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Pay and Benefits FAQs

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D1 (formerly G2) Q: I was ordered to self-monitor after I returned from official government travel. What benefits are available to me?
A:  The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) was updated to provide guidance on per diem allowances that are impacted by COVID-19. This website is a helpful source of information: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/news_Coronavirus.cfm

 

D2 Q: I was ordered to self-isolate while in the middle of temporary duty (TDY) travel for official duty. What will happen when my TDY orders are supposed to end?
A: If you are ordered into restriction of movement for self-monitoring at a TDY location, your command may authorize continued TDY travel and transportation allowances. Your TDY orders should be amended to extend the TDY assignment to cover the period of self-monitoring, allowing your per diem and traveml allowances to continue until you can return to your permanent duty station.

 

D3 Q: Can I request an extension of the 10-day TLE allowance?

A:  No. There is no authorization in law to extend the number of TLE days in this situation.

 

D4 Q: What happens if I or my college son/daughter is in a resident program and is sent home to conduct studies online? What happens to my Basic Allowance for Housing or other benefits?

A: The answer will depend on the type of action taken by the school, the timing of the action, and the current program approval. Contact the Veterans Benefits Administration, Education Call Center at: 1-888-442-4551. Note: dependent students are not authorized travel and transportation allowances if required to quarantine before proceeding to the PDS or school.

 

D5 Q: If an enlisted member on a cutter is quarantined shoreside, do they get Basic Allowance for Subsewistence (BAS)?

A: Yes. Work with your Admin/SPO to transfer the BAS entitlement.  

 

D6 Q:  I just completed my PCS move but was ordered to quarantine because I came from a COVID-19 impacted area.  If I can’t move into housing yet, is there an allowance that could help?

A:  Yes, both members and dependents may be entitled to isolation allowance. Contact your inbound unit SPO to determine if you are entitled to this allowance.

 

D7 Q. Are there any other pay, allowances, or entitlements available given the current challenges with COVID?

A. Several new pay and allowances are now available to members and their dependents. These entitlements are part of the overall military effort to support our members during the COVID-19 pandemic, and include:

  • Isolation Allowance
  • Hardship Duty Pay – Restriction of Movement
  • COVID-19 Related Galley Meals
  • Basic Allowance for Subsistence II (BAS-II)
  • Continuation of Special and Incentive Pays
  • Family Stability Act (BAH and Housing Flexibility)

Prior to seeking external financial assistance, contact your local Personnel and Administration (P&A) office to determine your eligibility for these new pay and allowances.

Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D8 Q: I have heard about this new pay called HDP-ROM. What is that?
A: Hardship Duty Pay – Restriction of Movement (HDP-ROM) is a newly authorized pay that compensates service members for the hardship associated with being ordered to self-monitor in isolation (i.e., restriction of movement) somewhere other than at their home or a government-funded lodging facility. HDP-ROM is only payable in situations in which the member remains assigned to the same permanent duty station; it is not payable when a member is isolated while on official travel or Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D9 Q: I’m not able to complete the requirements outlined for the continuation of my Special and Incentive Pay, what can I do? 
A: Members who are receiving special or incentive pays (other than Career Sea Pay) that require the performance of specific duties (e.g., Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay, Special Duty Pay, Dive Pay) that can’t be performed through no fault of their own may be allowed continuation of the S&I pay for up to 12 months. This authority to waive performance of duties required is delegated to the first O-6 in the members’ chain of command.  To the extent that this authority may conflict with broader, more liberal waiver authorities contained in existing policy guidance, existing policy shall take precedence. 

 

D10 Q: If I am self-monitoring at home, can I get Basic Allowance for Subsistence Level II (BAS II) instead of BAS?
A: No.  BAS II (i.e., twice the monthly rate) may be authorized for those members ordered to lodging that cannot store food, which in turn requires the member to get his or her meals from a commercial source.  BAS II may only be authorized for an individual in these circumstances if it is uniformly authorized for all enlisted members in similar situations at the same installation or in the same geographic area. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D11 Q: I am an enlisted member ordered to reside in my Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH or shipboard quarters) or temporary contracted quarters in the close vicinity of my PDS.  During my period of restriction of movement for self-monitoring I do not have access to a galley or other Appropriated Fund Dining Facility for meals, and the quarters in which I’m quarantined or isolated do not have adequate food storage and preparation facilities. What is my subsistence allowance authorization?

A: All members out of Basic Training receiving Basic Pay are entitled to Basic Allowance for Subsistence.  If a quarantined/isolated enlisted member is subject to automatic meal charge deductions from their pay accounts while on sea duty or at Class A School, such deductions are to be suspended during the period restricted movement in quarters.  For enlisted personnel in restricted to quarters without galley meal availability and in quarters without adequate food storage and preparation facilities,  commands must request BAS-II authorization from COMDT (CG-1332) for members whose conditions of restriction of movement meet the requirements for BAS-II. See Sec. 3.A.5. of the CG Pay Manual, CIM 7220.29 (series).  BAS-II is a second payment of ENL-BAS rate, pro-rated daily for the eligible period.  Officers are not authorized BAS-II. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

 

D12 Q: I haven’t been feeling well and am worried that I may have COVID-19. I don’t want to infect my family and friends. Can I just isolate myself at a hotel and then request HDP-ROM to defray the cost?

A: No.  HDP-ROM may only be paid in the case where your commander (in conjunction with military or civilian health care providers) determines that you are required to self-monitor and orders you to do so away from your existing residence in lodging not provided by or funded by the government and that you must pay for without reimbursement. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D13 Q: I have been ordered to restriction of movement for self-monitoring because I recently returned home from travel during which I may have come in contact with someone infected by COVID-19. I have spent the past two weeks alone in my personal residence. When will I receive my Hardship Duty Pay – Restriction of Movement (HDP-ROM) payment?

A: Although you have been ordered to restriction of movement for self-monitoring, you have been allowed to do so at home in your personal residence. You receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for your residence and are not eligible for HDP-ROM. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D14 Q: I am in the middle of a PCS move and just checked out of my old command. But, now I was ordered to stay at my old duty station as a part of the stop-movement. Am I eligible for HDP-ROM?
A: No, HDP-ROM is not authorized when a member is isolated while on official travel or during PCS. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D15 Q: I just returned from a deployment and transited through a CDC THN Level 3 country. I am required to self-monitor but don’t want to potentially expose my dependents. Am I eligible for HDP-ROM?
A: Your command may order you to self-isolate from your family who did not travel to the CDC Level 3 country and are not currently affected by COVID-19. If no on-post government facilities (e.g. barracks, dorms) or government-funded lodging (e.g., government contract off-post hotel rooms) are available and you are required to incur additional costs for lodging, which are neither reimbursed nor defrayed by any other source, you are eligible for HDP-ROM. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D16 Q: I just returned from deployment and am not required to self-monitor. However, we think one of my dependents was exposed to COVID-19 while I was gone. If I return to my residence, I will also be exposed. Am I eligible for HDP-ROM?

A: Your command may order you to restrict your contact with your potentially exposed dependents. If no on-post government facilities (e.g., UPH, barracks, dorm) or government-funded lodging (e.g., government contract off-post hotel rooms) are available and you are required to incur additional costs for lodging, which are neither reimbursed nor defrayed by any other source, you are eligible for HDP-ROM. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D17 Q: I have been hospitalized at a medical facility near my permanent duty station and near where my dependents live. I am unable to see them. Am I eligible for Family Separation Allowance (FSA)?

A: No, Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is not authorized in this situation.

 

D18 Q: My command ordered me into restriction of movement for self-monitoring near my permanent duty station and I am unable to return to be with my family even though we live nearby. Am I eligible for Family Separation Allowance (FSA)?

A: No, Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is not authorized in this situation. You may be eligible for other benefits, such as Hardship Duty Pay – Restriction of Movement (HDP-ROM), galley-provided meals without charge, or BAS-II, depending on where you are ordered to isolation for self-monitoring.  Check with your P&A office. Detailed information on entitlements can be found in the article, “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19.”

 

D19 Q: I am away from my family on TDY and not allowed to return because of the stop movement order? I was receiving Family Separation Allowance – Temporary (FSA-T). Will that continue?

A. Yes, FSA-T will continue until the TDY ends, as long as the total length of the separation is 30 days continuous or more.

 

D20 Q: I am currently in the middle of a permanent change of station (PCS) move. As a result of the stop movement order, I am separated from my dependents and expect to be separated from them for an extended period of time. Am I eligible for FSA?

A. Yes. Members who are separated from their dependents during the PCS process, where a member is at the original or new duty location but their dependents are at the other, are eligible for Family Separation Allowance – Restricted (FSA-R) if the directed separation lasts longer than 30 days for the direction of the ordered separation.

 

D21 Q: If my dependent is NOT authorized concurrent travel on my PCS orders to my new duty station because of the travel restrictions, am I eligible to receive a second housing allowance?

A: Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the new duty station and Family Separation Housing Allowance (FSH) will be authorized if ALL of the following conditions are met:

1.  government quarters are not available at the new duty station,
2.  the member has obtained private-sector housing, and
3.  the dependent does not reside at or near the new permanent duty station.

 

D22 Q: How much do I get if I am eligible for Family Separation Housing (FSH) Allowance?

A: You will continue to receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) or Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA - if in a not in the 50 states/District of Columbia) at the “with-dependent” rate for your dependent’s location or the old permanent duty station (whichever is more equitable). Additionally, FSH will be paid in a monthly amount equal to the “without-dependent” BAH or OHA rate applicable to your paygrade for the new permanent duty station.

 

D23 Q: If my dependent(s) visits me at my new duty station, will I continue to receive Family Separation Housing (FSH) Allowance?

A: Your FSH will continue uninterrupted while your dependent visits at or near the new Permanent Duty Station (PDS), but the visit cannot exceed 90 continuous days. If, for any reason (including illness or any other emergency), a visit lasts 91 or more days or whenever it appears that your dependents have taken up residence in the vicinity of your PDS - whichever is earlier - FSH eligibility ends and payment must be stopped. FSH may be authorized again on the day the dependent departs from the PDS if the COVID restriction has not been lifted.  If one or more, but not all, dependents visit for longer than 90 days and you are authorized a with-dependent housing allowance on behalf of the dependents who are not visiting or do not reside in the vicinity of your PDS, then FSH will continue uninterrupted. When/if your dependents are determined to have taken up residence in the vicinity of your PDS, FSH is stopped and your housing allowance is BAH/OHA at the with-dependent rate for your PDS.


Body Composition Program FAQs

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D25 (formerly K2) Q: Why is the Body Composition Program suspended?

A: The Body Composition Program is suspended until Oct. 1 to help maintain force health protection and force readiness, and to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission among personnel. All military personnel must remain in compliance with the Coast Guard Weight and Body Fat Standards Program Manual, COMDTINST M1020.8 (series) during the suspension period.

 

D30 Q: Is the PFT still a method of compliance?

A: Yes, until Oct. 1, 2020, those on probation can use the Personal Fitness Test after going through the Body Composition Screening process to successfully end their probation.


Voting FAQs

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D31 (K11) Q: Will I still be able to vote? How do I register to vote and request an absentee ballot in the current climate?

A: The pandemic is impacting the primary election season, so we are encouraging all military members and American citizens overseas to visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website to:

Register to vote Request an absentee ballot now and each time you change your duty station

This is obviously a very dynamic situation. States are evaluating the impact to voting daily. You can monitor election date information at: https://www.fvap.gov/guide/upcoming-elections.

If you need support, please contact the Department of Defense through the FVAP email: vote@fvap.gov. For any urgent issues that cannot be resolved through FVAP, please email OutbreakQuestions@uscg.mil.


SWEs/Boards/Advancement FAQs

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D32 (formerly Q1) Q: Why is the Coast Guard canceling the May 2020 Service-wide Examination (SWE)?

A: In an effort to remain in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), White House social distancing guidelines, and accommodate those service members who have been or will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the May 2020 SWE has been cancelled. The health and well-being of our entire workforce is our top priority, but it’s also our duty to ensure a fair and equitable advancement process. The next SWE is scheduled for November 2020 and will include testing for E5 through E8.

 

D33 (formerly Q3) Q: Why not just move the May 2020 SWE back by a few months?

A: Given the dynamic uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and to not interfere with the associated implications of moving deadlines (e.g. transfer season and the advancement cycle), moving to November 2020 was the best action.

 

D34 (formerly Q4) Q: Can the SWE just be administered in small groups?

A: Last May, nearly 11,000 service members took the SWE. It would be logistically impossible to accommodate all 11,000 test takers in very small groups. Also, any members who may be in quarantine or self-isolation would not be able to fairly compete.

 

D35 (formerly Q5) Q: Do you anticipate postponing/canceling the Reserve 2020 SWE?

A: Not at this time, although events are dynamic at this point. We will reevaluate as the situation evolves.

 

D36 (formerly Q6) Q: I am concerned I will reach my Professional Growth Point (PGP) and become a High Year Tenure (HYT) candidate. How will this affect HYT and my PGP?

A: There will be no changes to the HYT policy until a thorough workforce analysis is conducted to determine service impacts and needs. Once that analysis is conducted, we will follow up with a determination on whether adjustments to the HYT and PGP policy are needed

 

D37 (formerly Q7) Q: I was previously identified as a HYT candidate last year and am scheduled to retire or separate in September 2020. Does this change my retirement or separation date?

A: No, members with retirement or separation orders should continue to prepare accordingly.

 

D38 (formerly Q8) Q: I am currently serving on a HYT waiver and filling a service need. How does this apply to me?

A: It does not. You should continue to serve as outlined in the provisions of your HYT waiver approval.

 

D39 (formerly Q9) Q: If I was eligible for the May 2020 SWE, am I automatically eligible for the November 2020 SWE?

A: No. Each SWE has its own individual timeline and requirements. You must continue to maintain your eligibility in accordance with COMDTINST M1000.2(series) and other advancement eligibility requirements.

 

D40 (formerly Q10) Q: I am a BM3. Will I still be required to be placed on the BM2 supplemental list for advancement to BM2?

A: Yes, the Coast Guard still requires the use of a BM2 supplemental. That is not forecasted to change prior to the November 2020 SWE.

 

D41 (formerly Q11) Q: Will this reduce the number of people advanced in 2020 and 2021?

A: EPM will continue to advance to vacancy utilizing the two active advancement lists. However, cancelling the May 2020 SWE should not reduce the number of forecasted advancements.

 

D42 (formerly Q12) Q: How will the Coast Guard fill vacancies without a May 2020 SWE? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A: EPM uses multiple advancement lists to fill service needs and vacancies. Advancements during calendar year 2020 will not be impacted due to the cancellation of the May 2020 SWE. The May 2019 SWE advancement list for E7 and above will remain active until June 2021. The May 2019 SWE advancement list for E5 and E6 will remain active until June 2020, and on 1 July 2020, the November 2019 SWE advancement list will become active. As a result of canceling the May 2020 SWE, the November 2020 SWE list will become active 1 July 2021 for E-5 to E-8.

 

D43 (formerly Q13) Q: Why has the Master Chief Advancement Panel (MCAP) been postponed?

A: In an effort to remain in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and White House social distancing guidelines, as well as instituted official restrictions, the MCAP is postponed to later in the year. Our top priority is for the health and well-being of the entire workforce, but we also have a duty to ensure a fair and equitable advancement process.

 

D44 (formerly Q14) Q: When is the MCAP being moved to?

A: The target for the re-scheduled MCAP will be Fall 2020, but given the dynamic nature of current events, we will remain flexible.

 

D45 (formerly Q15) Q: Since the MCAP has been shifted to the fall 2020, will I (E8) need to take a SWE for E9?

A: No. Any changes to the MCAP or changes to the November 2020 SWE will be announced by ALCGENL.

  

D46 (formerly Q17) Q: Will scheduled OER/EERs be affected or delayed? *Updated 4/1/2020*

A: No, there are no changes expected for 2020 OER/EER submissions. 

 

D47 (formerly Q18) Q: Will scheduled boards/panels be affected or delayed?

A: OPM and RPM remain focused on completing the Promotion Year 2020 (PY20) promotion board and panel season. Due to national guidance on social distancing, OPM and RPM will conduct many of the remaining PY20 boards and panels virtually. The process and standards will remain the same, however, they will follow additional security protocols. The Personnel Service Center (PSC) will communicate guidance to service members on any changes and updates to pending PY20 boards and panels via CG messages (e.g. updates to PSCNOTE 1401).

PSC is still developing the PY21 boards and panels schedule, but expects timelines to remain consistent with PY20 timelines. PSC will release the final schedule via CG message.

 

D48 (formerly Q19) Q: I’m supposed to be frocked for my new assignment, but Senate confirmations have not yet occurred for my paygrade.  Do OPM or RPM have an idea as to when they will take place?

A: See PSC’s guidance on frocking in ALCGPSC 018/20, as well as any updates to confirmation status on the OPM-1 Portal page.


Training FAQs

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D49 (formerly N2) Q: How long will recruit shipping be rescheduled?

A: The Coast Guard will protect the health and safety of our recruits, our training staff, and our workforce. We are working with Cape May to revise the overall shipping plan, and we will receive new recruits at TRACEN Cape May as soon as possible. The safety of our members remains one of the Coast Guard’s highest priorities. New recruits will remain in a delayed-entry status and will work with their local recruiters to reschedule their basic training once Coast Guard training centers reopen.

 

D50 (formerly N3) Q: How does this delay impact current graduates going to the next unit? *

A: Graduates who are not able to travel to their new units due to current travel restrictions will remain onboard Cape May until safe and appropriate travel arrangements can be made. Recruits currently in training will complete training in an expedited manner and will transition to their new units when able to do so.

 

D51 (formerly N4) Q: What is being done with recruits currently in training?

A: Recruits currently in training will complete training in an expedited manner and will transition to their new units when it is safe to do so and appropriate travel arrangements can be made.

 

D52 (formerly N5) Q: What are training centers currently doing to stop COVID-19?

A: We are taking preventative measures to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible and limit any potential impact based on CDC guidance. We are constantly evaluating the environment and working with our federal, state and local partners to make the best decisions for all concerned in every case. Our goal is to limit, to the greatest extent possible, any outside factor that would impact our people and protect the health and safety of our members and families. Enhanced cleaning, sanitation, social distancing and hygiene requirements have been implemented at all levels.

Training that is not mission essential and time critical has been canceled or deferred. Mission essential and time critical training is being conducted with fewer students to help facilitate social distancing. For inherently close-contact training, we have instituted a 14-day restriction of movement period at the training center.

 

D53 (formerly N6) Q: What happens if a Coast Guard recruit is suspected or tests positive for COVID-19?

A: If a recruit meets current CDC screening guidelines for COVID-19, the training center staff will work with HSWL staff, in conjunction with state and local health department professionals, to provide the recruit with medical services. Training staff will first rule out other illnesses such as strep throat, influenza and ear infections before moving the member to isolation, observation and possible COVID-19 testing. If a new recruit is suspected of being exposed to COVID-19, they will be quarantined in a separate location from the regular recruit population pending their COVID-19 test results.


Transition Assistance Program FAQs

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D54 (formerly Q20) Q: I am scheduled to retire or separate from the Coast Guard. How can I get the information I need for the transition? *Updated 4/15/2020*

A: You can complete the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) online. Pre-separation counseling is available on Learning Management System (LMS) course 10061, or can be found by searching for "Pre-separation." Upon completion of this course, the member can take workshops on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO). Once on JKO, search for the classes by selecting TGPS in the dropdown window above the PREFIX column, then click the Search button. Your regional transition managers will help direct you through this process.