How the government shutdown affects military pay
Friday, January 11, 2019
Create a spending plan. Have a garage sale. Contact creditors to ask about hardship programs. These are the types of tips the Coast Guard members and employees are hearing from CG SUPRT.
Also known as the Coast Guard Support Program, this is the type of agency that steps up to help the military during budgetary crises. The latest crisis, a government shutdown since Dec. 22, is set to become the longest government shutdown in history. Find out more about the shutdown crisis and how it is affecting military pay for each branch.
Coast Guard Lacks Support
As noted, the Coast Guard is offering financial support via CG SUPRT because this department is not under the same classification as other military divisions. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Defense, which, as noted, is not getting paid during the shutdown. Therefore, the Coast Guard is not supposed to get paid as usual.
According to Military Times, these service members did get paid through December 31, 2018. The next concerning time frame for budgeting pay for Coast Guard members is January 15, 2019. If the department is unable to finalize a budget that includes pay for approximately 42,000 service members, these employees will be forced to work without pay.
Army Veterans Lose Benefits in Shutdown
One of the largest groups of the military to be adversely affected by the shutdown is Army veterans. According to Military Times, veterans account for more than one-quarter of the workforce in the federal level Transportation, Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice departments.
Types of employees to be affected directly include TSA agents, prison guards at federal institutes, FBI agents, and air traffic controllers. These employees are not getting paid due to the shutdown. Yet they are required to maintain their employment as usual. This can put quite the financial strain on employees who are not prepared to live without a financial income.
Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy Unaffected — For Now
The remaining four major branches of the U.S. military — Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy — are not affected by the shutdown at this time. Note that last phrase, as these military branches could potentially be affected if the shutdown continues.
Since military departments have already set their budgets for the coming pay period, this money is protected for employees. However, there are other budget issues that would affect all military if the shutdown proceeds.
Budget Blocking and the Military
According to MilitaryBenefits.info, the first concern for the military if the shutdown continues is that an anticipated pay increase will be delayed. The 2.6 percent military pay increase that was set will only be granted to 4-star ranks and higher.
In addition, the Department of Defense will not be able to implement new programs or services because there will be a lack of available funding. This stagnates the military when it comes to innovating and hiring new employees.
Future Effects of the Shutdown
There are 1.3 million U.S. service members around the world. These individuals will not be able to earn a paycheck if the government remains shut down.
Fortunately, there will be agencies, such as USAA and military-friendly banks, that will be available to assist service members in need. Yet the ultimate goal would be to reach a resolution that allows the government to return to functioning as usual so that service men and women are able to get paid.
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