At one time or another, most service members have dealt with a landlord who is not so forgiving when military orders forced a relocation. Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever cancelled a cell phone contract after discovering the company doesn’t provide service at your new duty station?
It’s no secret, those of us who wear the uniform and our family members endure hardships as a result of our service to our country. Long deployments to austere, and often dangerous locations, and frequent PCSes across state lines, or around the world to new and unfamiliar locations, are only the start of a long list of challenges faced by our fellow service members and their families.
Money, Money, Money
Oh, and did we mention the additional financial impacts? According to the 2017 Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey, military spouses cite “Financial Issues” as the #2 overall stressor due to the military lifestyle, second only to “Deployments” at #1.
Which might make some people argue our government should take steps to help protect our military community from incurring unnecessary financial burdens due to military service.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Well guess what…they did! It’s called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA for short, and it was originally enacted in 2003 to provide certain financial protections for our servicemembers and their families during times of military service. The law has been amended and expanded a number of times over the years and currently covers issues ranging from residential lease agreements, evictions, credit card and mortgage interest rates, home foreclosures, vehicle leases, life and health insurance, and a host of other issues.
Who Qualifies for Protection under the SCRA?
The SCRA is a federal law that provides a wide range of benefits for those in military service and their dependents, including the following categories of people:
- Active duty members of the five service branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard)
- Reservists serving on federal active duty
- National Guard members on federal orders for more than 30 days
- Dependents of the above which includes spouses, children, and any person who has received more than half their financial support from the servicemember for the past 180 days
Digging Deeper into the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
All too often, as military families, we are on the receiving end of a business deal gone wrong, typically left feeling there is little we can do to take control of the situation, much less to make things right. PCSgrades was built with this exact concern in mind.
We believe the spirit of the SCRA is aligned with our goals to assist our fellow military families in our times of greatest need, so we will continue publishing articles as part of an ongoing series that takes a deeper look into some of the biggest benefits and protections created by this powerful federal law.
Looking for More “Official” Information on SCRA?
We are not part of any official DoD agency nor are we licensed attorneys, so if you are a servicemember or military dependent who suspects your rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act have been violated, you should contact your nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program office, which can be found at http://legalassistance.law.af.mil/content/locator.php. You can also learn more about the SCRA and other laws protecting service members and their dependents at www.servicemembers.gov.