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Paycheck Chronicles

What If I Don't Get Paid?

Pretty regularly, I get questions from readers who didn't get paid on payday, or who got paid a smaller amount than they were expecting..  There are three basic steps to figuring out what happened:

Step One:  Look At Your Leave and Earnings Statement

Go to MyPay and pull up your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) or Net Pay Advice statement.  The LES is the long, detailed form that active duty gets at the end-of-month pay (Reserves always get LES) and the Net Pay Advice is the short statement that active duty folks get with their mid-month pay.  You need to verify two pieces of information:  the amount you should be paid, and the banking institution to which the payment was forwarded.  On the LES, the amount you should receive for pay is the bottom figure on the right hand column, next to the words =EOM PAY.  On the Net Pay Advice, the amount you should receive for pay is located on the right hand side.  Once you've verified the amount (and that there is an amount), check the bank account information listed.  Make sure this is the right account information.

Step Two:  Check With Your Bank

If your LES or Net Pay Advice  shows an amount due, and has the right bank account information, the next step is to contact your bank.  It is possible that some error has happened within the bank's system.  Explain that you have a direct deposit that was sent to them, and you've verified the bank account information, and see what steps they can take to track the transaction.

If you are looking at a mid-month Net Pay Advice, check your last LES to verify the bank deposit information that is listed there.

Step Three:  Go To Finance

Third, if your LES is correct, but your bank can not trace the deposit, you need to contact your finance department to find out what has happened.  Finance is also the right department to contact if you feel that your LES or Net Pay Advice is incorrect and you need to have it corrected.

Hopefully, this won't happen often, but sometimes pay does get messed up.  This is one of the many reasons that you should always read your monthly LES and make sure everything is right.  Addressing the problem in a sensible fashion increases the chances that you'll get it worked out quickly.

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