Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Benefits

SCRA Eligibility

USAF Photo by Airman 1st Class Javier Alvarez

Active duty U.S. military members are eligible to receive money saving financial relief and protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Military personnel become eligible for SCRA benefits starting on the date when their active duty orders are received, and SCRA coverage usually terminates within 30 to 90 days after their date of discharge from active duty. SCRA only applies to Reservists and members of the National Guard when they’re serving on active duty orders. Financial relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is available to active duty members of all the Uniformed Services branches.

The SCRA, formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, is a federal law enacted in 2003, that restricts or limits actions against military personnel currently serving on active duty. The Act was designed to allow active duty service members, and especially those who are deployed, to “devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation.”

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act includes protections and provisions which cover:

  • Credit card interest rates
  • Cellular service provider contracts
  • Rental agreements
  • Security deposits
  • Evictions
  • Installment contracts
  • Mortgages
  • Civil judicial proceedings
  • Income tax payments

SCRA relief and protections can also apply to the spouses and children of the qualified servicemember, as well as any individual who relied on the servicemember for at least 50 percent of their support, for 180 days prior to using the Act. If you’re unsure of whether SCRA applies to you, eligibility can also be determined through your base Legal Assistance Office.

SCRA Credit Card and Loan Benefits

In accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, most major banks and credit card issuing companies will offer a refund on interest and annual fees for certain financial obligations that were incurred prior to one’s active duty military service. Banks will also lower the interest rates on loans that existed before the servicemember joined the military.

For example, if you bought a car before serving on active duty, and your current interest rate is 18 percent, you can invoke your SCRA benefits and have your rate lowered to 6 percent. Please note that in this same example, military personnel who purchase a car while serving on active duty, cannot apply SCRA to lower the interest rate on their loan.

Chase supports the military by offering active duty personnel interest rates that are 2% lower than what SCRA actually requires, meaning that you could lower your interest rate to 4% while on active duty, and for a year afterward. Credit card companies will also waive annual credit card fees, offering considerable savings. American Express Platinum cardholders could save $450 annually under SCRA.

Receive SCRA Benefits

In order to receive benefits under the SCRA, you must affirmatively invoke or request relief. Your active duty military status must be verified before you will receive benefits. This process varies depending on the company. We’ve also prepared a list of companies offering SCRA benefits, so that you can easily apply Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protections and provisions to your eligible accounts and loans.

For more information on your Servicemembers Civil Relief Act benefits, please contact your base Legal Assistance Office, or visit the official website on Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

2017 Military Pay Charts

2017 military pay charts reflect the 2.1% pay increase set forth in the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The 2.1% military pay increase went into effect on January 1, 2017. The defense bill was signed into law by President Obama on December 2rd, 2016.

See the proposed 2018 military pay charts here.

2017 Military Pay Scales

GRADE2 OR LESSOVER 2OVER 3OVER 4OVER 6OVER 8
O-10 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$-
O-9 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$-
O-8 (*1)$10,155.00 $10,487.70 $10,708.50 $10,770.00 $11,045.70 $11,505.90
O-7 (*1)$8,438.10 $8,829.90 $9,011.40 $9,155.70 $9,416.70 $9,674.70
O-6 (*2)$6,398.70 $7,029.90 $7,491.40 $7,491.30 $7,519.80 $7,842.30
O-5$5,334.30 $6,009.30 $6,424.80 $6,503.40 $6,763.20 $6,918.30
O-4$4,602.60 $5,327.70 $5,683.50 $5,762.40 $6,092.40 $6,446.40
O-3$4,046.70 $4,587.00 $4,950.90 $5,398.20 $5,657.10 $5,940.90
O-2$3,496.50 $3,982.20 $4,586.10 $4,741.20 $4,839.00 $4,839.00
O-1$3,034.80 $3,159.00 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70
O-3 (*3)$-$-$-$5,398.20 $5,657.10 $5,940.90
O-2 (*3)$-$-$-$4,741.20 $4,839.00 $4,992.90
O-1 (*3)$-$-$-$3,818.70 $4,077.60 $4,228.50
W-5$-$-$-$-$-$-
W-4$4,182.00 $4,498.50 $4,627.50 $4,754.70 $4,973.40 $5,190.00
W-3$3,819.00 $3,978.30 $4,141.50 $4,195.20 $4,365.90 $4,702.50
W-2$3,379.50 $3,699.00 $3,797.40 $4,084.20 $4,424.70
W-1$2,966.40 $3,285.60 $3,371.40 $3,552.90 $3,767.40 $4,083.60
E-9 (*4)$-$-$-$-$-$-
E-8$-$-$-$-$-$4,136.10
E-7$2,875.20 $3,138.00 $3,258.30 $3,417.30 $3,541.80 $3,755.10
E-6$2,486.70 $2,736.60 $2,857.20 $2,974.80 $3,097.20 $3,372.60
E-5$2,278.20 $2,431.50 $2,549.10 $2,669.10 $2,856.60 $3,052.50
E-4$2,088.90 $2,195.70 $2,314.80 $2,432.10 $2,535.60 $2,535.60
E-3$1,885.80 $2,004.30 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80
E-2$1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40
E-1 > 4 mos$1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90
E-1 < 4 mos$1,479.30 $-$-$-$-$-

2017 Military Pay Scales

GRADEOVER 10OVER 12OVER 14OVER 16OVER 18OVER 20
O-10 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$15,583.20
O-9 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$14,352.00
O-8 (*1)$11,612.70 $12,049.80 $12,175.20 $12,551.70 $13,096.50 $13,598.70
O-7 (*1)$9,972.90 $10,270.20 $10,568.70 $11,505.90 $12,296.70 $12,296.70
O-6 (*2)$7,884.60 $7,884.60 $8,332.50 $9,124.80 $9,589.80 $10,054.50
O-5$7,259.70 $7,510.50 $7,834.20 $8,329.80 $8,565.00 $8,798.10
O-4$6,887.40 $7,230.30 $7,468.50 $7,605.60 $7,684.80 $7,684.80
O-3$6,124.20 $6,426.00 $6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50
O-2$4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,838.50
O-1$3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70
O-3 (*3)$6,124.20 $6,426.00 $6,680.70 $6,827.10 $7,026.00 $7,026.00
O-2 (*3)$5,253.00 $5,454.00 $5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70
O-1 (*3)$4,382.40 $4,533.90 $4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20
W-5$-$-$-$-$-$7,436.10
W-4$5,409.30 $5,738.70 $6,027.90 $6,303.00 $6,528.30 $6,747.60
W-3$5,052.90 $5,218.20 $5,409.00 $5,605.50 $5,959.20 $6,198.00
W-2$4,593.60 $4,759.50 $4,962.90 $5,121.60 $5,265.60 $5,437.80
W-1$4,231.20 $4,437.30 $4,640.40 $4,800.30 $4,947.00 $5,125.80
E-9 (*4)$5,052.60 $5,166.90 $5,311.50 $5,481.00 $5,652.60 $5,926.50
E-8$4,318.80 $4,432.20 $4,567.80 $4,715.10 $4,980.30 $5,114.70
E-7$3,875.40 $4,088.70 $4,266.60 $4,387.80 $4,516.80 $4,566.60
E-6$3,480.30 $3,688.20 $3,751.50 $3,797.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70
E-5$3,213.60 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80
E-4$2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60
E-3$2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80
E-2$1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40
E-1 > 4 mos$1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-$-$-

2017 Military Pay Scales

GRADEOVER 22OVER 24OVER 26OVER 28OVER 30OVER 32
O-10 (*1)$15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20
O-9 (*1)$14,559.30 $14,857.80 $15,378.60 $15,378.60 $15,583.20 $15,583.20
O-8 (*1)$13,933.80 $13,933.80 $13,933.80 $13,933.80 $14,282.70 $14,282.70
O-7 (*1)$12,296.70 $12,296.70 $12,296.70 $12,296.70 $12,606.90 $12,606.90
O-6 (*2)$10,318.80 $10,587.00 $11,106.00 $11,106.00 $11,106.00 $11,106.00
O-5$9,062.70 $9,062.70 $9,062.70 $9,062.70 $9,062.70 $9,062.70
O-4$7,684.80 $7,684.80 $7,684.80 $7,684.80 $7,684.80 $7,684.80
O-3$6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50
O-2$4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00
O-1$3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70
O-3 (*3)$7,026.00 $7,026.00 $7,026.00 $7,026.00 $7,026.00 $7,026.00
O-2 (*3)$5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70
O-1 (*3)$4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20
W-5$7,813.20 $8,094.00 $8,405.10 $8,405.10 $8,826.00 $8,826.00
W-4$7,070.10 $7,335.00 $7,637.40 $7,637.40 $7,789.80 $7,789.80
W-3$6,340.80 $6,492.60 $6,699.30 $6,699.30 $6,699.30 $6,699.30
W-2$5,550.90 $5,640.60 $5,640.60 $5,640.60 $5,640.60 $5,640.60
W-1$5,125.80 $5,125.80 $5,125.80 $5,125.80 $5,125.80 $5,125.80
E-9 (*4)$6,158.70 $6,402.60 $6,776.40 $6,776.40 $7,114.80 $7,114.80
E-8$5,343.60 $5,470.50 $5,782.80 $5,782.80 $5,898.90 $5,898.90
E-7$4,734.60 $4,824.60 $5,167.50 $5,167.50 $5,167.50 $5,167.50
E-6$3,851.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70
E-5$3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80
E-4$2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60
E-3$2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80
E-2$1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40
E-1 > 4 mos$1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-$-$-

2017 Military Pay Scales

GRADEOVER 34OVER 36OVER 38OVER 40
O-10 (*1)$15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20
O-9 (*1)$15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20 $15,583.20
O-8 (*1)$14,639.70 $14,639.70 $14,639.70 $14,639.70
O-7 (*1)$12,606.90 $12,606.90 $12,606.90 $12,606.90
O-6 (*2)$11,328.00 $11,328.00 $11,328.00 $11,328.00
O-5$9,062.70 $9,062.70 $9,062.70 $9,062.70
O-4$7,684.80 $7,684.80 $7,684.80 $7,684.80
O-3$6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50 $6,583.50
O-2$4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00 $4,839.00
O-1$3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70 $3,818.70
O-3 (*3)$7,026.00 $7,026.00 $7,026.00 $7,026.00
O-2 (*3)$5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70 $5,603.70
O-1 (*3)$4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20 $4,741.20
W-5$9,266.70 $9,266.70 $9,266.70 $9,266.70
W-4$7,789.80 $7,789.80 $7,789.80 $7,789.80
W-3$6,699.30 $6,699.30 $6,699.30 $6,699.30
W-2$5,640.60 $5,640.60 $5,640.60 $5,640.60
W-1$5,125.80 $5,125.80 $5,125.80 $5,125.80
E-9 (*4)$7,470.60 $7,470.60 $7,470.60 $7,470.60
E-8$5,898.90 $5,898.90 $5,898.90 $5,898.90
E-7$5,167.50 $5,167.50 $5,167.50 $5,167.50
E-6$3,851.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70 $3,851.70
E-5$3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80 $3,232.80
E-4$2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60 $2,535.60
E-3$2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80 $2,125.80
E-2$1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40 $1,793.40
E-1 > 4 mos$1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90 $1,599.90
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-

Notes:
1.  Basic pay for an O-7 to O-10 is limited by Level II of the Executive Schedule. Basic pay for O-6 and below is limited by Level V of the Executive Schedule.
2.  Basic Pay for O-6 and below is limited by Level V of the Executive Schedule in effect during Calendar Year 2017 which is $12,641.70
3.  Applicable to O-1 to O-3 with at least 4 years and 1 day of active duty or more than 1460 points as a warrant and/or enlisted member. See Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations for more detailed explanation on who is eligible for this special basic pay rate.
4.  For the Sergeant Major of the Army, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the JCS, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau or Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard basic pay is $8,165.10.
5. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion for O-1 and above is based on the basic pay rate plus Hostile Fire Pay/Imminent Danger Pay which is $225.
6. Basic pay for Academy Cadets/Midshipmen and ROTC members/applicants is $1,062.30.

The military pay charts are for all U.S. Armed Forces personnel Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Reserves forces where applicable. Also, be sure to know your military pay dates.

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2017 BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence) Rates Armed Forces Comparative Pay Grades and Ranks
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How to apply for VA Disability Pay

VA disability claims are an important benefit for Veterans because they have done some of the most important work in the world, not only without complaint, but with discipline and honor. However, there is a backlog in unprocessed claims for Veterans disability pay because the Veterans Affairs system is backlogged. The VA is in the process of reforming their systems to reduce the wait, but with the right preparation you can prevent your claim from being lost in the mix.

45% of America’s 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are actively seeking service-related

By Lance Cpl. Courtney White
Photo by Lance Cpl. Courtney White

disability claims. In 2013, this high demand resulted in a VA backlog of around 608,000 cases. The average wait time peaked at 282 days, causing returning soldiers to live with physical and psychological impairments for months at a time before receiving compensation.

The process is getting smoother, but the system is still making improvements. Returning veterans can expect to wait for up to six months just for a primary care visit. And those waiting to receive a disability rating could be left in the lurch for as long as two years.

Despite the VA backlog, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances at having your application processed in a timely fashion. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Prepare a Veterans Claim

  1. The key to getting a Veterans disability claim processed in a timely fashion is preparation. Take the time to gather together all medical evidence at your disposal, including any records from your visits to physicians’ offices and any records from hospital stays. If you think it might be important, it probably will be. Get organized early, and then stay that way.
  1. Make sure to assemble any documents related to dependents, since the benefits sought will apply to their needs as well. These documents might include birth certificates for children or marriage certificates if you have a spouse.
  1. The third step in preparing a veteran disability case is perhaps the most important. Veterans need a physician’s report to help establish the fact that the health condition developed while they were in the military, and that it was related to military service. This will help the VA to establish the type and severity of the veteran’s disability, and will assist them in applying the VA rating criteria to your particular case.

Hopefully the next step will be to receive VA compensation and view the VA Disability Benefits Rates. However, even with thoughtful preparation, some people fall through the cracks or have their application for benefits denied. If this happens to you, your next step is to contact a lawyer. Disability lawyers are familiar with the VA system and can be an important ally as you navigate the process.

Don’t Despair

Most importantly, if you find yourself in the VA’s backlog or if your application gets denied, know that you’re not alone. What was once swept under the rug is becoming a consequential campaign issue, with relief not far off. As of September 2015, the VA backlog had shrunk from 608,000 to around 82,000 — a turnaround that has almost certainly resulted from additional public attention being paid to this issue.


Adrienne Erin is a writer who has spent the last 3 years covering health and the healthcare industry. Her interest in the veteran disability system grew when her brother-in-law began pursuing his disability rating and hitting hurdles along the way. You can read more of her work on her blog, Miss Rx.


2017 Military Pay

The 2017 military pay increase has been signed into law at 2.1% keeping with private sector wage growth. This increase is .8% higher than the 1.3% increase in 2016. The pay increase will mean about $550 more a year for most junior enlisted troops and about $1,800 for officers.

See the proposed 2018 Military Pay here.

The 2.1% increase went into effect on January 1, 2017, as approved by the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Typically Congress and the President agree on a final version and sign into law in December.

See the 2017 military pay chartsMilitary money

The annual pay increase for service members is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index and growth in private-sector wages. However, by law, Title 37, Chapter 19, Section 1009, the President can set an alternate pay raise which is being proposed in the 2017 Defense Budget, and was also proposed and implemented for 2016.

Historical Military Pay Raises by Year

YearMilitary Pay Raise %YearMilitary Pay Raise %
20182.10% (proposed)19894.10%
20172.10%19882.00%
20161.30%19873.00%
20151.00%19863.00%
20141.00%19854.00%
20131.70%19844.00%
20121.60%19834.00%
20111.40%198214.30%
20103.40%198111.70%
20093.90%19807.00%
20083.50%19795.50%
2007 *2.70%19787.10%
20063.10%19774.80%
20053.50%19765.00%
2004 *4.20%19755.52%
2003 *4.70%19746.20%
2002 *6.90%19736.70%
20014.10%19727.20%
20006.20%19717.90%
19993.60%19708.10%
19982.80%196912.60%
19973.00%19686.80%
19962.40%19675.60%
19952.60%19663.20%
19942.20%1965E: 11% O:6%
19933.70%19642.5% - 8.5%
19924.20%196312.60%
19914.10%19620.00%
19903.60%

* 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007 are the average percentage raise as military pay raises differed for various military pay grades.

2017 military pay increases are for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Reserve forces where applicable.

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Military Pay Allowances List Military Clothing (Uniform) Allowance Rates

2017 Defense Budget

The 2017 defense bill has been signed into law by President Obama and includes a 2.1% military pay increase.

See the proposed 2018 Defense Budget here.

Highlights of the 2017 Defense Budget:

  • A 2.1% military pay increase effective January 1st, 2017.
    • The pay increase will mean about $550 more a year for most junior enlisted troops and about $1,800 for officers.
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) was increased on average by 2.4%.
    • Congress removed a proposal to award BAH only for actual expenses where proof of rent and utility costs would have be provided.
  • Basic Allowance for Sustenance (BAS) was not increased.
  • The bill includes plans to significantly increase the number of service members. Plans are:
    • Army 476,000 to 492,000
    • Marine Corps 182,000 to 185,000
    • Air Force 317,000 to 321,000
    • Navy would remain unchanged at 324,000
  • The 619 billion bill is about $3.2 billion more than Obama’s request.
  • Both houses passed the bill with veto-proof margins with significant Democratic support.
  • President Obama’s statement read “”Congress again failed to enact meaningful reforms to divest unneeded force structure, reduce wasteful overhead, and modernize military healthcare.”
  • The NDAA includes language prohibiting base closings.
  • Congress further added language restricting the closing of detention facilities at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
  • Language was added to fix the The National Guard bonus clawback.
  • Expanded telehealth access for active duty military personnel and veterans
  • Tricare will be restructured where new service members entering in 2018 and beyond will incur additional fees and costs.

Timeline

March, 2016– Congressional committees submitted “views and estimates” of spending and revenues.

April –  June, 2016 – House & Senate Armed Appropriations Committees worked on the FY2016 defense bill.

July – October, 2016 – House of Representatives and Senate passed their versions of the defense bill and negotiated differences.

September 30, 2016 – President Obama signed a continuing resolution (CR). The CR maintains department and agency funding as is through December 9, 2016, but it does not answer the question of what comes after that date. This is avoided a government shutdown.

November 14, 2016– Congress returned post elections. The lame duck period until the new Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2017.

December 2, 2016 – The House of Representatives passed their final version of the defense bill.

December 6, 2016 – The Senate passed their final version of the defense bill.

December 23, 2016 – President Obama signed the defense bill into law.

Compare to the 2016 Defense Budget that went into effect on January 1, 2016, or for more detailed information read about 2017 Military Pay, 2017 BAH, and 2017 BAS. For more detailed information on the 2017 Defense Budget proposal, visit the Defense Budget Overview document starting on page 57.

Related Articles
2017 Military Pay Raise 2017 BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) Rates
2017 BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence) Rates Armed Forces Comparative Pay Grades and Ranks
2017 Military Pay Charts Military Allowance, Incentive, Bonus & Special Pay
Military Pay Dates Military Reserve Pay Dates
Military Pay Allowances List Military Clothing (Uniform) Allowance Rates