You have options. Get some of that money back. Read on.
You serve your country. You deploy to combat zones, stay physically and mentally fit, and respond to protect your fellow citizens in times of natural disaster. During the week, you strap on your boots and camouflage and head to your military facility and provide full time support for military operations. The major difference between you and an Active Duty Service Member is that you are paid on a government pay scale, not entitled to active military retirement, and you are not eligible for Tricare medical because you are eligible to enroll in federal employees health benefits (for a considerably higher price).
With new fiscal legislation aimed at cutting federal spending, “Uniformed Service Members” have allegedly been exempted from pay cuts from July through September 2013 commonly called “furloughs”. If the person described above does not fit the definition of a “Uniformed Service Member”, then furlough is just part of being a federal employee. The problem is, these Military Technicians are also required to carry a dual status as a military member in order to keep the position as a federal employee. To keep this position, they are subject to the exact same fitness, medical, and psychological standards as an Active Duty Service Member.
Many believe that these men and women, who serve their country in uniform every day, should be exempt from furloughs along with their brethren. Unfortunately this week, these technicians were issued furlough notices that will lead to 11 non-consecutive, non-paid days off of work over the next couple of months. Bottom line: a 20% pay cut for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen who are serving their country on a daily basis.
If you or your spouse is a victim of furlough, then you are probably out there right now looking for options. You can find a second job, supplement your income through other various sources, and possibly apply for partial unemployment benefits. According to Phsychology Today, fighting over money can often lead to bigger, deeper problems for couples; even divorce. Most couples, I would venture to guess, are not fighting over having too much of it these days. So if you’re struggling with some “shortages” in the finance department, you should know that you are not alone. With all of the resources out there to assist military families in times of trouble, this particular obstacle fares no differently.
Military couples have enough stress. 20% less money is not going to help. The good news is, there are resources available to you. Here are some ideas.
1. Your unit Chaplain. They can provide many times of emotional support and access to a vast amount of resources.
2. Your elected officials. www.usa.gov connects you to them all. Make your voice heard, and stand behind military families.
3. Your local unemployment office. www.welcometousa.gov provides access to nationwide resources.
4. Your local church. Communities often come together in times of need.
5. www.MilitaryOneSource.com For all things military.
6. The National Guard Association of the United States. A dedicated organization that will fight for you. www.ngaus.org
Last and most certainly “AT LAST”, there is an option to get some of that money back. The drawback is that it only applies to residents of participating states, but KANSAS is on the list. Follow the link below and learn more about support from the Kansas unemployment insurance trust fund.
The program is called “Short Term Compensation”. I hope this helps to serve you some peace of mind for serving our country in these times of uncertainty. Keep your chin up.
US Department of Labor info page with links:
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