It has happened, a government shutdown.
(Posted on October 1, 2013 at 9:29 AM)
Thankfully HR 3210, Pay our Military Act has been passed by the House, Senate and signed by the president, soldier (and some federal employees) pay is one less thing to worry about. This said there are other issues that come with a government shutdown.
For a basic rundown on the shutdown check out THIS link from USA.gov. You can even call them at 1-800-FED-INFO if you have questions.
Now for the rest… How does this affect military families? I will do my best to keep things up to date here so it is all in one place.
Do you keep up to date with various government agencies via Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets? If so thank’s to the shutdown you will not be able to. You will see some sort of variation of this message:
“Due to the #governmentshutdown, XXX will not be active on social media or replying to comments…. ”
Although in some cases there are active duty soldiers attempting to keep up DOD pages not all pages will be updated. You can keep up to date by checking their websites for shutdown updates. Here are the different military branches-
Coast Guard does not having anything posted at this time in regards to the shutdown.
Are you a veteran? Check out the Department of Veteran’s Affairs page for the latest information.
Military One Source (800-342-9647) remains open and fully operational.
Another option for keeping up to date is staying in contact with your Family Readiness Group/ Key Spouse/Ombudsman.
**update October 5, 2013** From the Department of Defense Facebook:
“BREAKING NEWS: #DefenseSecretary Chuck Hagel has announced that most Defense Department civilian workers put on emergency furlough as a result of the #GovernmentShutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week. Read his full statement here,http://go.usa.gov/DFZA“
Shopping/Dining/Recreation on Military Installations
As of October 2nd 2013 stateside Commissaries will be closed until further notice. Overseas Commissaries will remain open.
**Update October 5,2013** Some Commissaries are reopening this week thanks to a new order from the Secretary of Defense. You can read more in THIS article from SpouseBuzz.
**Update October 3, 2013** Sam’s Club will be offering free memberships while the commissary is closed. Check out THIS article from Spousebuzz for more details.
AAFES, Class 6, food courts and gas stations will be open
NAF (Non- appropriated funds) food and beverage facilities will be open (ex. bowling alley and golf course).
MWR Pools and Gyms remain open on most installations. Intramural sports and youth activities seem to vary from installation to installation. If they are closed at your installation please comment and let me know.
Installation libraries should be open but hours may be reduced.
Running in the Marin Corp Marathon or Army Ten Miler? Both events will still be going on. Look HERE for more information.
Each installation will put out information about changes they need to implement in regards to the operation of MTF’s and clinics. If you see a civilian PCM you should not see any changes. If in doubt call to confirm your appointment.
Military Health System/Health.mil has released THIS statement
Tricare has released THIS statement.
As previously mentioned military members and some dod employees will be paid thanks to the HR 3210, Pay our Military Act.
**update Oct 4, 2013*** Please check THIS link from DFAS in regards to pay earned after 30 September 2013.
**update Oct 8,2013*** DFAS has released this statement:
Military members: Final guidance on making military pay under the Pay Our Military Act was received from the DoD late yesterday. Normal pay and allowances have been processed and you will receive them in you mid-month pay. The amount reflected in your mid-month statement will be deposited.
Please check out their Facebook for other statements about pay.
If you have questions regarding Civilian or Military pay check out Defense Finance and Accounting Service/DFAS
Furloughed employee’s look HERE for info about Unemployment Compensation.
Curious about which member’s of Congress giving up their pay during this time? Click HERE.
Child Development Centers (CDC) remain open but on some installation’s School Age Centers and Youth Centers may close. Check with your installation before you go.
Military Acadamies have been hit by the shutdown in a variety of ways. For more information check out their various pages for updates:
DODEA schools will remain open.
THIS article explains what is going on at military service academies including links to their pages.
Tuition Assistance (TA) has been suspended
Post 9/11 GI Bill information is HERE
My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) financial assistance requests will not be approved but spouses with an already approved financial assistance request prior to Oct. 1, 2013 will have their approved requests honored so they can attend class.
Education Centers will be closed
Other Support Services
Family Support Centers and ACS (Army Community Service) will have limited operability. Some departments will be open. Call before you go!
Survivor outreach services information can be found HERE.
**update October 8,2013**Fisher House is stepping up to take care of families who have lost a loved one
The Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC) program will continue.
Drill has been cancelled for Guard and Reserve units. For more information look HERE.
For families who use WIC need to prepare themselves for a possible for a possible halt in service. Some states have state funds that help supplement the program while others rely on government aid.
**update Oct 8,2013** In North Carolina WIC benefits have been suspended. REad more info HERE.
National parks, monuments and museums are all closed.
I will do my best to keep this page updated as I find out more information (such as concrete information regarding PCS orders). There are a few things that are still uncertain. We can only hope things will be resolved quickly but if not I will help you stay as informed about what is going on to the best of my ability.
This is a follow up to the blog post Government Shutdown Military Family 411