Servicemembers civil relief act

  1. Does anyone know if Servicemembers Civil Relief Act would cover me from having to pay back a moving bonus that was given to me by my employer? I will likely be leaving my current job for the AD prior to meeting my 1 year obligation. I suspect they will take the money from my last paycheck unless I tell them I'm going AD first. Anyone know anything about this or have you encountered it personally?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Suggest you make an appointment at the nearest Legal Services office (JAG) to discuss your questions with a military lawyer. If that is not possible, then consult a civilian attorney who deals in military matters. But I would be willing to guess that the answer is no. BTW, the few times that I know of people trying to use the Civil Relief Act for personal problems dealing with AD, were negative. The Act is pretty specific about what it covers and how it is applied. Good luck.
  4. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from The Little Greek
    Does anyone know if Servicemembers Civil Relief Act would cover me from having to pay back a moving bonus that was given to me by my employer? I will likely be leaving my current job for the AD prior to meeting my 1 year obligation. I suspect they will take the money from my last paycheck unless I tell them I'm going AD first. Anyone know anything about this or have you encountered it personally?
    Here is a summary of what I found. http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/sscra/a/scra2.htm

    I used SCRA when I came on AD to lower my interest rate. It was actually really easy and only one company wanted a copy of my orders.

    There does seem to be provision in there that might let you break your contract, but it is hard to tell.

    By the way I don't think you can legal advice from military legal services until you are actually in the military...
  5. by   The Little Greek
    Thanks ya'll. I had a feeling that it wouldn't cover it, but I thought it was worth a try. I may follow-up on it later if it becomes an issue, but at this point my objective it to get into the AF and get off to COT asap. If I have to pay back a silly moving bonus (which was not that much!) so be it.

    By the way, wtbcrna, does that interest rate reduction count towards credit cards?? If I read correctly it does. That's a sweet deal!
  6. by   wtbcrna
    [QUOTE=
    By the way, wtbcrna, does that interest rate reduction count towards credit cards?? If I read correctly it does. That's a sweet deal![/QUOTE]


    Yep, but just on debt incured up to the time of entry into AD.
  7. by   The Little Greek
    Quote from wtbcrna
    Yep, but just on debt incured up to the time of entry into AD.
    Oh I've got plenty of it thanks to nursing school! I plan on paying it off with my sign-on bonus but it's nice to know I have options. As usual, thanks for the info. I'm off to MEPS tomorrow. Aiming for Mar COT.
  8. by   DanznRN
    Personally, I'd look into the act itself, actually read it. I had started a new job when I first got out of the military, I signed a contract. When I came back on active duty she wanted to try and get me for "breach of contract." I showed her the Soldiers and Sailors Act and I heard nothing else from her. You need to read the act, I had a copy about 10 years ago when I first came in and it was very broad and general in it's wording. The application of the act is open to interpretation for some things. I bet if you told them you were going on active duty and they tried to get you for the moving bonus, show them the act and I'm pretty sure they are going to leave you alone. There's no need to tell them you volunteered it's none of their business. The answer is, "I've got orders to go active duty, I need to report by....." What you do in your own time is your business, they need to know you're going active duty and here's a copy of my orders, period. Another thing, they have to "hold" your job for you for 5 years because your going active duty. You go active and don't like it, you can get out and go back there, no questions asked. I've done that at my civilian jobs when I've gone active. Google Soldiers and Sailors Act and print a copy and read it. Let me know if I can be of any help.

    LCDR Dan
  9. by   Gennaver
    Quote from DanznRN
    Personally, I'd look into the act itself, actually read it. I had started a new job when I first got out of the military, I signed a contract. When I came back on active duty she wanted to try and get me for "breach of contract." I showed her the Soldiers and Sailors Act and I heard nothing else from her. You need to read the act, I had a copy about 10 years ago when I first came in and it was very broad and general in it's wording. The application of the act is open to interpretation for some things. I bet if you told them you were going on active duty and they tried to get you for the moving bonus, show them the act and I'm pretty sure they are going to leave you alone. There's no need to tell them you volunteered it's none of their business. The answer is, "I've got orders to go active duty, I need to report by....." What you do in your own time is your business, they need to know you're going active duty and here's a copy of my orders, period. Another thing, they have to "hold" your job for you for 5 years because your going active duty. You go active and don't like it, you can get out and go back there, no questions asked. I've done that at my civilian jobs when I've gone active. Google Soldiers and Sailors Act and print a copy and read it. Let me know if I can be of any help.

    LCDR Dan
    Hello,
    Just following with an agreement of LCDR Dan's point.

    My own worries about the act were unfounded. I went to break my lease, with less than two weeks notice and figured that I'd have to pay the month in full for the next month as 'month's notice'. Anyhow, the act is also open to interpretaton of the landlord.

    My previous landlord was a miser yet, miraculously the moment I told him I'd gotten my orders he was totally fine with it and didn't charge me a dime more and even mailed me back my security deposit! This is even after my belongings were still in the apartment for one more full month waiting for my household goods to be picked up.

    Best,
    Gen
  10. by   The Little Greek
    LCDR Dan,

    Excellent suggestion. It certainly couldn't hurt to mention it to HR. I work for a huge hospital network in Houston so they'll either write off my minute bonus or they'll consult their lawyers and then tell me "too bad, pay us back". Either way I'm not too worried about it. It's a small price to pay to get out of civilian nursing!

    Gen--good to hear that you had such good luck getting out of your lease. I am requesting Wilford Hall as my first assignment. Hope you are enjoying San Antonio...can't beat these "summer" winters!
  11. by   Miss Mab
    Some law that co-exists is the USERRA act, most of which applies to the minutiae of reserve component activation and re-employment rights but it does indeed cover initial active duty service whether voluntary or not.

    I highly recommend anyone to head over to the "Reserve Officer Association" website and check for the links under advocacy for detailed SCRA and USERRA details. It is divided up into easily applied sub-topics in a Q and A format. Just a wealth of info about duties and rights afforded miltary members that was quite eye opening. I didn't see your situation addressed specifically,Little Greek, but it covered pretty much every other pre=existing contract or service obligation incurred prior to voluntary active duty service.

    Also, unless AD has a bypass high speed ramp to commissioning and COT(which they very well might as I only can speak to reserve side) you might just be finishing out your year obligation anyway. There are three officers in my unit alone, two drilling since the summer, that still haven't been able to secure a COT date for next year. (There are only 2 RCOT classes a year and those are already filled with "higher ups"mostly ---JD, MD or so I'm told, also prior service because RCOT is shortened----so all the reservists are in the same pool as AD waiting for a COT date. One RN finally just secured the March class but the other two are now "hoping" for May. Blech, hot 'BAMA summer....

    Not trying to bring you down just don't want you to be disappointed IF your process is slowed.

    Sending you speedy wishes!
  12. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from Miss Mab
    Also, unless AD has a bypass high speed ramp to commissioning and COT(which they very well might as I only can speak to reserve side) you might just be finishing out your year obligation anyway. There are three officers in my unit alone, two drilling since the summer, that still haven't been able to secure a COT date for next year. (There are only 2 RCOT classes a year and those are already filled with "higher ups"mostly ---JD, MD or so I'm told, also prior service because RCOT is shortened----so all the reservists are in the same pool as AD waiting for a COT date. One RN finally just secured the March class but the other two are now "hoping" for May. Blech, hot 'BAMA summer....
    Actually, it only took me about a month and half to get a COT class for AD. I think in general AD takes precedence over reserves when going to COT, because we can't go into the AF w/o going to COT. In the reserves you can still attend drills while waiting on a COT date. It does sound like there needs to be a couple of RCOT classes added.

    Tell your RN friends that May is a pretty good time to go to COT. It is just starting to get warm.
  13. by   Gennaver
    Quote from The Little Greek
    LCDR Dan,

    Excellent suggestion. It certainly couldn't hurt to mention it to HR. I work for a huge hospital network in Houston so they'll either write off my minute bonus or they'll consult their lawyers and then tell me "too bad, pay us back". Either way I'm not too worried about it. It's a small price to pay to get out of civilian nursing!

    Gen--good to hear that you had such good luck getting out of your lease. I am requesting Wilford Hall as my first assignment. Hope you are enjoying San Antonio...can't beat these "summer" winters!
    Hello Little Greek,
    Thank you too and good luck!

    Since our hospital's library is soon moving to Willford Hall, (due to reallignments) it could be likely we could almost bump into each other. I'm a total library person.
    Gen
  14. by   Miss Mab
    Quote from wtbcrna
    Actually, it only took me about a month and half to get a COT class for AD. I think in general AD takes precedence over reserves when going to COT, because we can't go into the AF w/o going to COT. In the reserves you can still attend drills while waiting on a COT date. It does sound like there needs to be a couple of RCOT classes added.

    .
    Great news for the AD folks and Little Greek. Just curious, does the whole medical clearance---->background--->actual commission get fast tracked like that as well?

    Nice!

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