C23 Q: My spouse or other dependent lost their job due to COVID-19. Are they eligible for unemployment compensation?
A: Very likely they are, and they should strongly consider applying as soon as possible. They can go to the Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance site to look up their state’s process. Military spouses may also file for unemployment in the member’s domicile state. D1 recently issued a helpful legal brief on this subject, and you can talk to a legal assistance attorney for guidance.
C24 Q: Does the suspension of immigration affect me or my family?
A: The presidential proclamation includes a specific exemption for members of the Armed Forces and their spouses and children. In addition, the suspension does not apply to: (1) aliens already in the United States, (2) lawful permanent residents, or (3) spouses of U.S. citizens, among other exemptions. If you think you might be affected, contact a Legal Assistance attorney to discuss whether the exceptions apply to you. Legal Assistance is a free benefit available to active duty service members, retirees and their dependents for all civil legal matters.
C25 Q: I have multiple student loans. Why have some been suspended and others have not?
A: Pursuant to the CARES Act, student loans owned by the federal government have been automatically suspended from March 13 through September 30, and the interest rate is set at 0%. Debts held by private entities, including universities, are not covered. You may contact your loan servicer to seek relief if you feel you have a financial need. You can find more information here.
C26 Q: I have not filed my taxes yet. My spouse and I are from different states. Do we need to file separate returns in both states?
A: No, unless you want to do so. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, military spouses have the option of adopting the active duty member's state for tax purposes. Keep in mind, the federal tax deadline is extended to July 15, but several states have set a different deadline.