access to some on-base MWR type activities and experience limitations to other “non-essential” services. There will also likely be delays in travel orders, travel pay, and other processes. NOTE: The shutdown will not impact military pensions, VA health care, disability pay or GI Bill benefits. But many VA services and Hotlines will not be avaialable. Servicemembers should keep in mind that the effects of the shutdown are temporary, and most government officials expect to see the situation resolved within a couple of weeks. However, it is important to plan for the worst case scenario. The first step servicemembers should take is to contact their banks, mortgage company, and other creditors to let them know there may be pay delays due to the shutdown.

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