Military Involuntary Separation Pay Rules & Eligibility

With the current military drawdown, involuntary separations will be a way of life for military members for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, being informed you will be involuntarily separated from the military usually comes with little notice. You will likely go through a range of emotions as you come to terms with the fact that your…
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With the current military drawdown, involuntary separations will be a way of life for military members for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, being informed you will be involuntarily separated from the military usually comes with little notice. You will likely go through a range of emotions as you come to terms with the fact that your military career is ending, whether you want it to or not. We covered this topic recently in a podcast about Force Shaping and involuntary separations. The podcast covers some of your options, including the benefits that will be made available to you, the option of joining the Guard or Reserves, early retirement, or in some situations, being eligible to receive separation pay.

This article covers separation pay in more detail, including an overview of the eligibility requirements, types of separation pay, how to calculate involuntary separation pay, and more.

Involuntary Separation Pay Rules & Eligibility

Military Separation Pay Eligibility (Non-Disability)

Military separation pay is comparable to the severance pay you might find in the civilian world. However, not all servicemembers who are involuntarily separated from the military are eligible to receive separation pay benefits. There is also two types of pay, (1) Full Separation Pay, and (2) Half Separation Pay. (for the purpose of this article, we are not considering separation pay for a disability).

Full Pay Eligibility: You must have served at least 6 years on active duty, but less than 20 years* to be eligible to receive involuntary separation pay. In addition to the service time requirements, you need to be fully qualified for retention at the time you are let go, and your service must be characterized as “Honorable.”

Common reasons for being eligible to receive involuntary separation pay include separated under Force Shaping, or Reduction in Force measures, or exceeding high-year tenure for your rank.

To qualify for Full Separation Pay, the service member must agree to serve in the Ready Reserve or similar Reserve Component for a minimum of 3 years following release from active duty service.

Half Pay Eligibility: Half Pay also requires a minimum of 6 years of active service, and less than 20. However, servicemembers can get by with an “Honorable,” or “General” discharge. Some common examples include involuntary separation due to failure to meet fitness/weight standards, loss of security clearance, involuntary discharge due to parenthood, etc. Be sure to check with your personnel department to verify you will be eligible for separation pay.

*Service of more than 15 years, but less than 20: In some cases, those who have served at least 15 years on active duty may be eligible to retire under TERA rules. However, TERA is only offered on a case by case basis, and is not guaranteed to everyone with 15 years of service. You need to apply for TERA and it needs to be approved by your branch of service. Hopefully those who have served at least 15 years will be eligible to retire under TERA, as the retirement benefit is substantially more valuable than the one time, lump-sum payment that comes from involuntary separation pay.

How to Calculate Involuntary Separation Pay

Here is how to calculate full military separation pay:

  • 10% x Years of Active Duty Service x 12 x Most Recent Monthly Base Pay.
  • Months of service are counted as 1/12 of a year.

You can express this in words as, “10% of your annual base pay, multiplied by the number of years you served.”

Let’s work through an example of an E-5 receiving involuntary separation pay at 6 years:

$2,734.50 base pay x 12 = $32,814.00

$32,814.00 x 6 (number of years served) = $196,884.00

$196,884.00 x 10% = $19,688.40 = Full Separation Pay.

To determine the separation pay you may be eligible to receive, simply plug in your base pay, number of years (including fractions), and multiple by 10%. The longer you have served and the higher your rank, the greater the value of your separation payment.

Important Things to Know About Separation Pay

Taxes: Taxes will be withheld from your separation pay, usually at a rate of 20% or 25%. So far as I know, you cannot change the withholding rate. If you overpay your taxes, you will receive a refund when you file your tax return the following year. Taxes will be handled in a similar manner to taxes on a military bonus.

Separation Pay & Joining the Guard or Reserves: You may be eligible to join the Guard or Reserves after leaving active duty military service, even if you receive separation pay. However, if you go on to retire from the Guard or Reserves, you will be required to pay back your separation pay. DFAS will withhold 40% of your retirement pay until you have paid back the separation pay you received. There is no option for repaying the balance in a lump sum, but you can request that DFAS increase your withholding to speed up your repayment of the separation pay. Here is more information about paying back separation pay upon retirement.

Don’t let the possibility of repaying the separation pay prevent you from joining the Guard or Reserves, as this can be a great way to continue your military career and continue earning important benefits for yourself and your family.

Separation Pay and VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation: Federal law requires the VA to withhold compensation pay for veterans separation pay, severance pay, and readjustment pay, less any federal taxes already paid. This applies to both voluntary and involuntary separation pay. Here is more information about when the VA can recoup disability compensation.

Additional notes: Separation pay benefits can be complicated and each situation is unique. The DoD Reg for separation pay is over 60 pages long (DoDFMR 7000.14R, Chapter 35, Section 3502, Separation Pay (Nondisability) – pdf) and includes many exclusions and other information. The goal is to give you a rough idea of how the benefit works, so you can run some calculations on your own. It’s up to you to ensure you double-check your status with your finance or personnel office to verify your situation.

You can also read the law as written in 10 U.S. Code § 1174 – Separation pay upon involuntary discharge or release from active duty.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Frank R. Douglas says

    Hello, I wrote you before about the Exchange and Commissary Act which is finally done but not applied equally. Now I have a problem specifically for me. I finally reached 90 percent VA Comp and the VA decided to withhold 100 percent of that to repay Separation Pay from 1987. How are the two related? I did not receive VA comp at all until 2007 so if I owe repayment of Separation Pay from 1987 should the VA pay me Comp from 1987? The did this just as the Covid-19 Pandemic began. I am done to my social security of $800 a month. I did not get the $1200 as so many seem to have gotten. What can I do to reverse this VA action?

  2. Elena says

    I need some advice. I recently involuntarily separated due to parenthood with almost 7 years of active duty service. I have nothing bad on my record, and Honorable Discharge. I meet all of the requirements for half separation pay. My unit very abruptly forced me out with no advice on how to get separation pay and I had to do everything in a rush and on my own. I went through all of the necessary outprocessing briefings and I was not given my separation pay before exiting the military. I did not understand the whole process, but finance was not very helpful either. I was under the impression that they would send the money to my account along with my last month’s pay or sometime later on. Does anyone know where to take this issue? I have tried calling the finance office, but they did not care to help me.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Elena, try contacting your branch of service’s headquarters level personnel office (AFPC, BUPERS, Army Human Resources Command, etc.). They should be the best point of contact for something like this. Best wishes.

  3. Reginald Anderson says

    15 year active duty / golden E5 with HYT next September. was told by LCPO that I would be denied all HYT pay for accidentally missing one exam while on leave. Is this possible? If so How can I fight this? Thinking about writing a letter to my state Senator and governor and CMC. also currently my command has a less than 5% advancement percentage from the last two exam cycles. please help thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Reginald, I do not have the information regarding separation pay for HYT. This is something is worked through your personnel office. I can’t say whether or not they can block HYT pay based on missing an exam while you were on leave. I recommend speaking with your personnel office or your JAG. They can provide more information regarding your options for separation pay, the legalities surrounding separation, and answer any other questions you may have. I wish you the best.

  4. Glenn T Smith says

    Could the US Treasury furnish a copy of the check that fully payed the SSB separation via Veterans Administration?
    I have furnished three documents to DFAS from the VA that state “I owe nothing”. These have been copied and forwarded to DFAS, I have also requested an audit be accomplished on my account. Waiting!!
    I have also retired from the Air National Guard, 16/12/2017, an audit had been accomplished by DFAS to grant my application for retirement, prior to that date.
    Also received the tax amount that was taken from the SSB/Lump Sum from active duty. This also proves that the total SSB sum was payed in full.
    What could the reason be that causes DFAS to attempt a second recoupment?

  5. Stressed Soldier says

    Ok so Question,

    I RCP’d out in 2017 DID NOT want the Severance but was forced to take it. Filed for disability got a 30% rating and they started taking the severance back so I am not receiving that disability currently. They also want me to pay back my reserve pay from money I am not getting physically.

    I am working on going AGR/back Active duty. Since im in the reserves I am considered “double dipping” after i tried to give the money back once it hit my account initially.

    So are you telling me I as the soldier will have to pay back VA to get my disability and once I retire from service I will have to pay it back a second time?!

    Is there anyway around this? Thats screwing me over

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Stressed Soldier,

      From what I understand, DFAS and the VA will be able to communicate that the severance pay has been repaid and you will only have to pay it back one time. I recommend you maintain copies of your pay records in the event there is an issue. You can also contact the VA and/or DFAS and ask them how this process works and if they can add a note to your file if this isn’t handled automatically.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  6. Justin A Morrell says

    Hey Ryan my question is I’ve served 6 years of active duty and I’m getting Rcp now I did get demoted does that disqualify me from getting separation pay

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Justin, I’m not sure. You will need to contact your personnel office or human resources office to verify this. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  7. Sherell says

    Good afternoon. I am emailing to find out some information in regards to involuntary severance pay payback. I received full ISP in 2010 for perform to serve/reduction in force. Joined the reserves after that. I have now reach a total service time of 20 years (not active duty-7200 points). This makes me eligible for reservist retirement to be collected at 60.
    I am now being medically retired with a 100% VA rating.
    I am trying to find contact information for DFAS to verify if I have to pay back the ISP, and if so, what is the amount needed to be recouped back. Can you please answer or assist?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sherell, Medical retirement is not my specialty. It can be very complicated, and the results of the MEB board will determine compensation. Each case is unique and handled on a case by case basis – so this isn’t something that can likely be answered via email.

      The best course of action is to sit down with your finance or personnel office and have them explain your MEB results. You can also contact DFAS for a full explanation of your pay and benefits.

      Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  8. Tony Stafford says

    So I was honorably discharged from active duty airforce in 2017 and received full separation pay. Upon leaving, I immediately joined the air reserves. Im in the process of filing a VA claim and am expecting at least a 20 -30% rating. Now im aware I cant be paid for both drill weekends AND for VA disability and will have to choose either or, but my question is, will my separation pay but recouped from my reserve retirement (assuming i make it to retirement), or will it be recouped from my monthly VA disability checks (once my claim goes through)?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tony,

      Thank you for your question. Separation pay can be recouped both ways:

      -The VA will recoup VA disability payments from veterans who receive separation pay then are later awarded a service-connected disability rating. This article explains more about how the VA recoups disability pay.
      – Members would also have to repay their separation pay if they later retire from the Guard or Reserves.

      However, members are not required to repay the separation payment twice. In your case, the VA will most likely recoup the separation pay from your VA disability compensation payments until they have recouped the full amount.

      They should communicate this with DFAS. DFAS shouldn’t try to recoup your retirement pay if you later retire from the Guard or Reserves. But if they do, you can show proof that the VA has already recouped the amount of your separation pay and that should stop any withholdings from DFAS.

      Always keep copies of your correspondence to prevent major issues from arising. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  9. Kevin says

    I was separated by the ERB in 2012 and received an ISP. I was an E-6 with 14+ years at separation. I recently completed my VA disability after fighting with myself whether or not to file it or not. I received a 70% rating and I have received a payment. My question is did the VA or the military as a whole pass something I am not aware of about the ERB sailors being required to payback the severance we received?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kevin, I haven’t read anything specific about this, but I can’t give a definitive answer. I recommend contacting DFAS and/or the VA for assistance. They should be able to give you information specific to your situation. I understand the risk of pointing out that you received both might stop your disability payments. However, that could be better than incurring a larger debt to the VA.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  10. Jarred says

    Hello, I have 5 years active in the Navy and 2 years in the ANG. I’m getting an involuntary separation. Does anyone know if I will receive severance pay or where to get this information? Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jarred, Speak with your personnel office for more information. Each case is unique to the individual and no one will be able to give you a definitive answer via email. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  11. Cassie says

    If I am voluntarily separating the military at 41/2 years and I received a 60% disability rate from the VA do I still qualify for speration pay?

  12. DeMichael Moss says

    What i’m reading is that if i receive separation pay and file for disability i won’t receive both. Could you explain why.

  13. Sarah says

    Hello, I have a quick question. My husband is being separated from the army due to failure to meet fitness expectations. It is an honorable discharge but he has only served for 1 year. Will he receive any type of separation pay?

  14. Joe says

    I left active duty in 2012. My DD-form 214 states I am qualified for severence pay. I never received this pay. Later I was deemed 80% disabled by the VA. It’s now been 6 years and I’m still 80% and my disability rating will probably be going up again (due to ongoing medical problems, surgery and other factors). My questions are, Can I still recieve the initial severence pay that i was qualified for due to the remarks on my DD form 214? and If I can recieve it, will the VA opt to recoup that benefit amount until the principle is repaid, or will the VA allow me to continue receiving VA disability and recieve my severence pay with no penalty? Note: The reason I was recommended for severence pay was due to a combination of high tenure and downsizing the total force. The military was offering early retirements at that time. I served 13 years.

  15. Mr Walker says

    I Palace Chased from AD with 12 years of service and joined the ANG under AGR orders. I am now being general discharged with honor for PT failures after serving over 2 years in the Guard. Am I still able to get 1/2 separation pay because my total active time is over 10 years? Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Mr. Walker, Thank you for your comment. You would need to speak with your finance or personnel office at your Guard unit. They will be able to give you a full overview of your status and whether or not you will be eligible for separation pay. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  16. Sarah says

    Can you get involuntary separate and received the pay. later complete school can you come back in as an officer and retire? if so what will you have to pay back.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sarah, Thank you for contacting me. If you receive involuntary separation pay, you will have to repay it if you later retire from the military, or receive VA disability compensation. There are no exemptions I am aware of regarding later commissioning and retiring. The amount you will have to repay should equal the amount of separation pay you received. There is no interest or any additional charges that I am aware of.

  17. Craig Steffen says

    I was involuntarily separated from the Navy after 13 years 5 months active duty in 1992, and received Separation Pay contingent upon my agreeing to serve 3 years in the reserves. I eventually served 8 years in the reserves and reached retirement status. But never knew that I would have to pay back the Separation Pay, especially not the 20% that was withheld by the Disbursing Officer of the USS Carl Vinson.

    While I was told when I began to “affiliate” that I may have to pay it back if I reached retirement eligibility, at no time was I ever informed of that fact before agreeing to the terms of my separation, but later found through a rumor passed on from a friend that it may be true, hence I cited this issue in the letter accompanying my application for retirement pay when I turned 60 in August 2016.

    At the time I entered the approximate total amount and the approximate amount received along with an asterisk (*) addressing this exact issue in the letter which accompanied my Application for Retirement Pay yet to date DFAS admits that they had no official record of how much I was actually paid, but brought it to my attention in May 2017 stating they were taking action to recoup “Severance Pay” that I supposedly received. As directed in that letter, I submitted 2 packets, one to DFAS Indianapolis and DFAS London, KY via registered mail by mid July 2017 but received no formal indication that either had been received let alone processed.

    I did verify with USPS that they did receive the packets but nobody would sign. I have been in contact with the DFAS Customer Service on several occasions who stated that they were trying to confirm the amount received with NMPC (who said “we don’t handle pay matters, DFAS does and they should not have withheld any money if they didn’t have formal documentation of the actual amount”). I also communicated with Senator John McCain who said “DFAS has jurisdiction” yet to this date, I keep getting the runaround, most recently today as DFAS “Level 2” said I should communicate with the DFAS Ombudsman at (216) 522-6395 which has a recording stating I should leave my name, last 4 of my SSN and phone number, yet the mailbox is full and no one will pick up.

    My biggest concern is that if indeed I am required to pay back the Separation Pay, why in the world would it make sense for DFAS to also recoup the 20% in taxes already withheld? That to me suggests that the Disbursing Officer of the USS Carl Vinson could have pocketed the money himself. Lastly, what I find even most discomforting is that other friends for mine who were separated a year before me but turned 60 after me (because I was prior enlisted) say that DFAS is not recouping their Separation Pay. Bottom line, all I expect is “Due Process”…in the meantime, I also think NMPC is right when they stated that “there is no way that DFAS should start recouping money from me if they don’t have an official record of the precise amount of Separation Pay that was received, including taxes withheld. Can anyone help?

  18. Mary says

    I have a question, my spouse is being pushed out due to weight and he is getting honorably discharged. He served over 9 1/2 Year’s. He was told he can’t get separation pay because he can’t re- enlist. Is this true?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Mary, Unfortunately, I don’t have enough information to answer this question. I recommend your husband schedule appointments with his personnel office and his base legal office. They should be able to explain his situation and provide a copy of the regulations that stipulate why he will be discharged, and why he is either eligible for or ineligible for benefits. I wish you all the best.

  19. Brandon Anderson says

    If I am enrolled in the ABCP for 12 months and fail to meet ht/wt standards again and get chaptered with honorable, a.m. I still entitled to full sep pay or half pay? And also if I received a recent reenlistment bonus will the army take that back if a negligent action is required to revoke a reenlistment bonus does failure to be within height and weight standards?

  20. Joshua says

    Hello,

    I have a question about HYT seperation pay. I receaved a HYT wavier to attend a special school for the Navy. I had to reenlist 3yrs after seccussfully finishing the school. Am I still able to receive Seperation pay if I seperate at the end of this contract. I will have 11yrs. 4months.

  21. michelle says

    I Have a question about involuntary separation. I have 7 years active service and E5 rank. Do I qualify for sep pay under involuntary discharge for family care plan?

  22. Rohonda Hall says

    I went out on Severane Pay for Early Out in 1992. In 2004, my Unit was going to Middle East and I was rated by a Physician to be Unfit for Retention-Involuntary Seperation not due to Soldiers Actions. Then in 2015, I received a letter about an audit and that they were recouping $33,000 form me. It also stated that I could write a letter in my defense. It was a wast of time and postage. Therefore they paid me nothing for 11 months. I did not ask to be Seperated! They also wrote and said they don’t do payment arrangements. Next letter stated it was up to my Regional Office to decide how it was to be paid back! I didn’t ask to be separated why is this my fault. They need to change the rules because this is not right.

  23. Josh says

    Hello I was unable to find an expected pay date in this article or others. I separate from the USMC Dec 4. My dd214 states that I will receive full severance pay Dec 4. I assume this is more of a tentative date, so I’m trying to see what actual return dates look like. If any cpuls provide information on that?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Josh, I don’t have specific information regarding when you might expect to receive the separation pay. It caries for each individual. I recommend speaking with your finance office for more specific information regarding how your branch of service handles this and if they have any estimated time frame for receiving the compensation. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  24. Classic says

    I was active from aug 2001 – feb 2010. i have a general discharge under honorable. my question is they still haven’t given me any separations pay. not even half of the pay. whats the recourse of me getting my pay. theyve only told me that because i wasnt discharged totally honorably, they’re holding it back until a certain time. i still dont overstand that. any help would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Kalvin says

    Is there anything I can do to receive my separation pay my unit flagged me for non promotion and the flag was lifted after my ets date I want join the guard or reserves but the reserve component told me I couldn’t is there a way to

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kalvin, I don’t have enough information here, and I’m not able to review your records to dig deeper. The separation pay is something you will need to work out with your human resources, personnel, or finance department. They should be able to review your records and give you a definitive answer.

      Regarding joining the Guard or Reserves, that will often depend on your Reenlistment Code (RE Code) and other factors. You will need to work with a recruiter to determine if you will be able to transfer into the Reserve Component.

      I hope this points you in the right direction.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  26. R McN says

    Hi, I received severance pay in 1993 for 9 years active duty in the USMC. 1996 I reenlisted into the Army Reserves. As of now my 9 years of MC Active Duty are not computed in my reserve retirement points, can I retire on just my reserve retirement points and avoid paying the active duty severance pay back? Logic says that my reserve points do not include my active duty in the calculation so I would not be double dipping.

  27. Annon says

    If I was involuntarily separated from the Army for insomnia and received severance pay, am I eligible for reenlistment?

    Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Annon, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to look on your DD Form 214 to review your RE Code, which is the Reenlistment Code. This will give you more information on your eligibility to reenlist onto active duty or to join the Guard or Reserves. A recruiter should be able to help you understand the code and your options. In general, medical separations require a documented change to the medical condition that caused the separation. So you may need to get documentation and go through the entire MEPS process again.

      Additionally, if you are able to reenlist, you would have to repay the severance pay if you ever reach retirement. This can usually be done on a repayment plan, so it wouldn’t be due in the form of a one-time payment. Instead, it is usually withheld from a portion of your retirement pay. But the first thing to do is see if you can get back in the military. You can worry about retirement at a later point, if you are able to get back in.

      I hope this is helpful.

  28. Patient Veteran says

    I just went through this…My friend you will have to extend your enlistment to 16 Sep to receive separation pay, once the extension is approved by your Commander or squadron officer, then you would give it to the manpower section who deal with extensions and they will submit the request for extension, once that’s approved, the manpower HQ will update the system to show you have extended then you will be set. To actually receive separation pay is all Finance. The whole process take time and patience, you really have to stay ontop of folks to get them to work for you. Be aware if you apply for VA benefits and receive certain types of separation pay you will have to pay it back. Good Luck, May the Force Be With You!!!

    Oh and no it separation pay does not show up on your LES, at least not mine.

    • Sotora L says

      I actually meant to reply sooner, I didn’t have to extend the 2 weeks and separated on the 1 September. I did receive full separation 10 days after my separation date only bad part I ******* myself out of another pay check. Thanks for the information

      • Tim says

        I am being separated under HYT currently on Sept 1 2019, is that pretty much standard 10 days after your separation date that you receive the separation pay? Thank you for you help.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Tim, I’m not sure what the timing is. You will need to speak with your finance or personnel/human resources office for more information.

        I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  29. Sotora Leatham says

    Hi Ryan,
    I have two questions I’m separating 1 September under HYT, my contract ends 1 September but my HYT date is 16 September will this prevent me from getting separation pay? My separation orders say eligible for separation pay and I’m LCC coded. My next question is will separation pay show up on the final LES?

  30. Houston says

    Hello,

    I would like to know, if I was involuntarily separated due to force shaping (higher tenure), from the marine Corps, and received severance pay, could I go active duty Army. If I do, would this be the same instance of retiring and having the gov take retirement pay until it is paid back?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Houston, Thank you for contacting me. You would need to contact an Army recruiter to determine if you would be eligible to serve in the active duty Army.

      As for the retirement, yes, if you receive severance pay and later retire from the military – active, Guard, or Reserve, then yes, you would be required to repay the amount you received as severance pay. It is typically withheld as a portion of your retirement pay until the full amount has been recouped.

      The good news is the DoD does not charge any form of interest on the withholdings, so it essentially turns into a long-term interest free loan.

      I hope this helps. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • Michael Kenny says

        In the case of recouping involuntary separation pay, what is the percentage the government withholds from your retirement checks? And what is your source for that information?
        Thank you.

  31. Michael says

    Sir,

    One of the examples that you listed for the possibility of half pay was failure to meet fitness/weight standards. I was curious what material you are siting.

    According to AFI36-3208 Table 9-1, Item 8. It shows that “failure in fitness program” falls under the “no pay” column. as opposed to the other 2 columns, “full pay” and “half pay” the that I’m looking at is dated 2004. So I’d like to know if you have an updated version that I haven’t found.

    Thank you.

    Respectfully,

    Mike

  32. J. Carrillo says

    Hello sir,

    I tried browsing through as many comments as I could to find the answer but didn’t seem to find it.
    So here is my situation in a nutshell:
    1. Involuntary separated from Active Duty Air Force in Jan 2015 due to reduction in force.
    2. Received full sep pay Feb 2015
    3. Filed for VA disability Feb 2015
    4. VA disability of 100% July 2015
    5. Paid back all sep pay and started receiving payment in Feb 2016

    Am I entitled to get back the TAXES that were taken out of my separation pay since I was then rated for VA disability? And if so, HOW do I do this? No one seems to know.

    Thanks in advance.

    • dion benton says

      J. Carrillo,

      Good morning I came across your post and am in the same situation from 2015. Did you ever get answer or find anything out from your situation?

      Dion

      bentondion78 @ gmail dot com

  33. Karen says

    Hi Ryan, my husband is getting out in the army chapter 14 12c. He’s been in 10 years and some months we both want to know if we are eligible for severance pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Karen, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not in the Army, so I’m not familiar with the different chapters. The best way to know for certain is to sit down with the Human Resources or personnel section. They can explain the details for the separation, including the reasons, if there is separation pay, what types of benefits might be available to you and your family (such as possible health care), and other benefits.

      They can also explain his Reenlistment Code (RE Code) and whether or not he will be eligible to reenlist at a future date, or if he would be eligible to transfer into the Guard or Reserves. Unfortunately, I can’t give any further details. But he should be able to get all these questions answered, and more, in a briefing with the personnel department.

      I wish you and your family the best!

  34. deiltarous livingston says

    i am an e-5 with 14 years of service an will separating due to hyt how do I go about the process of getting my hyt pay

  35. Christopher says

    Ryan,

    I am a SFC with 16 years in and have been diagnosed with PTSD (Anxiety Disorder), permanent hearing profile for left ear and 2 herniated bulged disk in my lower back from an Airborne OPS. I wanted to originally fulfill my duty till 20 but feel like I am not able to due to the PTSD and back issue. I know my description of my situation might be vague but do you have any recommendations for what options I might have to get out and possible lash back? I just finished my 7th deployment with 59 months combat time as a Special Operations Soldier and just want to know my options. Thinking about civilian life is a scary thought and I want to be prepared. Thanks

  36. Lynn Donahey says

    My husband was in the US Air force. He got into a fight with his ex-wife one day when dropping off his son. As he was leaving, she grabbed at him through the open passenger window of the car. When he didn’t stop pulling out, she fell to the ground. She then pressed felony reckless endangerment charges, which ended my husband’s 18+ years of service to his country, with no compensation or retirement benefits. How can our country do something like this. A five minute fight ended a 18+ year career and the under honorable discharge has scarred him for life….. makes me sick to my stomach..

  37. Jessica Brown says

    I am currently a Staff Sergeant in the Army and have been in for over 10 years. I am currently serving as a drill sergeant and it is impossible. If I had to get out on an Involuntary Seperation Due to Parenthood, would I get full pay or half seperation pay? Also, do I have a set amount of time to be out of the Army? Would I be able to come back in the R or G? Could I be able to apply for disability or get VA benefits without having to pay back?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jessica, Thank you for contacting me. Your question about full or half separation pay is best submitted to your Human Resources Command or personnel section. They will be able to give you a full overview based on your specific situation.

      As for Guard / Reserves – it may be possible to join, but it would depend on your RE Code (reenlistment code), whether or not your are worldwide deployable, and if you could submit a family care plan that would meet the needs of the Guard or Reserves.

      Disability – yes, you can apply after you separate. Please read this article regarding when the VA can Withhold VA Disability Compensation for Recoupment or Offset. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  38. Patrick says

    Hello Ryan, I’m wondering if you can direct me to more information about joining the reserves after receiving seps pay. I’ve heard that you can but you have to pay your seps pay back if you do. Thank you.

    • AFVetAK says

      I am in a similar position, however I am already in the Guard and served a couple of tours as a temp tech. I am looking at an ART position but don’t know if I will have to pay back the VSP before being hired on full time. Any insight you have would be great. Sorry for hijacking your post Patrick.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Patrick, Thank you for contacting me. You only have to repay the separation pay if you later retire from the military. Here is a reference, from this article about recouping separation pay:

      “Members who receive separation pay, but later rejoin the military and earn a retirement (Active, Guard, or Reserves) would also have part of their retirement pay withheld until the amount of their separation pay had been recouped. If the veteran is also a disabled veteran, then DFAS and the VA would coordinate the recoupment of the separation pay.” (Source – 10 U.S. Code § 1174, and DFAS FAQ Page).

      I hope this points you in the right direction. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  39. Ryan Anderson says

    I have been in the Army for 11 years and am getting chapter for failed weight and PT Test failure. Do I qualify for Separation Pay? Is there any information that I should know for this process because I am not really being told any thing as to what is going to happen?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Ryan, I don’t know your full situation and I don’t want to mislead you. There can be unique situations, so it’s best to have someone review your entire personnel file. I recommend scheduling a meeting with your Human Resources Command or personnel section to go over your situation, including what your discharge status will be, whether or not you will receive separation pay, etc. Make sure you ask for clarification if you don’t understand anything, and ask for references if you need them. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  40. M.F says

    I’ve recently been discharged NOV 29, 2016. I just received my severance today and it seems as though I’ve been taxed at 40% rather than 27% (I have paperwork saying they’d tax it at 27%). I’m wondering, what do you think happened? I can’t get anyone to explain to me why I only received about 35,000 rather than 43,000. I’ve served 9 years 4 mo and discharged as an E-6. The numbers don’t make sense. Full severance should be 59,459. Taxed at 27% should be 43,405. hmmm………..

  41. Nikita Smith says

    Talking with one of my friends about how i got out the Navy and why now has me a bit annoyed. I’ve read alot of the responses and documents listed in links. I was involuntarily separated due to my security clearance. I was given an honorable discharge…and im trying to understand or see if there is guidance in regards to who to contact….once you realize you should’ve received separation pay.

    Do I contact DFAS? Where do I start?

    Miss Smith

  42. K Jackson says

    Just want to make sure I’m clear on something

    Half Pay Eligibility: Half Pay also requires a minimum of 6 years of active service, and less than 20. However, servicemembers can get by with an “Honorable,” or “General” discharge. Some common examples include involuntary separation due to failure to meet fitness/weight standards, loss of security clearance, involuntary discharge due to parenthood, etc. Be sure to check with your personnel department to verify you will be eligible for separation pay.”

    Where it states get by with an “Honorable or General”, is in reference to the minimum 6 years? Basically I have been in a little less than four, and being involuntarily separated from the Navy honorably due to 2 BCA failures within 3 years. Never failed the fitness test portion.

  43. S. O. S says

    So I am serving in the army and now I am told that I would be involuntarily separated for not meeting standard in work performance. I do my job well I know what needs to be done and it might be my attitude but it’s the damn Army. If you got no character and a spine get out. Well, along with that I am barred from reenlistment. The company commander then said if you get separated you will get now benefits, is this true? From my understanding a chapter 13 usually is honorable and for eligibility for benefits only matters on type of character that you get out with, right?

  44. Carol says

    I have 17 months left until I hit my HYT. E-5 Navy and I’m aware that I’m entitled to receive separation pay. I also plan to file for disability afterwards. I plan to join the reserve to retire in the reserve if I can. Do I need to join the reserve before I get out or after to avoid break in service? From what I have been reading it sounds like even though you have disability that you can still join the reserve? For you to receive sep pay this has to be documented on your DD214?

  45. Ryan says

    Hello, I am getting HYTd in December as an e-4 with 8 years (Navy). Is it possible to go SELRES, make E-5, and come back active? Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ryan, Thank you for contacting me. Each situation is unique and is handled on a case by case basis. In general, it can be very difficult to transfer into the Reserves then go back onto active duty. The exceptions are for hard to fill jobs. Your best option is to contact a Reserve recruiter and ask about the current environment and possibilities of getting back to active duty.

      Also note there may be full time Reserve billets, depending on your unit, rating, and other factors. Again, a recruiter can help you with this information. I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

  46. Jason England says

    I was involuntarily separated from the Air Force in May of 2007 for failure to meet their fitness standards. I had 14 years and 11 months time in service. I received nothing in separation pay. Should I have received separation pay at the time? Has the policy changed since then? If so, are people eligible to receive the pay if they apply for it now? Seems like some folks are SOL for back pay if they’re paying now but were not back then. Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jason, Thank you for contacting me. I can’t comment on your specific situation, as there may be other factors involved. The best thing to do is contact AFPC. They should be able to help you understand the full situation.

      I don’t know if it’s possible to get separation pay long after the fact – again this would be a question for AFPC. Finally, you may consider looking into the Air National Guard or Reserves if you are interested and/or eligible to continue serving and working toward a military retirement. You would likely only need to complete 5 more years of service to be eligible for a Reserve retirement. The benefits are great. Eligibility may be impacted, depending on your RE Code found on your DD Form 214 and other factors. You would need to speak with a recruiter for more information. I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

  47. e.simpson says

    Hey I am getting separated from the army from a **** test can you kinda give me some info on the kind of discharge I am on my second contract so I have heard I get some benefits…any info would be appreciated thanks .

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello E. Simpson, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to contact your personnel department to determine your discharge type. I can’t comment on the discharge rating you will receive because each situation is unique and there may be other factors involved.

      Once you have your discharge rating you should visit the VA for a personalized benefits counseling session. They will be able to look at your military service record, discharge rating, and other factors to help you understand which benefits, if any, you are eligible to receive. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  48. Lori says

    If you are being boarded for failure to meet regs it is considered honorable, can you still go reserves? If so, What is required?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Lori, Thank you for contacting me. This will depend on your RE Code (reenlistment code), the reason for failing to meet standards, and whether or not you currently meet standards.

      The RE Code can be found on your DD Form 214. You would need to speak with a recruiter, let your recruiter know why you were separated and your RE Code, then inform them that you are now in standards and meet the required regs and you wish to serve again. Most recruiters will be able to tell you if this is possible, and if so, which steps you need to take next in order to get back into the military.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  49. J. Braun says

    Hello Ryan,

    I found out today that I didn’t make E5, so I am now preparing to separate from active duty AF. I looked on the virtual MPF and have discovered that even though my eight year mark is 21 July, 2017, the Air Force is saying may last day of work will be 30 June 2017. Because of that 30 June date, I am totally ineligible for severance pay. I asked around and was told two different things: 1.) that because I am being forcefully separated and that I did six years or more, I should be getting it. 2.) that because I hit my eight year mark less than a month after my last day of work, I am eligible.

    Not sure who to believe and I could really use the money. Most everyone I have talked to says I should be getting something. It was my supervisor who said that I won’t get a dime because of my end-of-work date. Something doesn’t sound right. Seems a bit off that 21 days will rob me of severance pay.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello J., Thank you for contacting me. I can’t speak for specific dates – the best I can do is recommend speaking with your personnel section to find out the specifics of your situation. Have them explain everything to you. Be sure to ask them to print you a copy of the regs and your previous separation date (from your current contract). That way you can verify everything as it is written in the regs. If something doesn’t add up, then you can request they correct the issue, or you can take this to your base legal office for further investigation.

      The good news is you have almost a year to figure things out. That gives you some time to start planning for your separation – saving money, taking classes, getting a professional certification, etc.

      You could also look into the Guard or Reserves, which may be an option if you wish to continue serving. You would keep your present rank, you could keep your job or cross-train, you would also have an income and access to inexpensive medical care. all of this can help make the transition go more smoothly.

  50. kris says

    hello im currently at 9 years in the army at spc rank had a break in service im having to get out for rcp on my ets date I was wondering if I would be eligible for pay for etsing due to rcp thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Renico, Thank you for contacting me. This article about buying back military service credits should be helpful. It doesn’t address your specific situation, but I believe the continuous honorable active service can be applied to your federal service time. You would need to verify with your HR department before buying back your time. This is a great way to increase your service time, vacation accrual time, and retire earlier, or with more years of service. I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

  51. Steve says

    Ryan,

    I received separation pay after I ETS’d from the Regular Army in 1994 and I rejoined the Regular Army in 2001. I’ve asked my finance people if I have to pay it back when I retire, but they can’t find anything in my file that says I owe anything.

    My DD214 from 1994 obviously shows I received Sep Pay, is that what DFAS will use to determine that I need to repay that Sep Pay?

  52. Rio says

    Sailor missed the timeline to reenlist for 2 yrs to reach HYT. Now can the sailor extend which cway will be used to extend to HYT and is the sailor still eligible for ISP just in case they don’t make E6 by then?

  53. Melissa says

    Hey Ryan, thanks for helping all of us out. I have a question about IRR and pay. I enlisted in the army about 6 years ago. During AIT, I found out I was pregnant and was discharged with a general discharge. Well, I reenlisted 3 years ago and went to my retention NCO today to look at pcs options. He informed me that the army has been under paying me due to time spent in IRR. I have two questions. My first is since I was discharged, was I still in the IRR? My second question is, if I was part of the IRR, does that count toward my pay scale? The retention NCO claimed that those 3 1/2 years out should be used for pay. If that is the case, could you inform me of the AR/FMR it is in? Thank you

    • Steve says

      Your finance office can spell that out for you. Your PAC/S1 can help you submit a 4187 to your finance folks to re-compute your time for pay.

  54. Borrero Alexis says

    I was in the army for 5 years 6 months regular ets, and from there when to tha army reserve to concluded my contract for 8 years, after a few years I apply for v.a benefit I’m 100 percent disable at this moment.can I get any type of paid from the army even thou I spend lest than 6 years in active duty

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Alexis, Thank you for contacting me. Based on your statement, I don’t believe you would be eligible for Involuntary Separation Pay because you left active duty and Reserve duty at the conclusion of your contracts – you were not involuntarily separated, and you did not meet the 6 year service requirement. The Va disability compensation is compensation for your military service and the medical conditions incurred during your service. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  55. Kevin Fraser says

    Hello Ryan,
    I got out in February 2016, I was involuntary separated due to HYT. My question is on my DD214 it states my ISP is for 53,000 I only got 37,000 now i understand it was taxed, but do i get back the other 16,000 next year for my taxes?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kevin, Thank you for contacting me. DFAS automatically withholds a portion of the separation pay for taxes. Whether you receive any of that as a refund next year will depend on your total tax return – how much money you earned during 2016, how much you owe in taxes, and how much taxes you have already paid. If you paid too much in taxes, you will receive a refund.

      It’s not really possible to be more specific at this point, because there are so many unknown variables including your total income and taxes paid for 2016, possible tax credits and deductions, retirement account contributions, and other factors. You may be able to run some rough estimates, but the year isn’t even halfway over yet, so that would be difficult to do. Just be sure to keep your tax forms when you file your taxes so you have accurate records. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  56. Weston says

    Hello, I am looking to separate next year and I am also in process of a MEB. If I am to receive VA disability would this force me to not receive the separation pay or pay back to VA if received?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Weston, There are many variables involved. Separation Pay is normally awarded when you are involuntarily separated, or are ineligible to reenlist through no fault of your own. There are certain requirements involved and you would need to speak with your personnel unit for more specific information. An MEB is completely different – each case is unique, so I can’t speak to that. If you receive Separation Pay, then later receive VA disability compensation, then you may have to repay the Separation Pay. Please read this article for more information: VA Disability Compensation Withholding, Offset, & Recoupment.

  57. Shannon Dean says

    Hello Ryan. Thanks for helping Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen. I’m an Army Captain involuntarily separating (OSB FY15) with 13.5 years on 1AUG. Today, I was denied an appointment to the USAR (no reason stated). Am I entitled to separation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Shannon, Thanks for contacting me. If the involuntary separation isn’t for negative administration or legal reasons then you area more likely eligible for separation pay. You will need to confirm this with your personnel section.

      I’m sorry the USAR appointment didn’t work out. Have you looked into joining the National Guard or even switching to the AF Reserves or Air National Guard? it can be easier to get into some Guard units, depending on needs of the unit. The Air Force also takes members from other service branches – I know several Air Guard members who were prior service in the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Definitely worth looking into if you wish to continue serving.

      The Navy Reserves or Marine Corps Reserves may be options, but I don’t know enough about them to give much more information. In all cases, you would need to contact a recruiter ASAP to gather information and start the process. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  58. Aaron says

    Ryan,
    Question on the QMP form DA Form 4941 what is the difference between taking the voluntary discharge, and not submitting an appeal and understanding that you will still be discharged?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Aaron, Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the details of the QMP program. I would ask your personnel section to explain your options and how they will affect you going forward – be sure to ask about topics such as your benefits, if you would be able to serve in the Guard or Reserves if you are interested in continuing your service, etc. Note: I don’t know if you would be able to continue serving in the Guard or Reserves, but it is worth asking about if the interest is there.

  59. J. Braun says

    Hi Sir. I am currently in the Air Force, with 7 years under my belt. I hold the rank of SrA and if I don’t make E5 by this summer, I am getting put out because of high tenure. I want to join the reserves, but would I still get separation pay if I joined and went to school full time? I keep hearing different stories. Any info would help. Thank you in advance!!!!!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello J. Braun, From my understanding, you would be eligible for separation pay if you are forced to leave the military under honorable conditions and you have at least 6 years of service. You may be required to repay your separation pay under certain conditions, including if you receive disability compensation, or later become eligible for military retirement pay through the Guard, Reserves, or if you are eligible to later go back on active duty. Regarding joining the Guard or Reserves, you would need to speak with a recruiter regarding eligibility, which will depend on your Reenlistment Code (found on your DD 214, which will be issued to you when you separate from the military). If you are required to separate from the military, then it’s recommended you speak with a recruiter as soon as you receive notification so you can get the process started.

  60. chelci smith says

    I’m getting chaptered(Family care plan) 4 months before I hit my 6 year mark. Do I still get seperation pay?? If so is it half or full?

  61. David says

    I have a questions about involuntary separation pay. If I am involuntarily separated and receive a VA rating and get disability compensation then the VA will withhold my compensation pay until the amount is paid back. What would happen if at a later time I decided to rejoin the military(w/ waiver) and work towards a retirement. Will the government require me to pay back the full separation pay or would they just take back the portion that the VA withheld?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello David, Great question. You would be required to repay the full amount you received for involuntary separation pay. If part of that was withheld by the VA, then I believe the military would only make you repay the part that wasn’t withheld by the VA. For example, if you received $10,000 separation pay, and the VA withheld $1,000, then the military would later recoup the other $9,000 from your retirement pay if you were later eligible for retirement pay. That said, this is my belief in how the system works. I would verify this with someone at DFAS. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  62. tagasantol says

    Hi, I will be ETS’ng come December and by that time I will also have 12 1/2 yrs in the army, I am an E5(p). I do have couple options on what will I do here in a few months. So my question is if I will just go for a regular ETS will I be able to receive a separation pay? I’ve heard a lot from service member that you do get separation pay after 6 yrs in service and some said you wont any.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello tagasantol, You will only receive separation pay if you are involuntarily separated. You do not receive separation pay if you voluntarily leave the military at the end of your contract. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Another option is looking into the Guard/Reserves if you want to continue working toward retirement benefits, healthcare benefits, etc. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  63. Dave says

    I am getting ready to get out and I will be getting a huge separation pay. I am wondering how this will be taxed. If it is listed as a bonus then will it be considered income and bump me into the next tax bracket? Also, do I have to pay social security and medicare from the separation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dave, Thank you for contacting me. Yes, you will have to pay taxes on the income. It is taxed at either the 20% or 25% rate (not 100% certain). It is considered the same as your regular base pay, so yes, you will pay your social security and medicare.

      As for the tax brackets, it may push you into another tax bracket, but since we have a progressive tax system, only the portion that goes over the next bracket would get taxed at a higher rate. Not all of your income is taxed at a higher rate. Here is an article that explains Marginal Tax Rates. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  64. Thomas Green says

    Hello,
    I have over 8 years of service in the Army and can no longer re-enlist do to my RCP. I submitted a da4187 to get out 6 months early with a job. And was told by my Reserve recruiter and personnel in my unit that i could RCP and early out at the same time. Once got my da4187 signed. I went to transitions, were i was told that i could not and would forfeit my separation pay. I have been looking for an answer and can not find one. Has anyone experienced anything like this?

  65. Carl Gamroth says

    I was separated from the Army in Nov. 1990 after 9.33 years of active service. The separation was due to not meeting the weigh standards. I did not receive any separation pay and was not even aware that there was such a thing, all I can remember getting is my final check and some travel pay. Now I have been informed that they are trying to get back $6000 from me. I have been trying to get more information on this. I was told it was indicated on a DD215 dated in May of 1993. What is a DD215, I know what a DD214 is, but not a DD215.

  66. Need help says

    I’m a little shy of 6 years however do I qualify for separation pay… No one in my unit seems to know or cares to help find out…would really appreciate any feedback to shed a lil light on the situation please and thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Need Help, you need at least 6 years of service to qualify for involuntary separation pay. This is part of the federal law as written in Title 10 U.S. Code § 1174 – Separation pay upon involuntary discharge or release from active duty.

      • Jason says

        So here’s my dilemma, I was deployed to Iraq in 2004. I was injured while acting as a QRF team member supporting a tank company. I was airlifted from Iraq to Germany then back to the states. I was involuntary separated after 2 ankle surgeries. I received a MED Board and received a long list of stuff that has 0% and a short list of other things that gave me a 20% rating. I separated with like approximately 25,000. How much of that is to be paid back before I receive my full disability check. and the second thing is that I have applied to be reevaluated for my disabilities that are much worse now then it was then and have had several issues that I have seen private doctors for due to the VA not being able to see me in a timely manner( anything within a 3 month timeframe). How do I go about getting some help besides hiring Johnny Cochran to threaten to somebody. Any help would be great. I feel that im getting the old 2 step dance around.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Jason, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your injuries. Regarding the VA disability compensation and the separation pay – federal law requires the VA to recoup the full amount of money you receive for separation pay.

        Regarding your VA claim – I recommend speaking with a representative from the DAV or a similar Veterans Service Organization. They offer free benefits claims assistance and can help you with the paperwork and advise you on your claim. The individual assistance will make the process much easier. I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best of health and thank you for your service.

  67. Ray Hayes says

    Ryan, I will be separating from the Army due to RCP. It is my understanding that I will be entitled to separation pay. My question is will I be required to sign a contract with the Guard or Reserves or is it just an IRR commitment I must agree to in order to recieve full separation pay? Thanks for any information you may provide.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ray, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have this information. The best place to get it is from your personnel office or retention office. Just call up and ask them the process and requirements when you separate due to RCP, and what you need to do in order to receive the separation pay. I would also ask if it is possible to serve in the Guard or Reserves. It’s always good to leave that door open if you are undecided about your future in the military. I had an 8 year break in service before joining the Air National Guard, and I’m glad I was able to do so. The benefits have been excellent, and I am working toward a retirement benefit as well.

  68. SFCT says

    Hello Ryan,

    First, thank you for helping service members get answers to questions that their COC can’t or won’t answer. I am a single SFC(P) in the United States Army (ArmyStrong!) I will have 16 years in June. I love the Army and I would like to make it to 20 years but I am a single mother stationed on the West Coast and my family is on the East Coast. I have a long term family care plan. But I don’t have a short term family care plan. I have two kids 14 and 10 leaving them home for two weeks while I’m in the field is not an option. Also my youngest child have medical problems and need care so it gets pretty hard. I think I know the answer from the research I’ve done so far. I just want to know what your thoughts are. It’s scary and sad to think of a life outside of the Army but I can see it happening. Any advice would be great.

    Thanks for all you do.

  69. Anna Campbell says

    Hello,
    I’m wondering about a combination of topics you’ve discussed. I was medically discharged and received separation pay. I am looking into joining the National Guard. I’m wondering if since they already paid me the lump sum, which they are now withholding my monthly service-connected VA payment for until they recoup the severance pay, will that effect my active pay for training days in the Guard? So would all of my training pay go towards paying back my severance pay, essentially meaning I’m working for ‘free’ or for the severance pay I already received? Or would I file the VA Form 21-8951, Notice of Waiver of VA Compensation or Pension to Receive Military Pay and Allowances and just owe someone the roughly $300 at the end of each year (10% rating=$123/mo, so $123/30=$4.10×63 training days=$258)?
    If you don’t know, could you point me in the right direction? I want to understand this before I agree to join the Guard. Thank you!
    Anna

  70. Bobby Middleton says

    I am a Army Staff Sergeant who has served honorably for over 20 years will be 21 in October. I received the notification from my Battalion Commander that my records are being reviewed under QMP. I was suppose to retire at 23 years. I had the option to voluntarily retire or fight the QMP and send in all my letters of recommendation to the board to try and stay active duty to finish out my 23 years. So i elected to fight the QMP and not voluntarily retire. Now i was under the impression that if the board reviewed my records and decided to still not keep me and involuntary separate me that i would the just retire. But im hearing from other people that it was a bad mistake that i should have elected to voluntarily retire because now if im involuntarily separated i loose all my benefits and i would receive retirement pay. This was never made clear to me when i elected not to voluntarily retire and fight the QMP. It dosnt make sense to me that having over 20 years of service honorably and not receiving my benefits and retirement. Ive done alot of research and cannot find a clear answer on this. Can you please help me thanks for your time.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Bobby, Thank you for contacting me. From my understanding, you should be eligible to retire after you have at least 20 full years of active duty, or 20 good years of service in the Guard or Reserves. Once you reach that amount of service, they cannot prevent you from retiring or receiving your benefits. At this point, you should be protected and should be eligible for retirement. That aid, it would be a good idea to schedule a meeting with your base legal department to ensure you have a full understanding of your rights under the QMP program, and what will happen if you are involuntarily separated. It may just mean you will be involuntarily retired with your benefits earned to that point. But the legal department should help you understand your rights and benefits. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  71. John Doe says

    Hello. I currently have an ETS date next year. At that point I will have 13.5 years of Active Duty time. My RCP is 14 years. I am wondering if I will be eligible for Inventory Separation Pay. I realize that I won’t have been separated due to RCP…but due to ETS. Can I get denied reenlistment due to RCP so that I may receive Involuntary separation Pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, Thank you for question. From my understanding, not being allowed to reenlist is not the same thing as an Inventory Separation. If you are not allowed to reenlist, then I don’t believe you are eligible for Inventory Separation Pay. However, this is a question that would be worth clarifying with your base personnel or base legal department. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  72. Brandon says

    My question is a bit unorthodox. I am a little over 9 months from RCP. I will have my Bachelors Degree soon as well. I read that in order to accept Separation Pay, i would have to be in the Ready Reserve. The issue is that i was wanting to see about applying to go to Air Force OTS. Would i be able to join the Air Force if i am in the Ready Reserve? Also, would I be forced to pay back the separation pay if i joined the Air Force?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brandon, Thank you for contacting me. You can often join another branch of service from the Ready Reserve, provided you meet all requirements – this would include the reason for separation, which would be listed as your RE Code on your DD 214. Speak with your personnel department or a recruiter for more information on this code, and what it will mean for you.

      As for the Separation Pay, I’m not 100% certain. I would ask this question when you speak with your finance department. I do know that if you receive Separation Pay then later retire from the military, a portion of your retirement pay will be withheld each month until you repay your Separation Pay. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  73. richard coleman says

    I will be involuntarily separated with over 17 years 1 February 2016 due to the so called QMP crap. I suppose to get half separation pay to help me and my family transition to civilian life. But I was told at my finance final out appointment they will recoup my last enlistment bonus from the half separation pay because I didn’t complete my term. Its already stressful not able to retire why will they recoup my separation pay . This will only cause financial hardship especially if I cant get new employment right away. It’s not might fault I couldn’t complete the term this was involuntarily. This is total INJUSTICE.

  74. Jeff says

    I separated from the Air Force due to Higher Tenure back in March of 2015, I received a separation check shortly after March with a 20-25% tax on the check, I’m currently an (ART) Active Reserve Technician and receive civilian WG pay, with Reserve pay monthly and still have access to Mypay, so should I receive 4 ea W-2’s this Jan, for 1.separation payment, 2.Active duty (Jan-Aug 2015 I was put on orders until my ART job became available starting in March), 3.Reserve pay, and my 4.civilian WG pay?

    • Billie says

      Hi- I don’t have an answer for you but my husband’s situation is similar, I was wondering how long it too for payment- looks like under a month? And also was it pay direct deposit lump sum, or do they give you options for it? Thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jeff, The military will combine your Reserve and active Duty pay onto one W-2. Your civilian WG pay will be on a separate W-2. I’m not sure how the separation pay is recorded, but since it comes from the government for your military pay, it would likely be recorded on your military W-2. You should have access to your W-2 forms in early January and DFAS should mail them to you if you have elected to receive paper copies (you can change this in myPay).

    • AFVetAK says

      I am hoping you still read this page but I seperated from Active Duty 2 years ago and took a large sum under the VSP at the time. I joined the ANG to continue my service and to help offset the transition. Now a perfect ART position has come to my attention that I want to apply for it but I am unsure if the VSP disqualifies me from full time ART position. From what I have read if you have taken a VSIP benefit in the last 5 years from any “federal agency” you would be required to pay the sum back in full before starting work. Since you are an ART did this hinder your hiring process? How did you get hired whilst still taking the VSP? Thanks for the insight.

  75. Well... says

    Are you absolutely 100% sure that involuntary separation pay has to be paid back to the VA? I am separating and was told the same thing by my career counselor; however, when I called and spoke to the VA and the Veterans Service Officer, he told me that involuntary separation is exempt from paying it back, and that only medically retired and voluntary separation have to pay it back.

    I’m in no way, shape, or form saying you’re wrong, I’d just like to cover my butt on this info before I separate! Thanks

  76. Brandon says

    I was denied reenlistment and involuntarily separated in 2012 after almost 13 years of service. I was/am basically in perfect health so I was not able to get any disability either. I was never told or briefed that I could get separation pay. Who could I get in contact with to find out if there is any way I can get separation pay 3 years after being separated? Is this even possible?

  77. S says

    I am at a loss and AFPC can’t figure it out. I’m hitting my HYT in Jan. Scheduled to receive my separation pay for HYT. Was informed that if I want to join the guard down the road that I will have to pay all that money back immediately. Everything I have read says that if I collect a retirement down the road from the Guard then I will need to pay the HYT money back. I agree that if I retire from the guard years from now that I pay back the money, but not immediately upon joining. Any help on clarifying this would be great.

    • J.S. says

      I have the same question. Im coming into the same situation in a couple of years and thinking of doing the same. I’m super curious on what updates you get about paying your HYT Separation Pay back. Thank you!

  78. Help Me says

    I am completely stress and depress with the army now. If I was not a single mother with a little I may be able to stay in. Every since the birth of my son i have been on constant hip profiles or profiles period. i cant run a PT test ( i was never good at it but i always passed) and with the stress of his father not chipping and work is just something i dont wanna come to. I dont want to be here anymore, i dont have the support of COC or NCOC, i feel like since im the only e4 single mom either that make things 10 tims worst or they ignore but dont forget my mistake. What should i do? I been in for 6 years in get next NOV but i cant take it. I been thinking of early school drop, Family care plan chapter or just simpling failiing my pt or weight standard but i dont want to go out like that. If you receieve horonable, general discharge from pt failure, are you still entitle to seperation pay and to join the reserves or national guard. What can be easy but financely helpful way for me to separate from the Military. By the way my MOS is 42A, i just havent been the same since my son and the army is making it worse

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Help Me, Thank you for sharing your situation. I’m sorry this is difficult for you right now. I’m not sure how long it has been since you had your child, but I recommend speaking with your primary health care doctor. It’s possible you may have post-partum depression, which can affect new mothers (I am not trying to diagnose you – I am just pointing out something that was diagnosed for someone who I am close to). If this is the case, you will need care, which the military can offer.

      As for the PT test – again, I recommend seeking out assistance. Most posts/bases/stations have health facilities, and many have trainers who can offer tips, training, or assistance.

      Regarding getting out of the military – that may or may not be easy, depending on various factors. Right now the military is looking to reduce active duty service members. It may be possible to transition from active duty to the Guard or Reserves by simply applying for this. Visit your personnel section to see if there are any current programs that may allow an early transition to the Guard or Reserves. The benefit of transitioning into the Guard or Reserves would be keeping your discharge status as Honorable, and allowing you to continue earning pay and benefits.

      At this point, I recommend trying to get help for the specific issues yo mention, and learning as much as you can about your options. Once you have a good idea of your options, you can take action.

      I wish you the best during this time. And thank you for your service!

  79. Timothy says

    I started me career in the National Guard where I spent 6 years and then transferred into Active Navy. I am fast approaching my HYT. In February 2016 I will have reached my 20 years of service time total but my HYT is in Jan 2017. The Navy is going to separate me so how would I retire? What will happen? What are my options?

  80. Nathanael Johnson says

    Hey. I’m wondering how do I go about getting out. I on my first term and I realized this just not for me. I’m mentally not here there is no desire or anything to be here like I feel like I’m better off doing some that makes me happy and something were I don’t feel like I’m wasting time. Although it is a new experience it’s just not me.

    • T says

      Which branch are you in? If you are in the Army, you can submit a 4187 requesting separation. It is likely to get denied. The only other way that I am aware to get out early and in good standing (ie. honorably) is to repeatedly fail a APFT or be overweight, or both.

  81. Darryl says

    Ryan,

    I was in the Army for 7 years 10 months. My ets was 01 Oct 2015. I’m supposed to get full separation pay. It’s been 30 days. Now I have contacted the separation office at my last duty station to figure out my status on my pay. They told me that I have to get a 4187 from the reserve. But here’s the thing before I wasn’t told that I have to go to the reserve. Then they said that I shouldn’t have final out without one from a reserve counseler. So I should be punished for a mistake they made. So do you think they will grant me my pay and how should I go about doing it to get this issue fix?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Darryl,

      Thank you for contacting me. Almost everyone who joins the military signs up for an 8-year commitment consisting of your active duty time, with the remainder in the reserves. So if you signed up for 4 years of active duty, you would also have 4 years of Reserve duty tacked on to your contract. This is generally the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR), not the traditional reserves, so you wouldn’t be required to attend drills.

      In this case, it sounds like you would have 2 months of IRR duty tacked on to your contract. In other words, this sounds like a formality. I would contact whoever you need to contact and get the paperwork filled out and taken care of. Then see what it takes to get your separation pay.

    • Ricardo says

      Did you ever get this resolved? How did you go about getting it? I have the same issue only I was irresponsible with my paperwork the one thing I lost was that darn 4187, but what gets me is I provided it to transition and ACAP, because everyone needed a copy to put SEP pay on my orders. And now finance needs it and I have no copies..

  82. carlos garcia says

    Sir,

    I was just separated from the Army as of 6 November 2015, under QMP with a HONORABLE discharge. My original QMP date given to me by HRC was for 1 November 2015, but I was held back and ended up surpassing the original date of 1 November… I have a Re-entry code of 4 on my DD 214, which it does not allow me to go into another branch or join the Reserves. I served 15 years and 5 months of service to the Army. I still have inspirations to finish my time with the military (Army) and hope to get my 20 years of service. Is there a certain amount of time that I need to wait while I am out to be able to join the Army again or a different branch? Are there any waivers out there to where I can be accepted again? Also, I am getting different answers about me getting any kind of separation pay. I am wanting to know what kind am I entitled to. Was I entitled to any kind of separation pay? Full? Half? or even TERA? etc, etc.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Carlos, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry but I don’t have answers to your specific questions. I will give the best answers I can, but you should verify them with your personnel section.

      Guard or Reserve service: As I understand it, joining the Guard or Reserves is based on your RE code. If it doesn’t allow you to join now, then I’m not sure it will allow you to join later. Is it possible to get a waiver or get your RE code changed? I’m not sure. You will need to speak with a Guard or Reserve recruiter for more information.

      TERA: This is offered on a case by case basis, and isn’t something you can just apply for. You should inquire with your personnel section for more information.

      Separation Pay: Again, you will need to contact your personnel section about how much separation pay you should receive.

  83. Kristeen says

    Ryan,

    Could you explain how the recoupment works when a service member in involuntarily separated and takes the full payout, rates VA disability, and continues on to retire from the Reserves. I understand that if you retire from the Reserves there will be a payback at 40% of the gross payout per retirement check and that the VA will recoup the after tax payout prior to sending out disability payments. The recoupment of the VA will occur 4 years prior to the retirement so will my husband be hit twice for his sep pay or will DFAS only recoup the balance between the net and gross of the separation pay? This is all so confusing!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kristeen, Thank you for contacting me. Here is an article that explains how the VA withholds disability pay to recoup separation pay.

      If the veteran gets full separation pay, then rates VA disability and gets a Reserve retirement, then I believe the VA will begin recouping disability pay first. If the disability pay covers the full amount to be recouped, then that takes care of the issue. If the full amount is not recouped, then it should happen once the Reserve retirement begins at age 60.

      The pay will only be recouped one time, not twice. So if the full amount is recouped from the VA, then there will be no recoupment from the Reserve retirement pay.

  84. Muambo says

    Hello, please I need your advice. I just failed my H/W, and may be separated from the Army after 8 years. What if any benefits will I receive? Also will I get full or partial separation pay.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Muambo, Thank you for contacting me. Benefits vary based on many different factors. The best thing to do is sit down with your personnel section and get a one on one counseling sessions to discuss which benefits you will be eligible to receive, and whether or not you will be eligible for separation pay. You can also have a veterans benefits counseling session with the VA before or after separating, and they will give you a personalized benefits review to let you know which benefits you will be eligible to receive. Best of luck, and thank you for your service.

  85. DeeRuss says

    I received a tenure severence ten years ago. Do you know if I’d be able to dispute the amount. I tried to do it when I was discharged but I got the run around.

    • Ryan Guina says

      DeeRuss, I have no idea. It may be possible, but I’m sure it’s even more difficult now than it would have been 10 years ago. The best place to start is DFAS. You will need to have copies of your DD214 with the RE Code and reason for separation, and you will need to get copies of your final LES showing how much separation pay you received. Then you will want to draft a letter stating what you believe you should have earned, and back it up with the regulations that show why your original separation payment was incorrect. I have no idea if they are able to go back and amend something like this, but it may be worth a try. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  86. Tiffany says

    I am due to get out in Feb16 due to HYT, what is your advice? Can I still apply for disability? Can I still take advantage of my GI Bill?

  87. Vicky says

    Mr. Ryan, I was demoted and now I am at my RCP. I still have an administrative separation board but my new ETS date is in less than 30 days. Can they extend my ETS for a board? From what I’ve found, it can only be done foe a court martial. If I RCP, then its Honorable and I can move on with my life. I haven’t been able to get clear answers from my unit bc no one has experienced this yet.

    • marco says

      hello I know its really late for a reply but did you ETS from the army? im in the same boat. I have my board in 5 days and that puts me 29 days till ETS.

  88. william says

    I am due to ETS at 14 years TIS. If I am not allowed to reenlist due to my MOS being over strength and end up doing a normal ETS at 14 years will I receive any type of benefit or am I out on my own?

    • Ryan Guina says

      William, Thank you for contacting me. Typically not being allowed to reenlist due to over strength in your career field is an involuntary separation, so you may be eligible for separation pay. You will need to speak with your personnel section to see how they are coding your separation. That will determine if you are eligible to receive separation pay. I would also recommend looking into the Guard or Reserves as a way to continue serving. There are a lot of benefits, including pay, continuing to earn toward a pension, access to inexpensive health care, and it can help during the transition.

      Here are two podcasts we recorded about Guard/Reserves that you may find helpful: (1) Should you join the Guard / Reserves, (2) Guard / Reserve Retirement Benefits.

      I hope this information is helpful, and I wish you the best during your transition.

  89. wilmer mannetti says

    I am currently in a situation where I have been harassed and failed a pt test do to it. Not to put too much personal info out there but I am now in mental health for it. They are seperation me due to the pt failure. The transitioning personal say that I am authorized seperation pay or half of it. But my command has put in a seperation code that won’t allow me. I am an E5 in the Army with over 9 years of service and 2 combat tours. Nothing in my record is derogatorydo. Am I authorized seperation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Wilmer, Authorization for separation pay may depend on your separation code. At this point you need to get in contact with the Inspector General or your JAG office and file a complaint regarding the harassment. This could affect your separation code and other factors. I hope you receive the help you need with the mental health issues, and I wish you the best of luck with this situation. Thank you for your service.

  90. roberto munoz says

    Hi, I have a question that no one seems to be able to answer. I’m on terminal leave and already have my dd214 with re code of one. My ETS in not until nov 20 but I’m beign considered for QMP. My question is that if I get selected for QMP does that make my current dd214 void or are they going to recall me to issue a new one? Thank you in advance

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, To be honest, I don’t know the answer here. But I would ask your First Sergeant or someone else to allow you to separate from the military without going through the QMP process. Having an RE1 Code makes it easier to join the Guard or Reserves if that is something you are thinking about doing. There are many benefits to going Guard or Reserve, including continued pay, working toward a retirement, access to benefits such as inexpensive health care, career experience, and the ability to continue serving our country. There are many other benefits as well.

      Outside of the potential of joining the military in the future, there should be no long-term difference. But if the Guard or Reserves are in your sights, then I recommend trying to keep the RE1 code any way you can. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  91. Brittany says

    Hi my ETS date was Sept 30, I got out on RCP. I am doing three years Reserve, I did receive my final pay a week after my ETS date but I haven’t received my separation pay. My question is when will I receive that, because I heard that gets sent also with your final pay but I didn’t receive it. Also I am filing for disability due to my surgeries and other medical issues, so after reading and doing my research will I be paying back to the VA before I even receive a check, since I am getting separation pay??

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brittany, Thank you for contacting me. I have heard from most veterans that separation pay is made in a separate payment, usually within 4-6 weeks after leaving active duty. I would contact DFAS and ask when you can expect to receive the separation pay.

      Regarding service connected disability compensation – Federal law also requires the VA to withhold compensation pay for veterans separation pay, severance pay, and readjustment pay, less any federal taxes already paid.

      Don’t let that dissuade you from applying for benefits, however. You should get everything documented now, and apply for VA disability rating. This could result in a disability rating, financial compensation, and access to health care, both now and in the future. Just as importantly, you will have the service-connection documented in the event your medical conditions get worse over time. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  92. Agustin says

    Can you recieve seperation pay for failing to meet APFT and weight standards? What is the difference between involuntary seperation and a chapter?

  93. Joseph says

    Here is my question, I am being medically separated after 13 years of service, I have received 10% from the army and 100% from the VA. I was given a status so my disability severance pay will not be recouped by the VA but will be taxed. I am being given dozens of different answers on when I will receive my last paycheck and when I will receive my severance and when I will begin receiving my first VA check! Thank you!

  94. MIKE DANIELS says

    I separated on from the navy on September 3 a week later i checked mypay and saw that i was receiving a pay check which i thoughg was the leave I sold back. After a few phone calls I found out i was not separated but still active duty and receiving regular pay. After some more phone calls I then found out my PSD still had not processed me out. I just found out that my account just was put into a separation status on the 16. When talking to PSD all they kept saying is that I would receive my separation pay 20 days from my separation date. Now is that the day I actually separated or the date they put me in a separation status. Talking to another PSD command was told that i should have received my separation pay 48 to 72 hours after separating need some help very confused on what’s going on.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mike, Thank you for sharing your experience. This sounds like DFAS or someone in the chain made a mistake (it sounds like it probably start at the unit level, with not being properly coded as being separated). The only advice I can offer is to work with DFAS and your former unit to get this straightened out. They will have to figure out the math and make sure you get the pay you are supposed to receive. Unfortunately, I don’t know what else you may be able to do. I wish you the best with getting this resolved so you can move on. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Don, You should receive your last pay check on your normal pay schedule. Involuntary separation pay is usually paid within 4-8 weeks. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  95. Joshua says

    I separated from my unit in December of 2014 but because of my terminal leave didn’t ETS until March 2015. My DD 214 states that I should be getting a severance payment for 15 years active duty, leaving as an E5. I have yet to see this and was wondering how long it usually takes and who I should contact if this is beyond the normal time period.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Joshua, Thank you for contacting me. Severance payments are generally made within 4-8 weeks. You should contact DFAS about this and try to determine what the issue is with the lack of severance payment.

      • Joshua Tutt says

        I contacted DFAS and they said that even though my DD 214 clearly states that I am supposed to receive full separation pay, my separation code isn’t correct and that is “what they go off of”. They were less than helpful in letting me know what the next step should be in correcting this. Have you seen anything like this before?

      • Ryan Guina says

        Joshua, Thank you for contacting me. I’ve heard of similar problems. My recommendation is to contact your former unit to see if they can change your DD-214 to show the correct Separation Code. Be sure to work the chain of command if they aren’t able to assist you right away. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your former First Sergeant or someone else in your former command. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Christopher, Thanks for reaching out. I can’t give you an exact dollar amount, but I can help you find an estimate. Use the formula listed in the article. I only show the full separation pay formula, but just cut that in half and you have the formula for the separation pay (run the formula, then multiply by 0.5). Take that number and subtract 25% for taxes (multiply by 0.75). That should give you a very close estimate. You can also contact your finance or personnel office and they should be able to get this information for you – hopefully to the dollar. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  96. David says

    I have 13 years of active service, and another 11 guard reserve. I am currently being forced out of active duty by not allowing reenlistment under Army Directive 2012-03. I received a an overall 4-fair rating on my NCOER for flunking an APFT during the rating period, even though I passed it later.

    As I understand this, it’s basically a variation of bar to reenlistment, which is part of the Army’s plan to reduce the force. As such, no severance pay is entitled at all?

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with the Army rating system and the specifics of how this works. But it sounds like the separation pay will depend upon the reason the separate you from the service. You will need to clarify with your personnel section to find out which code they are giving you, and if you will be eligible for separation pay.

      You should also look at how many good years of service you have. If you have 20 good years of service you may be eligible for a Guard or Reserve retirement.

      You could also potentially transition into the Guard or Reserves if you wish to continue serving (depending upon the discharge reason and classification you receive).
      I know this isn’t what you had planned, but transitioning into the Guard or Reserves may make for a smoother transition. And if you have already reached 20 good years of service you would be eligible for the Guard/Reserve retirement. The pension and health care don’t kick in until age 60, but there are other valuable benefits you would be eligible for immediately.

      I hope this is at least a silver lining. I wish you the best during this time, and thank you for your service.

      • David says

        Unfortunately when this occurs, the reenlistment code of “9W” prohibits reenlistment of any kind into the military. The main reason I attempted to fight this was to return to the reserve. Unfortunately, it appears that will not be possible. However, I am trying to work with the reserve recruiting to acquire an exception to policy.

        According to my interpretation of this situation and the VERY incompetent assistance from my personnel section (s1), is this directive is designed to merely prevent me from reenlistment. As a result it’s not considered an involuntary separation. They simply let me hit my ETS date and refuse to allow reenlistment. It’s a very sneaky way of getting rid of someone after many years of service, and reflects poorly on the Army moral values and creeds I’ve been taught.

        It is what it is though. Fortunately I will most likely be able to convert my military service over to federal civilian service for retirement at some point.

  97. NATHAN says

    I received a Impaired Driving citation this past March, but was cleared of that citation due to the fact that I consumed a beverage that contained alcohol without knowing it. My COC knew that I do not consume alcohol and removed my flag under favorable actions. The next month was worst, I was read a Article 15 for IG complaints. I requested a court-martial but the BDE chain of command refused the court-martial request and recommended a separation board. I have 14 yrs Active and I am a E-7. If I do get QMP’d or separated, will I receive anything at all. My COC knows and acknowledged that I do not drink alcohol and it was a honest mistake, and the IG complaints made by 5 of my previous soldiers were false…..this is why I spoke to my CDR and 1SG and we all decided to take it to court-martial. If separated, I will receive a “Honorable” discharge, but I just don’t know if I will qualify for any separation pay. Prior to this bad year of bad luck, my career was impeccable. I want to continue to serve in the reserves. will I be able to serve after getting involuntarly separated from the active army?…..thank you for your time, Sir.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Nathan, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I don’t have any firm answers for you. Most of this will depend on the separation code you receive, your discharge rating, and other factors. You should talk to your personnel section about your separation code and whether or not you will be eligible for separation pay. Your separation code will also play a role in whether or not you will be able to serve in the Guard or Reserves. Once you have your separation code and discharge rating you should contact a Guard or Reserve recruiter at a unit where you wish to serve, or that has an opening for your MOS. It may also be possible to cross-train into another career field, depending on the circumstances and the needs of the gaining unit. I’m sorry I don’t have more specific answers, but there are a lot of unknown factors at this point. I wish you the best during this transition, and thank you for your service!

  98. Steve says

    Hello. I need some guidance. I was reduced in rank from E5 to E4 at the beginning of August. Due to having served for 12 years, I will be involuntarily separated due to High Year Tenure as an E4. It will be an honorable discharge. Due to my unique situation, is it likely that I would qualify for “full” or “half” separation pay? Would I not qualify at all? Thank you.

    This is challenging. My NJP occurred 1 month ago. I completed restriction three weeks ago. There is not much time to plan or prepare. Many service members facing separation have 6 to 18 months to prepare. I have 1 month to transition. I am told that up to 60 leave days will be refunded to me. I will lose the remaining 14 ( I have 74 leave days). I am currently stationed overseas. This is overwhelming. Thankfully I am single and debt free.

    My career counselor has no idea what paperwork is involved for obtaining involuntary separation pay. Unbelievable. I went to the public Navy site and read the section under Career Info talking about ISP. That helped to clear things up a bit.

    It is still very difficult to understand how everything should be routed/what must be done first/etc. Is it possible you could explain to me the process for applying for ISP in simpler terms? I’ve been told by my career counselor that TGPS (all of next week) must be completed before they can route my completed separation package back to PSD. Do I need to apply for ISP before or after that? How does it all work? I’m feeling that I don’t have much time left to sort all this out. Hopefully I’m wrong. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again.

  99. Ray says

    Hi,
    I was involuntary separated from the Army under the QMP program. I served over 13 1/2 years. I qualified for 1/2 severance pay. I’m honorable discharge and obviously I can’t join any other branch. My question is, do I have to pay that money back?
    Thanks in advance

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ray, Thank you for contacting me. You should not have to pay that money directly back. However, if you apply for and receive VA disability benefits, your payments may be withheld (or recouped) until the VA has withheld the amount of money you received for separation pay. The same thing would apply if you were to join the Guard or Reserves and were to later remain on duty through retirement. At that point, a portion of your retirement pension would be withheld until the amount of separation pay you received was met. This article has more info about the laws requiring the VA to withhold or recoup payments. I hope this answers your question!

      I hope this helps.

  100. Steven says

    I served 15 yrs active. Was involuntarily separated HYT March 2014. Received full separation pay. After being awarded 80% disability rating I was told recoupment would be at 100% of my disability pay. V.A. has taken my disability for over 1 year now and being unemployed I called to see if I could get a payment plan. I was told yes send in form 5655 financial status report and they would work with me. I faxed it called back two days later only to be rudely spoken down to and told that I owed a debt there would be no waiver of debt and that VA would continue to take my check at 100% until fully paid back. After I told her I did not want a waiver only a reasonable payment plan she continued to berate me until I hung up on her. I have to repay until Nov 2016 at the amount of $1,932 a month. Not only is the VA legally stealing my severance but I was belittled for asking for a slight break in payments. Don’t take the severance if you plan to get disability.

    • Deion says

      Steven, I am in you EXACT same shoes 15 yrs, HYT, and 90%. Tried so call them get a smaller amount recouped monthly and they were just as rude.

  101. Michelle says

    My husband in 2002 received a medical severance pay and it was for 10% but not his choice. He has 20 years and has a Honorable discharge and his 20 year letter. He was given a lump sum and was not much. This was from the US Army and he was Army National Guard Reserve. Now will he still get to draw his retirement at 60 and do a recoup? Its so confusing. He gets conflicting information all the time. He was denied VA disability and its a big headache. HELLP….Thanks

  102. Nathan Twigg says

    I was involuntarily separated on 1 Apr 2015. (Honorable discharge with full separation pay). The VA just finished my disability claim and came back with a 70% rating. However, they state that since I received separation pay, I cannot receive benefits until 2019 when that money gets recouped. As I understand it the severance is based on your service years and is intended for a service member to live and pay bills while transitioning to another job. How can the VA withhold disability money just because I received a severance?

  103. Anthony Pagarigan says

    I will be getting out of Active duty Army after 16 years do to ETS/RCP. If I join the Active Duty Guard will I still get severance pay? My second question is how long does it usually take until I get my severance pay? Thanks

  104. Stephanie says

    Please have the members that are going through QMP send a exception to policy per Milper Message Number 14-314 8. It states

    8. REQUESTS FOR EXCEPTION TO POLICY MUST BE PROCESSED THROUGH THE SPECIAL COURT-MARTIAL CONVENING AUTHORITY AND SUBMITTED TO COMMANDER, U.S. ARMY HUMAN RESOURCES COMMAND, ATTN: AHRC-EPF-M, 1600 SPEARHEAD DIVISION AVENUE DEPARTMENT 364, FORT KNOX, KY 40122-5306, FOR DECISION. COMMANDERS MAY SCAN AND SUBMIT REQUESTS FOR EXCEPTION TO POLICY VIA EMAIL TO [email protected].

    My motto has always been and will continue to be “all they can say is no”.

  105. Mike Jackowski says

    Need your help. The way the amount that involuntary separations pay was calculated in 1989 was extremely similar. The calculations were the same but there was a $30,000 limit so if you were calculated to get a separation pay of say $37,000 you would only receive $30,000. I noticed the $30,000 limit was removed during the 1990s. Can you help me find out in what year the $30,000 limit was removed so you could receive your full separations pay if it was higher that the $30,000 limit. Thanks for your help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mike, Thank you for contacting me. I tried researching this information, but I wasn’t able to find it online. You may need to contact DFAS to see if they have a reference, or you may have to go back through the regs and try to dig up old copies to see when the change occurred. This type of research is beyond what I’m able to do at this time.

      Another way to research this might be posting it to a forum where other veterans may be able to help. The PEB Forums and the Military.com forums both have a lot of activity and they may have someone who can help you.

      I can say that when these types of changes occur they are usually not made retroactive, so it’s unlikely that anyone who received separation pay that was capped at $30,000 would have been eligible to receive additional funds after the rules changed. That said, I don’t have a copy of the reg, so I can’t quote that with certainty. I wish you the best.

  106. Reggie Dailey says

    Hello Ryan, I am currently sgt with 15 years in and less than 60 days of my ets already have ets orders that say im entitled to one half separation pay but facing a article 15 they trying to take one rank down to SPC but I appealed it but if I get demoted would I still get e5 separation pay because I have orders already or would I get e4 separation pay? Thank you Reggie

    • Ryan Guina says

      Reggie, Thank you for contacting me. Based on what I have read, I believe separation pay is based on the rank at which you separate. So if you separate as an E-5, you should get that separation pay. If you separate as an E-4, your separation pay should be based on the E-4 base pay. I don’t have an official reference for this, so I recommend contacting your personnel unit for the official word.

  107. David says

    Ryan, I am ETSing on 1 NOV 2015, due to QMP. I will be recieving an honorable discharge, and from what I am told, 50% separation pay. I had a few questions , the 1st being when should I expect that lump sum separation payment? within 30 days of separation? I have not been able to find any clear guidance, and all regulations on this topic is like reading greek. Secondly, if I plan on eventually filing for disability, but take the lump sum separation payment 1st, will they start my disability, and pretty much hold my disability payments up to the X amount they paid me in separation pay, or would I have to pay them out of pocket all the separation pay back? I am still baffled how that is the law, as they seem to me like apples and oranges, where separation pay is to help you get on your feet after the military screws you, and disability is money they are paying you for injuries or illnesses sustained through service. has there been any effort to rewrite the law, to allow for both? Sorry for the million questions, and thanks for any insight that you may be able to provide,

    V/R,

    David

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, Thank you for contacting me. I’ve heard different stories regarding when to expect separation pay. Some people have stated they received their sep pay within a few weeks, while other people have stated it has taken a couple months. Usually around a month is what I have heard most frequently.

      Regarding VA disability pay – unfortunately, yes, the VA will recoup the amount paid out for early separation. It is not taken back in a lump sum. Rather, the VA will withhold future payments until the amount of Separation Pay you received (less taxes) has been recouped. Here is more information about how the VA recoups disability compensation.

      I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

      • Ronnie says

        I am just reading a few of your replies and you are so detailed and helpful. That’s really appreciate. thank you for sharing! 🙂 ?

  108. Rozella says

    I just found this out today. It’s really sad that they do this to people. After serving for all of these years and then getting a disability because of a service connected situation you now have to pay this money. This has to be some sick joke.

  109. Stacy says

    It doesn’t make sense to me that I have to sign a 3 year service commitment, but in 10 years if I decide to apply for VA disability, after the service commitment has been fulfilled, why in the world should I have to pay this back?

  110. Brenton says

    Ryan,

    I was involuntarily separated due to the draw down of forces. My DD214 states my separation pay was of the “involuntary” variety. I received the 100% rating with a 3 year Army Reserve contract.

    I have recently been rated by the VA, and understand the why behind the recoupment of my separation pay. My question is as follows… Am I still REQUIRED to complete the three years with the Regular Reserves, or would I be able to bump myself down to Inactive Ready Reserves since I no longer have to worry about my pay being recouped, as it is already being done?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brenton, Thank you for contacting me. That is a great question, but that’s one I don’t have an answer to.

      I believe the official policy is members are required to sign on for 3 years into the Regular Reserve, but I don’t know what happens if there are medical conditions that would prevent the member from serving. My guess is you would go in front a a medical Performance Evaluation Board (PEB) and the Army would determine what to do from there. But that is only a guess.

      You will need to contact HRC or the Reserve unit they assign you to for further guidance. Sorry I don’t have a concrete answer for you. I wish you the best with your health and your transition, and above all, thank you for your service!

  111. Heather Scott says

    Ryan,
    I was involuntary separated and paid full separation pay, however I had to pay the full amount back prior to receiving my first VA disability paycheck. I was recently told that they changed that policy. Do you know if in fact this has been changed?

    • Deion says

      Heather, where did you hear or read that at? I am also in your situation with recoupment. Also can they tax us on something we were paid…but we paid back to the government?

  112. Deion says

    Ryan,

    I was separated February 2015 under the Air Force HYT ( Higher Year Tenure) for not making rank in sufficient time. A few months later the VA granted me 90% disability compensation and said they have to recoup my Involuntary separation pay at 100%. Is that correct? Per “M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart v, Chapter 4, Section B” page 4-B-35 it says AF members at 90% should on pay %50 back monthly if any. does this sound correct to you?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Deion, I don’t have a good answer for you. I read the “M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart v, Chapter 4, Section B” page 4-B-35and that specific page references voluntary separation.

      Do you know if high year tenure is considered voluntary separation, or if there is another page you should be looking at?

      My recommendation is to contact someone at the VA and ask them to show you the reg that states your compensation should be withheld at the 100% rate. They should either be able to give you the reference, or change it in the system if it should be at a lower rate and hasn’t been updated yet. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  113. adam says

    Ryan, thanks for putting this information out there. Also glad to see this is a recent thread. I found out within the last few weeks that I am being involuntarily discharged from the AF reserves due to being passed over for promotion twice despite no notice that I was going up for promotion nor that I was passed over. I’ve served 55 months of total active duty time in a 12.5 year reserve/active duty career as an officer. because I do not meet the 6 year minimum total active duty time served, does this make me ineligible for sep pay either in full or partial? Thanks again.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Adam, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I have no idea how this relates in the Guard/Reserves. My guess is they take your active time into consideration, but I don’t know if, or how, they count your drill and AT days. This isn’t something I’ve come across. The best I can recommend is contacting your unit personnel office and try to find out. I would certainly be happy to update this article if you get he information.

  114. steven says

    My security clearance expired and I dont have enough time left to get it renewed unless I somehow extend. I talked to the career counseler and was told I can not extend or reenlist because I am no longer qualified for my mos because it requires that clearance. He said I would need to be chaptered and if i am chosen to be retained I will undergo a mandatory reclass. But if I am not retained or decide I dont want to reclass, would I qualify for seperation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Steven, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you. This is something you will need to take up with your chain of command (the security clearance, or possible reclass). Then you’ll have to proceed from there. If your chain of command wants to keep you, they can usually fund a way to make the security clearance issue work if you get your package submitted ASAP.

      In terms of the separation pay, I’m not sure how this would be coded. I recommend calling your personnel section to see what they say. Sorry I don’t have a firm answer for you but I”m not always certain how to interpret the code, or how the policies work for each branch of the service. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  115. Brian Morales says

    Hello Ryan, I was reading the article as well as the comments and I did not see a clear answer for the qualification for RCP separation pay. If I RCP, would I get the full pay or half pay? for a little more background, I am a SGT (P) and I will have to extend for 1 month to hit my RCP. thanks for your time.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brian, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I don’t have a concrete answer for you. I’m not Army, and I haven’t been able to track down a definitive answer. Based on what I’ve read, I believe it is 1/2 separation pay, but again, I’m not certain.

      Here is a forum thread that offers some references, but I’m not 100% certain they are up to date (though they appear to be). Click here.

      And this Department of Defense Instruction (I haven’t found a more recent version) – DODI 1332.29.

      This should give you a starting point, but I would verify with your personnel section. I wish you the best with your transition.

  116. Ryan says

    I served 17 yrs thus far and I am under consideration for QMP and my question is that under a QMP – is that qualified for full separation pay or half separation pay? Additionally, do we know how they are coding for the DD214 on this?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Ryan, based on what I have read, a QMP qualifies the servicemember for half-separation pay. I wasn’t able to find any info regarding the codes for the DD 214. Your base personnel section should be able to give you that information, as well as possible advice on how to appeal the QMP, which should be an option. Best of luck!

  117. Heather says

    I served in the Navy for 13 year, I got separated for PRT, honorable RE3 code. With in a month I received my 1/2 separation pay. When I field my VA claim they said that I would not get a check until I paid back my separation pay. Why is this and was it correct? If it was not correct can I get the money back?

  118. andrew says

    i served over 14 years and 7 mts, i got the booth for HYT,, i am e5, i received the 52k payoff…i was transferred to the IRR for 3 yrs, i was told i was in good standing and needed to do nothing,,,my contract ended, 90 days prior i submitted reenlistment request, it was disapproved…called NRPC, they told me i was discharged and its done, there goes my 14 yrs and 7mts..
    Backup, i went to VA and filed a claim back in 2012, IT TOOK 18 mts, i got a fair rating, however i had to pay back every cent of that 52k, i just got out of the red and started getting monthly VA checks,
    i am taking the navy to court, here in SC an attorney named George Sink is famous for military cases, i really love the Navy but this is a plain care os robbert and cheatery to a poor humble honest sailor…
    replies are welcome..thank u

    • Ryan Guina says

      Andrew, Thank you for sharing your story. The military recouping the Separation Pay is written into law – your lawyer will be able to find the references (I believe it is in Title 10 of the US code; but he should be able to get that info from DFAS).

      You haven’t lost your 14 years and 7 months of time. You have access to a variety of military and veteran’s benefits, such as the GI Bill, VA Loan, etc. You also had the option of transferring to the Regular Reserves after separating from active duty (or into the Guard if you wanted to change branches of service). That time would have carried over and you would have been eligible to receive a retirement pension after 20 good years of service. Simply serving in the IRR is not good enough to earn a retirement pension – you have to earn a sufficient number of Points per year in order to earn a Good Year toward retirement.

      It still may be possible to join the Guard or Reserves, depending on the severity of your service-connected disability. You would most likely need to get a medical waiver to join the military.

      And you can continue receiving your VA disability compensation while serving in the Guard or Reserves.

      As it stands, it sounds like the Navy worked within the boundaries of the law. But it’s possible there is more to the story I am not aware of. Your lawyer will help you sort through all of that. I wish you the best with your back and your health, and wish you the best with your post-military career. Thank you for your service.

  119. John says

    Hello, I am about 10 1/2 months from my RCP (if I do not get promoted before then). My question is, in the event I do get separated, go to the Guard or Reserves, can I submit a Warrant Officer Packet while in the G/R and come back active?

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, Thank you for contacting me. Each branch of service maintains separate rules regarding being able to go back to active duty from the Guard or Reserves. This varies by branch of service, career field, rank, and needs of the service. In short, maybe, maybe not. And the answer today could be different from the answer 6 months from now, or 3 years from now.

      But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to serve and work on improving yourself. You should always work toward your goals and see where they take you. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  120. Matthew says

    I got denied reenlistment in the Marines with full seperation pay under re code of 1c. You talk about joining guard or reserve but what about switching branches on active duty? I’m a recruiter and know there are programs to request a service to release you from the IRR early to enlist. Is this possible after accepting separation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Matthew, There are programs that allow you to switch branches of service, but they are limited and may have further limitations based on rank, years of service, career field, or other factors. I’m not sure where to get information on these programs, but being a recruiter, you should be able to find someone who can point you in the right direction. Regarding the separation pay, that would make things more difficult, and I’m not sure if it would prohibit you from being able to make the move. If you are able to change services after receiving Separation Pay, the most likely scenario is having to repay the amount you received.

      The first thing I would look at is contacting your main personnel center and ask if they know anything about changing services, what the process would be, and if you are qualified. Then take it from there.

      If that doesn’t work out, then you can certainly consider the Guard or Reserves, either in the Marine Corps Reserves, or in the Guard or Reserves for another branch of service. In the event you join the Guard or Reserves, you would only have to repay your Separation Pay if you reach retirement and begin receiving a pension. At that point, DFAS would deduct a percentage of your retirement pay until your Separation Pay has been recouped. But they only recoup the amount you received (less taxes, I believe). So you could look at the Separation Pay as a long-term interest-free loan.

      I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  121. Marie Patterson says

    My question is… We received full separation pay because of joining the National Guard. My husband just got is VA rating and how much compensation he will receive. Will the money from the VA (the back pay and monthly compensation) be used to pay back the full separation pay or will they suspend that and when he retires they take the retirement pay to pay back the Separation pay?

    • andy says

      I have a question? I did 9 yrs in army never be trouble I always early for my formation. I get chapter 13 for PT failure but I got Honorable only I received my GI Bill no separate pay at all.

  122. Brad says

    Hi Ryan,

    Do to a recent change in the Navy PT standards I find myself being Admin Seperated. I began reading up on it, and because of “wieght issues” it says I can still be released honorable with 1/2 severance pay. Would I be eligable for reserves? I asked my chain of command and all theyve really said was…yeah probably.

    • Tim santiago says

      You will receive half severance pay, joining the reserves though is going to require approval from navpers though and you will have to go through the reservist side to get the paperwork through. After the active side separates you they have nothing to do worth joining the reserves. Contact you local reserve recruiter when you have your dd 214 and see what they can do.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brad, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to contact a Reserve recruiter. They will look at your situation and your reenlistment code (found on your DD Form 214). Then you will need to meet the physical and medical requirements. Should you be able to lose the weight and meet the physical standards then it’s possible. But there is no guarantee it will happen. Think of it as a case by case basis. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  123. Michael says

    i am coming to end of my contract after 12 years and yes still an SPC. i can’t re-up due to RCP they said so im being forced out with out seperation pay. at the same time i tore my groin bad enough i cant run anymore and the reserves dont want me because my unit wont give me a perminit profile for no running. so can’t do reserves and cant do the army any more so heres the door with no money on your way out…….. why am i not elidgeable for severance pay?

    • Tim santiago says

      You must submit a request to reenlist through your chain of command if you’re request is denied you can take the denied chit to separations and ask for severance pay due to perform to serve denial.

  124. Nicolas says

    I will be involuntary discharge under the QMP. I’ve served 13 years Active duty and will receive an Honorable discharge. Am I allowed to receive separation pay?

  125. Mike says

    Ryan, I have just over 10 years active duty in the Army. I received my ETS orders and it states I am elegible for one half separation pay. My question to you is, do I still need to sign with the reserves in order to receive my separation pay.? I have fulfilled my reserve time with more than 8 years of active duty service.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mike, Thank you for contacting me. You may be good if you have already passed 8 years, provided you don’t have any time left on your contract, and your separation papers don’t specific that you need to go into the Guard or Reserves in order to receive the separation pay. That said, I would verify with your personnel section just to be sure. Best of luck with your transition, and thank you for your service!

    • Tim santiago says

      Yes you will have to sign a three year contractual Agreement in the inactive ready reserves in order to receive your severance pay is the new navy way. You should obtain a dd 214 worksheet from separations and you will sign a page 13 with your command career counselor to submit to pers. You will receive a contract take it to psd separations and you will get your severance pay

  126. Anon says

    I do not understand why the separation pay has to be repayed if the service member retires from Guard or Reserves. My spouse did not asked to be separated from the military and is only continuing in the Reserves because he has to. It’s a horrible Catch 22. Could you possibly email me as to why this money will have to be repayed?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Anon, Involuntary separation pay is awarded to those the military separates from service against their will. It is a cash award given to those who would not be eligible to remain in the service until they reach retirement, and thus cannot earn a pension. If the member later comes back into service and earns a pension, then the military will withhold the amount they previously gave the member to prevent them from double-dipping on the same entitlement. You can bet a more thorough explanation and the actual legal reference from DFAS.

  127. Nicholaus Curphey says

    I got out 3 months ago under the RCP rules. I have received my separation pay, but I have been waiting for my final pay check for about 3 months. I contacted financed, and they told me that I was in the hole for 20 days of un authorized leave. I was granted 20 days permissive TDY for house/job hunting. I was approved by my commander and finance, and I have found every regulation that states that I can be granted that PTDY. But…..Finance is telling me that my DD214 states that I am a regular discharge. It clearly states JBK in the separation code. Then…..Completion of Required Active Service in the “Narrative Reason for Separation” . Because of this….I am out of $2,400. This feels wrong. Should it say “Reduction of Force” for the reason? Or maybe something else? When I looked up the code JBK…..there were two categories for it. One for “Expiration of Term Service”, and the other “Involuntary discharge at end of active obligated service”.

    I know that the PTDY is not an entitlement, but a privilege…..but that privilege has been granted to me, and now taken away.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Nicholaus, Thank you for sharing your situation. I don’t have a firm course of action here, other than to contact DFAS with the documentation you have that proves you were granted permissive TDY, and a statement from your Commander stating that the reason for your separation was “Involuntary discharge at end of active obligated service”. I think you will have a compelling case if you can provide documentation proving both of those situations. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • Dan says

      Nick,

      I dont know if this helps but I RCP’d last year from the military (army) also. I had 70 days of leave plus took an additional 10 for permissive tdy (I was shooting for 20 tdy days but didn’t have time after deployment). Someone dropped the ball and I think it was finance but i am no expert.

  128. Peanut says

    I’ve been in 15 and a half years 22 DAYS. Honorable, Involuntary Separated, Finance told me I am not applicable of getting separation Pay, I’m sad now.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Peanut, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be eligible for separation pay. Are you eligible to retire under TERA?

      If you are otherwise involuntarily separated, then my basic understanding is you should be eligible to receive separation pay. But if you are not eligible, it would be good to know so I can update this article to reflect situations when it would not apply. My recommendation is to contact your personnel office and request they provide you with a copy of the rule that states you are ineligible to receive separation pay.

      And, I know this is tough to be separated under these conditions, but now may be a good time to consider joining the National Guard or Reserves. That will help with the transition, and you will only need to complete 4 and a half more years to be eligible to receive a Reserve Retirement. This is still a very valuable benefit. Here is more information with detailed articles and podcasts discussing this option: (1) Join Guard or Reserves, (2) Reserve Retirement benefits.

      Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  129. Hugh says

    Hello. I was in the army and RCPed in December of 2012. I then filed for disability through the VA since I had back problems. I received a 40% rating but was stated that it would not start paying it out until 2017. I wondered why I had to wait 4 years and did lots of research on the subject. Apparently I kept coming back to a double dipping explanation but I was separated from a retention standpoint, and not a medical one. I never did the med board from the Army, I just got out and did it through the VA. I’ve talked to people from the VA even and i get multiple answers. My question is does RCP conflict with my VA disability? Any insight you can share with me on this? Thanks.

  130. Joshua says

    Hi, I’m in the Coast Guard and I am being seperated due to the fact that I’m refusing a medical plan that the Coast guard has issued me for anxiety. Basically they want me to take anti-axiety pills/anti-depressents. I have almost 7 years of service; would I be elligible for serperation pay? Thanks for the help.

  131. alicia says

    My husband was involuntarily separated in March. He received his separation pay. He has a claim into the VA. Now we are finding out information that they were slightly dishonest about regarding insurance. My husband is freaking out about this and is wanting to go join the national guard. He says he was told he doesnt have to pay back the separation unless he makes retirement from the national guard. Is this correct? Thank you.

  132. David says

    Good afternoon Ryan, I am pending notifcation of separation under the QMP, and it is my understanding that I willl recieve at least 50% involuntary sep pay, if not the whole amount(if I am selected for separation). My question is this, when can I apply for/expect that payout? Is it in a lump sum? If separated, I plan on using some of it to pay off my car, and am trying to plan accordingly. Thanks for any help you can provide!,

    V/R,

    SFC David West

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, Thank you for contacting me. You will find out your separation pay when you are in the separation process (full or partial). It should also be noted on your separation orders. You don’t have to apply for it; you will automatically receive your separation pay from DFAS after you separate from the military. It typically arrives within a month or two, but there have been some glitches and people had to wait a little longer. Your payout should be given to you in a lump sum. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  133. Robert says

    I did 4 years 5 months and was told I would get full separation pay. It is was even put on my dd214 as well as my orders. If i recieve it, will I get audited? I know the requirement is 6 years. Was this an error on their part?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, Thank you for contacting me. I’ve always seen the rules stating 6 years of service, but there may be regulations that I’m not aware of, so I can’t say for certain. As for being audited, I don’t have a good answer. If the it’s in the regs, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer as to whether or not this is an error. The best way to find out is to ask your personnel section. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  134. Moses says

    Now my contract is over in June 2016.That is my HYT date also. I was told if my contract is over in June 2016 then it would not fall into the category of HYT/Involuntary Separation. Is that true? Should I try to reenlist.If I am unable to reenlist then does it means I am consider to me at my HYT and should receive that status?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Moses, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry, but I don’t have an answer for you here; I’m not familiar with those regs. You’ll need to contact your personnel section for more information.

  135. Lauren says

    My husband has 15 years and is E-5 in and is looking at ETS on July 2015. Originally they counseled him and told him they were not allowing him to reenlist due to High Tenure and RCP. Now he is just ETS in a few months. Is this voluntary or involuntary? Does he qualify for severance pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Lauren, Thank you for contacting me. Based on my understanding, yes, your husband would be eligible for full separation pay if he is involuntarily separated due to high year tenure rules.

      If he does not currently have a job lined up, I would encourage him to look into joining the Guard or Reserves, both of which offer a variety of jobs (he wouldn’t necessarily be required to remain in his current job; he may be able to cross train into something new). He would also have access to affordable health care, through TRICARE Reserve Select ($200 a month for a family plan), decent pay for drill weekends, and he would continue working toward a retirement pension. He would still be eligible to retire after 20 years of service, but he wouldn’t be eligible to receive the pension until age 60. Here is an article and podcast that discusses joining the Guard or Reserves.

      Also, it’s important to note that if he receives separation pay and later retires from the Guard or Reserves, the military would later recoup that separation pay. However, they wouldn’t begin recouping the pay until the retirement pay starts at age 60, there are rules to how much they can recoup from each check, and it may be possible to apply for hardship waivers to reduce or eliminate the amount being recouped from each check.

      Overall, the Guard or Reserves may offer a safety net during the transition period, not to mention the long term benefits that come with being a retired military member. I wish you the best of luck during the transition. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you during this time.

  136. joe says

    I have been in the army for five years now and my unit is deactivating. I am face with involuntary separation if I do not reenlist. I’m entitled to separation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Joe, Thank you for contacting me. Based on my understanding, you need to have 6 years on active duty before you are eligible to receive involuntary separation pay. Based on what I’ve read, I believe the answer is no.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, Thank you for contacting me. It varies, but usually within a month or so of separation. However, I have heard about some cases when it took longer. It can be a case by case situation. The best thing to do is contact your personnel or finance department for more information regarding when you can expect your separation pay. You might also try contacting DFAS – they should be able to get you an estimate. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  137. kevin says

    I am being involuntary discharged with an honorable with 6 years in. I am confused by different websites and instructions. Will my moving entitlement only be for my home of record? I understand that if I choose else where I would pay the difference. At the same time, I seen some websites say that due to the discharge being involuntary, my entitlements are different. I just wanted to confirm this. thanks.

  138. Frances Scott says

    I have seen several requests for assistance with the recoupment of ISP from VA disability but haven’t seen a response. Is there any additional information regarding the recoupment or any loop holes in the policy? It doesn’t make sense that the two should be from the same “pot of money” when they are not connected at all.

  139. aaron says

    I was wondering if you knew what the separation and reentry codes are for full severance pay due to the HYT change.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Aaron, I don’t know the separation code or the reenlistment code for high year tenure. Your personnel office should be able to help you with this answer. Also, you may consider going into the Guard or Reserves if you wish to continue serving in the military and working toward retirement benefits. Here is an article and podcast which discusses this. You may be able to move directly into a unit and continue earning pay and benefits and points toward retirement. Best of luck with your transition!

  140. bob says

    Hi, I’m leaving the army in six months due to not being able to re-enlist. I have a 9w on my erb for a bad ncoer. Do I qualify for separation pay. I have 10 yrs of service andgetting out on my ets date.

  141. Quivier Lopez says

    Thank you so much . Even though its terminal leave? I will be cleared out of post by the 21st & I’m out completely its not just regular leave.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Quivier, Yes, it should also be the same for terminal leave because you are still technically on active duty while you are on terminal leave. So your pay date and status should remain the same – you should be paid on the 1st or 15th of the month, as you normally would. Best of luck with your transition!

  142. Quivier says

    I am honorably being seperated due that i did not meet the army physical fitness test . I go out on leave the 21st of march till the 2 of april will they still hold my paycheck ?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Quivier, you will still receive pay and benefits for the time that you are on leave. Your pay will be direct deposited into your bank account as normal. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  143. James says

    I have 17+ years active service in Navy. Was found guilty at NJP for article 84&92 in Sep 2012. Went to Admin Separation Board in Aug 2013 & was recommended for retention. I have 2 good evaluations since then. Today I found out I am being AdSEP Gen under honorable RE4 GKQ. What are my options to appeal? With 2 recommended for promotion evals since NJP how do I fight for Honorable Discharge? Is TERA an option? Will Navy move my household goods?

    • Ryan Guina says

      James, To be honest, this is outside my realm of expertise. From what I understand, once you reach 18 years of service, it is incredibly difficult to be separated without a approval from your service secretary. So you may be in luck if you can delay any proceedings until you reach 18 years of service. As for TERA, that is up to each branch of the military. There is nothing that guarantees TERA.

      I would start by talking with your base legal department to ask what your options are for appealing this process. That would be your first option. You should also schedule a meeting with your personnel section to find out if there is anything you can do (hopefully the base legal and your personnel department will wok together with you). These two department should give you a good idea of your options and hopefully help you find a way to fight to stay on active duty if that is your goal. You can also suggest TERA to your Commander or whoever is handling the discharge procedures. I would consider it a victory if they offer TERA. You would receive full retirement benefits (just with a small pension).

      Will the Navy move your household goods? I don’t know. I would talk to personnel about this. I’m sure it all depends on your discharge rating. Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

  144. JeffW says

    Hello,
    I am hoping you could answer a question concerning involuntary separation pay. I am hoping that others will benefit from an answer on here. I was involuntarily separated (honorably), and received a lump-sum payment. I was not discharged for medical reasons. During my outprocessing, I submitted a VA claim. My claim was approved about 9 months after being discharged, and my payments were offset by the separation pay, minus the taxes withheld. Now, my question is this. I understand the whole concurrent receipt thing, and am not arguing that the current law dictates that a disability compensation has to repay an involuntary separation pays at the time of discharge.

    My question is, at the end of the year, I am required to claim my involuntary separation payment from the Army as taxable income. VA disability compensation is non-taxable, and thus, does not have any federal taxes taken from it. Since the off-set does not allow for me to receive any payment stating that the involuntary separation pay was an advance of sorts, shouldn’t my wages for the year that I was discharged be off-set with the back-dated VA payments for the purposes of federal filing? The way I see it, I received advanced disability payments that should have been “tax-free”, but was taxed at the 28% rate when I left the service. I believe that my W-2 for the year of my discharge should be off-set by the amount identified on the VA award letter which in most cases changes the tax landscape for the person receiving the involuntary separation pay.

    • Ryan Guina says

      JeffW, that is a great question, and one I honestly don’t have an answer for. I would contact DFAS and ask if they issue any kind of corrected W2, or if they have a policy in place or this. I would hesitate to take any actions on when filing your taxes without some formal guidance. So it may be helpful to dive into the regs to see if there is an official policy in place. You could also try contacting a CPA or other tax professional such as a Registered Agent. They may have more insight into how this works. Sorry I don’t have a better answer at this time.

  145. Dan says

    I am about to be involuntarily separated in the next 4-6 weeks. I spoke with base finance and they said they don’t have anything to do with separation pay and to call DFAS. Is this the rule across installations or is it just this one finance office. If I call DFAS, will they have everything on file or will I have to do a back and forth with documentation sending and verification. Do I wait until I receive my DD214 to start this process? Thank you very much!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Dan, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not 100% certain. But my guess is this is the process across all installations. All payments are made by DFAS, and not the installation, so it makes sense that separation payments are made by DFAS as well. I don’t know if they will have your separation information on file or when they receive that information. But you can give them your expected separation dates and they should be able to give you a good idea of when you should receive your separation payments. Your separation pay should be automatic. I do not believe it is something you have to apply for. My recommendation is to call DFAS and have them walk you through the process.

  146. Dave says

    Ryan,
    If a Soldier gets involuntary separation pay and then comes back on active duty and gets to or beyond 20 years and then gets medically (force retired) retired (does not retire normally), does he/she have to pay back the separation pay. Also if a Soldier before his 20 year mark gets medically retired will he/she have to pay back the separation pay? I have found nothing in the regulation about this and am looking to find something in writing if so. Have a lot of people saying different things. Thank you much.
    Dave

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Dave, Servicemembers are typically required to repay and separation payment they received if they become eligible for retirement benefits. DFAS has an entire FAQ section on recouping separation pay, which can be found here: Separation Recoupment FAQs. I don’t have details for every possible scenario, so I recommend contacting DFAS about a particular situation that isn’t covered in the FAQ section. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  147. Anthony says

    Ryan,

    I have two questions. First, after April 2015 I will be in the Army for 16yrs as an E5 but my ETS date is November 2015. I received a reenlistment code (9G) meaning ineligible to reenlist. Am I entitled to severance pay under RCP rules? Second, I plan to take 60 days terminal leave. If I am entitled to severance pay will I receive it during my terminal leave or after my actual ETS date? Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Anthony, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear about your impending separation. I believe you will be eligible for separation benefits, provided there are no negative items on your profile (for example, you aren’t being separated due to failure to meet standards, non-judicial punishment, etc.).

      As for severance pay, that is typically paid out after you have completely separated from the military (usually 1-3 months after separating). It is not usually paid while you are on terminal leave. Hopefully that will help you plan accordingly.

      As a side note, you might want to consider joining the National Guard or the Army Reserves. This can help you bridge the transition into the civilian sector – there is decent pay and nice benefits, including inexpensive health care. With 16 years, you are also close to qualifying for retirement benefits. The high-year tenure rules are also very different in the Guard/Reserves, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

      You may have to repay any separation pay if you eventually qualify for retirement benefits, but that wouldn’t happen until you reach age 60 and begin receiving a pension (they would take 40% of your pension until any separation pay has been recouped). But you could look at it as a long-term, interest free loan. With 16 years of good service, I would take a long look at the Guard or Reserves as an option.

      Here are two podcasts we recorded about Guard/Reserves that you may find helpful: (1) Should you join the Guard / Reserves? (2) Guard / Reserve Retirement Benefits.

      I hope this information is helpful, and I wish you the best during your transition.

  148. Nick Coooer says

    I reached high year tenure and received non-disability severance pay. I also filed a claim with VA for disability. Does the non-disability pay affect the VA benefit? If someone can also give me the regulation reference that would be awesome (have the feeling I will need it to deal with the va)

  149. Lacey says

    Hi Ryan,

    I got out last year and received separation pay. I have been waiting to hear back from the VA regarding my disability compensation. I found out today that i am 30% disabled but that my monthly allowable is 0$. I called benefits to find out why and OF COURSE their computers were down but they guy told me that it is because i got separation pay when I got out and that I will not receive my disability compensation until my severance is paid back.

    This makes no sense to me considering I was involuntary separated. I had an Honorable discharge… can you explain this???

  150. amy downing says

    My husband received separation pay but decided not to join the reserve, because he found a great career job. Will he have to pay back the money he received?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Amy, He will have to join the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR), which is not the same thing as the regular Reserves. He is not required to repay the Separation Pay so long as he fulfills his IRR requirement. I hope this helps!

  151. Isaiah Powell says

    Hey Ryan,
    I get out the Marine Corps in August that will put me at 8 years i have 1 NJP on contract back in 2011, would i still qualify for separations pay i know i don’t qualify for the full amount.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Isaiah, Thank you for contacting me.

      Are you getting out voluntarily (end of your contract), or are you being involuntarily separated? The answer to that question will go a long way in determining your separation pay eligibility.

      The NJP in 2011 is probably not going to factor into this, unless that is a core reason for not being eligible to reenlist. In that case, you could possibly receive half separation pay.

      Here are some general rules of thumb about separation pay:

      – If you are being involuntarily separated due to force shaping, or something similar, then yes, you should be eligible for full separation pay.
      – If you are being kicked out due to failure to meet standards, then you may be eligible for the partial payment, depending on the circumstances.
      – If you are being kicked out due to misconduct, then you probably will not be eligible for separation pay.
      – If you have simply finished your contract at that time and elect to not renew, then you won’t receive anything.
      – If you are not allowed to reenlist, then it’s possible you may receive partial separation pay.

      This is a rough overview, based on common circumstances. So the best thing to do is see your personnel department for a final determination.

      I hope this help. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  152. john says

    I am being discharged from the guard for vission requirements, I have only been in almost two years would I be eligible to receive any pay?

  153. William says

    Im a 13 yr E5 with a code 11 on my erb and I will be getting involuntart seprated, my question is will I be getting a severance pay ?

  154. B-man7 says

    I separated from the navy in Dec 2014 and received half ISP. I was an E6 with just less than 12 years of service. Can I/how do I claim that on my tax return? I only received a direct deposit of the ISP into my bank account and nothing was shown on my W2.

    • Ryan Guina says

      B-man7, That’s a great question, and to be honest, I don’t have a specific answer for you. I believe the military withholds 25% to cover taxes, but you would still need to know those amounts to file your taxes. My recommendation is to contact the finance or personnel office at your former base and explain that you need that information in order to file your taxes. Hopefully they will be able to look it up and send it to you. It’s also possible that the information may be in myPay if you still have access to your account. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. Please let me know if you find out how to get this info, and I can update the site with this information. Best of luck with your transition, and thank you for your service!

  155. DeNelle Ivery says

    I’ve tried to do my best with planning ahead falling under the early involuntary separation program but it seems there IS NO proper way to plan. I am in a family of 6 and just made E5 months before getting out. I have people telling me that I should have planned better, given my situation, but making E4 pay even after 6 years is only enough to pretty much get by. Like I said, having just made E5 allowed me to save a little the past few months. Knowing my timeline, 15 Jan 2015 ETS, I took terminal leave 17 Dec 2014 to 1. Get my future housing situated being in a family of 6.

    2. Have JPPSO perfectly timed to pack and ship my house out of state for a smooth transition.

    3. Know what to tell potential employers as far as my timeline and when and where to interview (after a few discussions with the potential employers I don’t know what to tell them or if the Army is hurting my chances because I seem unstable)

    4. Schedule when to start school, which is out of state in my hometown (from all of the horror stories I’ve come across as I read more into other peoples situations I think it’s safe to say I won’t make it on time if I sit back and wait)

    5. Live off of what savings I do have if needed.

    Well today is 27 Jan 2015 and I am all out of my savings and living in a friends basement with my family (since on post housing ended on 15 Jan) awaiting payment. I’ve called both my finance office and DFAS. Finance says wait 5-10 business days from my ETS and DFAS says it can take 60 days from 1 Jan 2015. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE. I just ran across a post above that says that finance can give me a 80/20 advance on my separation pay. Well I have a 12 Feb start date for school for myself, I still need to pay for housing cost where I need to go, I need to finance the travel, and most of all my children need some sort of stability as they continue going to school. Is it in my best interest to get the 80/20 advance while the Army figures out whats going on?

  156. Sarah says

    My Grandfather was sent home in Dec. 1984 on Active Duty. From 1984 to 1990 he was at Home, but still considered Active Duty. He has paperwork that states that he will be paid, while being home. Until the Courts make their decision. They made their decision in May of 1990. To this day he hasn’t recieved any pay for those 6 years, Active Duty . Can you tell me what course of action he needs to take to recieve back pay?

  157. tracyann says

    I’m getting ready to get adsep from the navy for bca failures within a 4 year period.I’m geting conflicting information regarding the severance pay. I’m being told that I will receive none and all I’ll get is the GI Bill. I spoke with a friend of mine that got out January 2014 for the same thing and she told me she received 27000. Has the rules on that changed recently. I’ve been in for 12 years. Just trying o find out the right answer.

    • Ryan Guina says

      tracyann, Thank you for contacting me. It depends on your discharge classification and if there are any other marks on your profile when you are separated. If failing the BCA is the only factor, then it’s possible you would be eligible for Half-Separation Pay. However, this is not set in stone. You will need to verify all of this with your personnel department.

      The formula for determining full separation pay is “10% of your annual base pay, multiplied by the number of years you served.” Each month of service counts as 1/12 of a year. Half separation pay should come out to half that number. Keep in mind you will have to agree to enter into a 3 year service commitment to the Individual Ready Reserve in order to receive the separation pay. Please note each individual situation is unique, so I encourage you to verify this with your personnel section before assuming it is correct.

  158. Jeff M says

    Separating from Air Force due to HYTY will hit 15 years on 1 March 2015, going active reserve and then retiring in another 20 yrs, would I be able to receive any type of Tera retirement pay for hitting 15 yrs, or should I just stick with the separation pay their giving me, Also active reserve job will be paid in civilian pay( WG pay )but I will still be in uniform and receive two retirement checks after 20 yrs

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jeff, Thanks for sending your question. TERA is only offered on a limited basis. You would need to apply for it. If you are able to receive a retirement under TERA rules, I do not believe you would be able to serve in the Reserves, or in an AGR position, since you would then be an active duty retiree.

      You should receive separation pay when you separate. However, you would be required to repay your separation pay after you begin drawing your Reserve retirement at age 60. The military will recoup it at a rate of up to 40% of your check until the entire separation pay has been repaid. Here is more info.

      Don’t let the idea having to repay your separation pay stop you from joining the Reserves, though. Your separation pay would essentially just turn into a long-term, interest free loan. And you will still have the retirement benefits you otherwise wouldn’t have. So it’s still a great deal in the long run. Just be aware of it.

  159. Shawn says

    I am to be discharged for failure to meet the Army height and weight standards. What kind of separation pay if any, will I get. I have been in the service for 7 years? Advice.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Shawn, It depends on your discharge classification and if there are any other marks on your profile when you are separated. If the height/weight issue is the only factor, then it’s possible you would be eligible for Half-Separation Pay. However, this is not set in stone. You will need to verify all of this with your personnel department.

      The formula for determining full separation pay is “10% of your annual base pay, multiplied by the number of years you served.” Each month of service counts as 1/12 of a year. Half separation pay should come out to half that number. keep in mind you will have to agree to enter into a 3 year service commitment to the Individual Ready Reserve in order to receive the separation pay.

  160. shawn says

    Hello Ryan, my husband’s last day as in the army was on Dec 3, 2014 and he signed his contract for the army reserve on Dec 4, 2014. We were told we would get his separation pay from the army around the middle of Dec and the enlistment bonus for the reserve by Dec 31, 2014. His first drill in the reserve was on Dec 13, 2014 and we have not gotten paid anything yet. His last check we got was on Nov 28, 2014. I know there is a glitch in the system for all reserve soldiers for Dec 15, 2014, but did the glitch effect the separation pay and the bonus for joining the reserve? We have 3 children and bills to pay with no income since the end of Nov. How much longer will we have to wait on any funds to be entered in our account. What can or should we do. Please help

  161. JR says

    Ryan, I was separated from the Army back on Dec 10, 2013 on a chapter 18 (weight control failure) with an honorable discharge at the rank of SSG w/ 8 yrs of service. My ETS was supposed to be Feb 14, 2014 but my command was rushing to get me out before I reached my ETS. Due to the chapter 18 and my time in service I received separation pay. Since I was rushed out I wasn’t able to start the process for my VA disability claims for injuries I accrued while in service until after my separation. Now that my VA disability claims are complete the VA is saying that I have to pay that separation pay back before I can start receiving the money for my disability. Now, I’ve read that if you receive severance pay instead of medical retirement your severance pay is subject to recoupment before the disability will start being paid to you. However my separation pay was for my time in service due to being chaptered for being overweight but had nothing to do with VA disability comp or does it? So from what I’m getting is that no matter what the reason you received separation pay and or severance pay (I’ve seen both separation and severance used as the term) prior to discharge from service if you qualify for disability benefits afterwards you have to pay that back is that really correct? If so that’s highway robbery in my opinion because separation/severance pay isn’t optional to receive or decline once you’ve been deemed eligible, and the fact that I’m being forced to pay it back just because I claimed injuries that were caused by my time in service is ridiculous. So instead of receiving back pay for my claim that was filed in May 2014 and completed Dec 2014 I’m being told by the VA that I wont start seeing my disability money until Sept 2015 just because I was given sep pay for being discharged on an overweight chapter.

  162. Eric says

    Hello due to the draw down of the army. I was an E5 with 8 Years and 6 Months time in service. My command knew about this and were targeting me on every step I took or every little mishap I had, I beat 1 Field Grade ART 15 off with a stick. with enough evidence to protect me. Now here comes another one that was total bullcrap, fought hard to prove my innocence but no avail. I lost it and i was charged with a field grade Reduction in rank to E4. My command is pushing hard to use this as a drawdown tactic to get rid of people and make room for brand new privates, Its all business of course.

    Now I am over my RCP date under my current rank now. I have 8 Years + in military service and have nothing against me expect this art 15 after 8 years. Am I qualified for the INV. SEPERATION, I belive i read that RCP is part of INV SEP. after the bull i had to deal with.. I said I wanted to get out within 90 days until I seperate

    And what do I need to start doing, Who does the INV SEP paperwork or who do i talk to about the SEPERATION pay? iv been looking all over for this, I did my job and well, And I belive i deserve this pay after the hard work I have put into the army.. could some one help me on this subject?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Eric, This is a situation where you will be best served by speaking with your unit personnel office. They will be able to look at your specific situation and give you answers based on your files and your situation. I wish you the best during your transition. Thanks for your service!

      • Ryan Guina says

        Anthony, Email is the best way to reach me. I do not have access to any personal records, so the best I can do is offer references to the best of my ability. The best place to receive specific information for your situation is your local personnel office.

  163. David West says

    Hello Ryan, I was recently notified that I am being considered for denial of continued service, under the Army’s QMP program. THe board is convening in Feburary, and from all of the research I have done, if I am considered for denial of continued service, it will automatilcally be an honorable discharge, and involuntary separation. Does QMP fall under reduction of force, and still qualify me for separation pay? I am an E-7, with over 13 1/2 years in. Thanks for the help!,

    V/R,
    David West

    • Ryan Guina says

      dawgsfan0532, You should receive your final paycheck on your normal pay date (1st and 15th). Your separation pay may come slightly later, depending on the circumstances of your separation. You will need to contact your finance department for more information.

  164. leosindians says

    I was discharged in 2012 under honorable conditions with the Perform To Serve program, but I was told that I did not qualify for the involuntary seperation pay because I was a FC Fire Controlman. They said that because my first two years of the navy were Navy “A” and “C” school that I did not qualify. Is this true? I found a document from my old ship saying that I was qualified for it but never given the pay. What should I do?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi leosindians, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure we have enough information here. Typically, you need at least 6 years of service to be eligible for involuntary separation pay. Did you have longer than 6 years of service? Also, there may be other issues that can prevent one from being eligible to receive involuntary separation pay, including type of discharge or other factors. It sounds like more information is needed in your situation, and this is something that only someone from the Navy can give you (they will need to access your personnel files to give you a full determination). I recommend you contact someone from BUPERS and ask for more information. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  165. usmc1962 says

    I was hon discharged after being seperated with lump sum payment for a seizure disorder….my question..I have been rated at 50% by the va…different disability. Will I still have to payback my separation payment?

    • Ryan Guina says

      USMC1962, I’m sorry to hear about your medical issues. To be honest, I don’t have an answer for you here. I would contact your local base personnel office and ask them (they may have to research this question). You could try the following forums, which may be helpful: Physical Evaluation Board Forum, or the MEB Forum. Both of these forums specialize in medical evaluation boards, physical evaluation boards, and VA disability. Hopefully someone there will have the answer. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  166. Trey says

    Hey Ryan,

    I just received my DD-214 I think my separation pay is wrong. I tried to contact the number they gave me on my package, stated my pay might be wrong. My base pay was a 700 dollars different, bah was 300 dollars different base on my LES. My last day of the navy was on November 22,2014. She said my separation pay is base on my last month. I work 22 day in November that’s how i get paid base on my last month. I then ask her, so if i worked 5 day in November i would have only got paid for 5 days. She couldn’t answer me, can you please give me some information what can i do to get my full pay. It’s like they’re only giving me half.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Trey, Are you referring to your final paycheck, or involuntary separation pay? If you are referring to your final paycheck, you would receive 1/30th of your pay for each day served (the military counts each month as 30 days). So if you served 22 days in the month, you would multiply your base pay by 22/30. The same for your BAH and BAS.

      Involuntary separation pay is based on your years of service and why you separated. There is a half separation pay – this would include if you are separated under honorable or general conditions, for some of the following reasons: failure to meet fitness/weight standards, loss of security clearance, involuntary discharge due to parenthood, etc. If none of those apply and you were separated under Honorable conditions, you may be eligible for full separation pay.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the service requirements for each of these conditions. You will need to contact your local unit and ask them to specifically outline your situation. I hope this points you in the right direction.

  167. djon8 says

    Dm229,

    Your husband should’ve been authorized to gain retainability up to his 6 year mark, allowing him to get separation pay. They should’ve pushed his separation date to the 6 year mark. There’s fine writing somewhere about this, the same with E-5’s and HYT.

  168. Dm229 says

    It’s sad that my husband did 2 tours of deployment, served almost 6 years (being released end of January & his 6TH YEAR MARK IS IN APRIL) and we’re left to start from square one. I definitely feel like we been punched in the gut by the military considering my husband is being release (involuntary separation) 3 months before his 6th year of active duty. Not receiving nothing to help us get by & wish we could of get half pay at least to help us get back up. Thank goodness for family because our situation is so unfair.

  169. Jz17 says

    Well just an update, spoke with my finance yesterday and I guess since I nagged them enough they went ahead and processed an 80/20 payout where I’d get 80% sometime next week and the rest they will hold until my audit/hold pay is released in which to me is better than finding out that I may still have to wait another 15+ days. Just thought I might let you all know to see if this result works for you guys.

  170. Jz17 says

    Casper I also separated the same date you have and also have still not received my separation pay. I keep getting the run around. I called DFAS and they told me that my finance office has to release the “hold pay” status so the can pay me. I talked to my local finance and they tell me that DFAS has to do their audit and tell my finance they are good to go and then my finance will issue the pay. I call back to DFAS a few days later and again I get told it’s my local finance. On top of that my MPF never issued me my DD214. I went to ebenefits to try to get it but no such record exists, however everything that I gave to my separations office came up on my OMPF except my DD 214.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jz17, Thanks for sharing an update on your situation. I hope it gets resolved soon.

      Regarding your DD214 – you should call your local MPF and ask them if they can send you a copy of your DD214. If they don’t have one on file, you need to ask them to issue you one. Politely take this up the chain of command if they try to give you the run around. Your DD214 is the most important military paperwork you have because it shows your proof of service, discharge type, when and where you served, and other information. It is required to get certain veterans benefits including the GI Bill and the VA Loan.

  171. casper says

    Involuntary separated on Oct 1 2014 and still waiting for my separation pay its been over 30 days and no pay as of yet. Who should I talk to about getting my pay as some of my friends have already been paid?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Casper, Thanks for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not sure how long it takes to be processed. Contact your local base finance office and see if they can tell you how long it should take. You may also try contacting DFAS.

  172. Jeff says

    I was medically discharged from the Army in 2009 and received severance pay. I did physical therapy for two years and was cleared to join the Army Reserves in 2011. I am now being medboarded again for the same condition as active along with others. Is there separation pay for reservists in my situation or not?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jeff, To be honest, I’m not certain. And your situation may be complicated due to the fact that you have already received severance pay once. You need to contact your personnel department and ask them to look at this for your specific situation.

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