It's a miracle! The federal government figured out a way not to screw some 42,000 Coast Guardsmen out of pay during the government shutdown. Sort of...
An updated memo released Dec. 27 notes that coasties can expect to get paid on Dec. 31 thanks to a "one-time action" that applies to "military members that served on active duty in the month of December and those reserve military members that drilled prior to the lapse in appropriation."
According to the press release, you can expect to get paid on Dec. 31 if you meet the following criteria:
- If you were an active duty military member in December, then you will receive your monthly paycheck on Dec. 31, 2018. That paycheck will include all of the normal pay and allowance benefits (e.g. basic pay, BAH, BAS, etc.).
- If you were a reservist that served on active duty during the month of December, you will also receive your monthly paycheck on Dec. 31, 2018 and it will include all of your normal pay and allowance entitlements.
- Finally, if you were a reservist that conducted reserve training prior to Dec. 21, 2018, then you will receive the appropriate pay and allowance entitlements on Dec. 31, 2018.
However, the release states that this "one-time approval" only covers that Dec. 31 paycheck — there's no guarantee of pay on Jan. 15, 2019 should the government shutdown continue to that point.
The good news comes after NBC News reported that Coast Guard was slated to be the only branch of the military to not get paid during the ongoing shutdown, due to the service's budget falling under the Department of Homeland Security.
The lengthy memo also makes it abundantly clear that if the shutdown continues and you do run out of cash, it's still on you to handle your finances, though they did provide a letter you can show to your creditors, which may help with leniency. So that's something.
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