Navy sailors forced to take out loans after running out of wages
Some US Navy sailors have been forced to take out loans after months of late pay to some servicemen who earned increases in their housing allowances this year due to recent marriages or moving to a location where the cost of life is higher.
“It’s happening all over the place,” said Gillian Gonzalez, vice president of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, in a interview with Military.com. “It doesn’t seem to affect one geographic area more than another.”
Gonzalez said his group has seen a slight increase in loan requests from sailors who are struggling to meet living expenses but do not have an exact figure on the increase.
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Cmdr. Matt Knight, public affairs officer at Navy Personnel Command, told the outlet that the Department of Defense requires the Navy to process requests for change in basic housing allowance within 30 days, but delays can occur.
âThe Naval Personnel Command and our subordinate commands take all measures to ensure that the volume of transactions does not exceed our capacity, but backlogs sometimes arise for a variety of reasons. These backlogs are resolved as quickly as possible to limit the impact on sailors, “Chevalier said.
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He declined to provide details to the point of sale on how many sailors were affected by the delays.
Gonzalez said a sailor was not paid for three months due to an enlistment extension and a pay error, and was forced to use his savings. Navy-Marine Corps Relief sent Sailor $ 2,500 to Sailor at Home as they were in COVID-19 quarantine.
Other sailors have spoken about the issues on social media. A sailor posted on Reddit that she and her husband got married in July but did not receive a basic allowance for housing in the Washington, DC area. They took out business loans on a temporary basis, according to the post reported by Military.com.
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âMy case has been open for over a month without any actionâ¦ I’m justâ¦ More than frustrated,â wrote the sailor.
A First Class Personnel Specialist told Military.com the issue comes down to the consolidation of the personnel support and customer support detachments that began in 2017.
âThe closure of dozens of processing centers has taken that transaction burden and dropped it into a building’s value,â the unnamed petty officer told Military.com. “Our only way of communicating with them is through [MyNavy Career Center, or MNCC], which is not always great because it is [mostly] civilians with a knowledge databaseâ¦ all they can do is search for tickets and give status. “
The Petty Officer added that the 30-day delay is “laughable” due to personnel specialists working on a sailor’s pay and sending it to a processing system which has 30 days to work on it. . The system then typically takes an additional 30 days to process, followed by an additional 30 to 45 days for the exam.
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âIn a Hershey and Hallmark world, 30 days would be great,â he told Military.com.