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Report: Navy Pay Delays Causing Some Sailors to Rely on Loans

Navy sailors who recently earned increases in housing allowances due to marriage or relocating to a more expensive area are noticing months-long delays in their pay raise, according to Military.com.

The situation has caused some to take out loans to try and make ends meet, the outlet reported Friday.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Vice President Gillian Gonzalez explained her organization saw an uptick in loan requests from sailors trying to cover their living expenses.

“This is happening a little bit of everywhere,” Gonzalez told the outlet. “It doesn’t seem to hit one geographic area more than another.”

The report continued:

Gonzalez couldn’t say exactly how many affected sailors have applied for loans, because the society counts them with all who made requests for help covering basic needs. Several sailors have taken to social media to describe delays and desperate efforts to obtain loans for living expenses. According to Gonzalez, one sailor was not paid for three months as the result of an enlistment extension and pay error, and although the member’s command “worked daily to resolve the issue,” the sailor drained all savings.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief eventually delivered a $2,500 check to the sailor’s front door because they were under coronavirus quarantine, according to Gonzalez.

When Sea Service families need help, NMCRS is here! We provide interest-free loans and grants to assist with a wide…

Posted by Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Cmdr. Matt Knight, who is the public affairs officer at Navy Personnel Command, told Military.com the Navy is required to process Basic Allowance for Housing change requests within a 30-day time period, but delays sometimes happen.

“Navy Personnel Command and our subordinate commands take every measure to ensure the volume of transactions does not exceed our capacity, but occasionally backlogs do occur due to a variety of reasons. These backlogs are resolved as quickly as possible to limit the impacts to sailors,” Knight commented.

Sailors on the Reddit social media site reportedly said it took over a year for their issues to be remedied.

“A personnel specialist first class, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak with the press, said the root of the problem lies in the consolidation of personnel support and customer support detachments that began in 2017 and appears to be understaffed,” the Military.com article read.

Meanwhile, approximately 160,000 active-duty military members are experiencing trouble feeding their families, the Associated Press (AP) reported November 14.

“It’s a shocking truth that’s known to many food banks across the United States,” Vince Hall, who is Feeding America’s government relations officer, noted. “This should be the cause of deep embarrassment.”

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