Pay Issues (Military)
There may be a number of reasons that a Service Member may experience a pay issue with the National Guard, whether on M-Day, AGR or ADOS status, at drill, annual training or while deployed. Although pay issues do occur, knowing the proper procedures to follow when they happen will save valuable time.
The best way to keep pay issues from occurring is to take personal responsibility for your personal situation and keep abreast of what paperwork your Unit needs from you to be able to pay you properly. A major issue that occurs when Service Members go on state active duty is not receiving the paycheck because they have not updated their address with the Unit. An additional example is not receiving the proper Basic Housing Allowance when on orders because things such as rental agreements and marriage certificates were not turned in.
If you have a change in life occur, make sure that the Service Member is speaking with the Unit Administrative NCO to find out what paperwork needs to be turned in. Follow-up and make sure that you turn in the paperwork in a timely manner.
Riding through the Storm
If a pay issue occurs, you do not want a $20 difference to break your budget! Be prepared and have a safety net of 3-6 months wages in an easily accessible account for emergencies. As Service Members, you can be called up to duty at a moment’s notice; whether the pay you receive is more or less than what is made at your civilian employment can become an issue, but not if you are prepared. This is especially true for Service Members who are technicians, or on ADOS or AGR orders. You never know when a furlough or sequestration may become a part of your life again.
Please take a look at our financial page by clicking here to see how Family Programs can assist you in being financially ready for any situation.
Identify the Issue
If you feel that a pay issue has occurred, the best way to identify what happened is to look at the Service Member’s Leave and Earnings Statement (LES). If you notice a change in the amount deposited in your account, this is the first place to check. In the notes section, Pay Branch will annotate what the pay is for, what, if any, deductions were made, and they will also include any pertinent information or notes.
To see your LES, log-in to mypay.dfas.mil.
To find a download to help you understand your LES, please navigate here, scroll to the bottom of the page and select your status under the heading ‘Understanding your LES’.
Report the Issue
If you suspect and/or have identified the issue, the first entity the Service Member should turn to is his/her Unit. Please note that it is the Service Member that must contact the Unit, unless there is a Power of Attorney in place for pay issues for the Service Member. Once reported, routinely follow-up and make sure you turn in any paperwork the Unit may be asking for as soon as possible.
Seek Financial Assistance Early
If the pay issue you have identified is one that will cause you or your Family to become delinquent on bills or unable to purchase basic necessities, you need to contact the Family Assistance Specialist (FAS) or Airman & Family Readiness Program teams as soon as possible. These teams will work with you to identify government and community resources that may be able to help. They can also assist by connecting you to food distribution centers. The key is to identify the need for assistance early.
Please note: If you call your FAS or AFRP at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, it is very unlikely that they will be able to work with these organizations to get you assistance before the weekend. Likewise, if you wait until the day the power is scheduled to be turned off, they may not be able to assist you in time. However, no matter how long you waited, make sure to contact the FAS or AFRP team as soon as appropriate.
Family Assistance Teams
Don’t forget! There are dedicated teams here to provide you with expert guidance on this subject. By calling the team that assists your branch of service, you will receive personalized care and assistance. They will walk with you from start to finish and through each step of the process. Contact them today!
- For Air Service Members, click here to visit the Airman & Family Readiness Program team page.
- For Army Service Members, click here to visit the Family Assistance Specialist team page.
- For all other branches, contact the Family Assistance Coordinator by clicking here.