Planning for a deployment takes a lot of work. Finalizing travel plans, arranging for the care of children or pets and making important financial decisions all must be done prior to leaving. But sometimes the military has to cancel or postpone a deployment and everything that you and your family planned for suddenly changes.
Initially, you may be excited to spend more time at home, but other feelings and concerns may arise later. As you begin to undo some of your deployment planning, one area of potential stress may be financial concerns. Maybe you terminated your lease and aren't sure about housing in the upcoming months, or maybe you sold your car and no longer have transportation. You may have out-of-pocket expenses to restart services or utilities. Travel arrangements may need to be adjusted and contracts may need to be cancelled.
Although there might be a lot of financial details to manage, you don't have to manage them on your own. There are great resources available to help you and your family update spending plans, adjust credit card payments and manage all of the unexpected financial challenges that come with a deployment postponement.
Your first stop might be the personal financial management program office on your installation. You can talk to a financial counselor and get help readjusting your spending plan and staying on track now that you will no longer receive additional deployment pay. The program can also help you understand your consumer rights and obligations, save for the future and resolve any other financial concerns that may arise. You can find contact information for your installation program by visiting MilitaryINSTALLATIONS. Select "personal financial management services" in the "Looking for specific program or service" box.
If you don't live near a military installation, you can also access personal financial counseling services through Military OneSource or through your local Joint Family Support Assistance Program. These counselors also understand the military environment and the special challenges you may face, including a deployment postponement. To learn more about these financial counseling resources, you can contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.
For emergency financial support, you can also reach out to the military relief organizations. These private, nonprofit organizations help service members and their families with certain emergency financial needs in the form of interest-free loans or grants. Each service has its own relief organization and may assist with expenses such as rent, utilities, vehicle repair, emergency travel and medical and dental expenses. To apply for assistance, contact your service's relief organization:
- Army Emergency Relief - Information is available on the Army Emergency Relief website or by calling 866-878-6378. If there is no military installation within 50 miles of your location, Army Emergency Relief has a support agreement with the American Red Cross to assist soldiers and their families.
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society - Visit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society website or call 703-696-4904.
- Air Force Aid Society - For details, go to the Air Force Aid Society website or call 800-769-8951.
As you manage your long list of things to do during your deployment postponement, reach out for support as you need it. The services provided through the personal financial management program on your installation, Military OneSource and the Joint Family Support Assistance Program are free of charge. These counselors understand the military community and how your finances can be impacted by military life changes, like a deployment postponement. And the military relief societies can provide you with some financial peace of mind during an otherwise uncertain time. Let these services and resources help you make sense of your new financial reality.