Now that the federal government has shut down, many military families and civilian government employees – including our own MSJDN members and families – are looking for answers about what will happen and where we can turn for help. Fortunately, many organizations have compiled this information, and several organizations stand ready to assist. We wanted to take this opportunity to provide MSJDN members with a quick and easily accessible wrap up of that information. Click the photos below to see the full resource.
On Monday, the President signed into law HR 3210, known as the Pay Our Military Act, ensuring that “[m]ilitary pay and the pay of some federal civilians and contractors will be exempt from delay during a government shutdown.” The bill applies to “pay and allowances of active-duty members, including reservists on full-time active duty, plus pay and allowances for Defense Department and Homeland Security Department civilians and contractors who are determined to be ‘providing support to members of the armed forces.'”
Effects of the shutdown on military families will still be immediate and far-reaching, including the closure of stateside commissaries beginning Wednesday and possible delays in medical appointments and veterans’ benefits.
The National Military Family Association (NMFA) has a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the shutdown and will continue to update their page. NMFA provides links to banks, credit unions, and military aid organizations that may provide financial assistance if needed. Also, they link to the Department of Defense memorandum providing guidance for civilian employees impacted by the shutdown. The page also provides information about family support and installation services and access to health care during the shutdown.
Several military blogs and publications have also released articles addressing service members’ specific questions about the potential shutdown. Topics addressed include work schedules and access to health care during the shutdown, among others.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) published a blog post on Tuesday providing specific information about the continuation of family support programs during the shutdown. Among other topics, the post addresses child and youth programs, DOD schools, MWR services, military exchanges and commissaries, and MyCAA financial assistance. Individuals are encouraged to contact installations with questions regarding specific programs and hours of operation, and the DOD blog post provides a link to addresses and phone numbers for installation and state resources.
The DOD also has a webpage devoted to “What You Need to Know” regarding the government shutdown. The page provides links to numerous news stories, links, and DOD documents relevant to both military personnel and civilian government employees regarding the shutdown.
For USAA members, USAA is offering a number of solutions for those who receive a government paycheck but still find themselves in financial distress due to current circumstances. You can find financial planning tips and contact information for financial advice on the USAA webpage.
Navy Federal Credit Union is also offering to help members during the government shutdown and continues to have programs in place to help civilian government employees. You can find more information about their programs, as well as contact information for Navy Federal, on the webpage linked here. Marine Federal Credit Union (MFCU) members are encouraged to continue to monitor the MFCU website for more information about assistance during the shutdown.
Several other banks and credit unions may offer similar assistance. If your particular financial institution is not listed in these resources, please contact the institution directly to find out about any shutdown plan they may have in place.
In light of the current uncertainty, we hope that MSJDN members will find all of the resources above helpful in handling the government shutdown.