Shutdown Stops Some Bonus Pay and Tuition Assistance

While Congress voted at the last minute to continue paying active-duty troops after Oct. 1, the larger financial implication of a government shutdown became apparent when it was announced that they may not receive other important forms of compensation, from tuition assistance to imminent danger pay.

The Navy initially said in a memo that service members will receive basic pay and allowances for subsistence and housing, but that other types of compensation, including danger pay, will be delayed — affecting the nearly 60,000 U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

“We had all hoped to avoid this scenario and further hope that it will be short-lived, wanting to get back to normal operations as quick as possible,” Vice Adm. Bill Moran, chief of naval personnel said in a blog post. “None of us know for sure how long this shutdown will last, but to alleviate some of your anxiety and address some of you questions, below is what we know to date.”

A second memo was issued however, citing “new guidance,” which clarified the bonuses and incentive pays that “will be limited” during the shutdown. As for special and incentive pays such as imminent danger pay, hardship duty pay and hazard duty pay, the updated memo stated, “Payment of all military pay and allowances is authorized — provided funds are available from the Treasury.”

Meanwhile, the official Army website showcased an urgent notice that tuition assistance for classes starting on or after Oct. 1 has been suspended until further notice. “Effective 1 October, all Soldier accounts in GoArmyEd have been placed on hold and they will not be able to process any new TA requests,” the notice states.

The Navy post includes similar information, noting that tuition assistance won’t be available until “funding is released.” While all Navy College offices will be closed and no counseling or education services will be available, “college courses taught on base should go as scheduled,” it states.

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