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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
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Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Military Bonus Questions

Military bonuses are offered to perspective enlistee's as an incentive to join the armed forces. The bonuses range in size, based on which branch of the military you choose and what job you plan to sign up for. Many legal questions can arise about the different options of military bonuses. Below are five of the top military bonus questions answered by Experts.

What should a person do if they sign up for the Army and is told that the bonus program no longer exists, but they learn later that the bonus program is still active?

The first thing you should do is to read your enlistment papers to make sure that you meet all of the requirements to receive the bonus. It is possible that you were not correctly informed about the program. You can then speak with a legal assistance officer on base and determine if you have rights to the bonus. If you can't find any information there, you can file a complaint with the Department of Military Affairs. You can also file a complaint with the Inspector General who is connected to your unit. If you still don't receive any satisfaction, you can contact your congressman or senator. When you contact your State representative, their office will inquire on your behalf.

If a soldier is released from the Army with an honorable discharge for failing multiple APFT's, does the soldier have to pay the sign on bonus back?

This will depend on whether you were discharged because you failed to perform from lack of wanting to or if you were unable to perform due to a medical issue. Usually, if you can't complete your tasks because of a medical issue, the military will consider waiving the payback. However, if the military feels that you simply chose not to try, you will be expected to repay the bonus. The military will allow you to make payments on the pay back; however, they can and will sue for the money if there is no attempt on your part to repay the money.

How does a solder receive their enlistment bonus if it has been a year and no money has been received?

If you haven't received any money from the military, you need to do a couple of things before contacting them. First, look at your bank statements to determine if any money has been deposited over the past year. Remember that the entire amount would not be in the account because of taxes. If you can't find any deposits from the military, you should go through your chain of command, requesting that your bonus be paid. Mistakes happen, and it is possible that the military has made one. Usually, if a bonus has been over looked or misplaced, the military will make the needed corrections and pay the money.

What should a person do if they never received their enlistment bonus but was discharged for not attending drill? The military claims that the soldier was paid the enlistment bonus.

If you didn't receive your enlistment bonus, you need to contact DFAS and notify them that the money was never received. However, this cannot be appealed with the military if you are no longer serving. If you received your enlistment bonus and was discharged because you stopped going to drill, this would explain why the military wants their money back. If you are sure that you never received the bonus, and the military is unfairly reporting the debt to your credit, you will need an attorney. You will be able to sue the military under the Fair credit Reporting Act, for affecting your credit score over money that you never received.

After having their clearance revoked for marrying a foreign national (with consent) a soldier requests to be released early. Should they have to pay the remainder of their re-enlistment bonus?

Usually, if you request to leave the military, the military will expect any unearned bonus money to be given back. If you feel that you have no recourse but to leave, you need to put everything in writing and form a package of sorts to show your case to the military. You need to account all examples of why you want to leave the military. If you can show cause for leaving early, and explain why you think you shouldn't have to repay all or a portion of the bonus, the DFAS may waive the debt or at least a portion of the money that you owe.

Receiving a military bonus for enlisting into a branch of the Armed forces can be a great incentive, especially in the current economy. For the most part, the bonus program works great for everyone involved, however problems sometimes arise. If you are having issues with your military bonus or are just curios to learn more, you can ask an Expert to evaluate your case and provide legal answers that can help you take the right decisions.

Ask a Military Lawyer

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11990
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
11181181
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
characters left:
Military Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Military Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

P. Simmons
Military Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 11441
Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
Allen M., Esq.
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4035
Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1149
Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG

Recent Bonus Questions

  • My son is a Navy EOD Tech, E5 and stationed in ROTA Spain.

    My son is a Navy EOD Tech, E5 and stationed in ROTA Spain. He has a stupid attack and climbed a wall with in the town. He wasn't up there for more than 30 seconds and climbed back down and went home. Thwe problem was that he picked the wrong wall to climb. The wall was owned by the Spanish CNO (Equivalent). He got his ass chewed by the Commandant and had a DRB today and it went directly to XOI and probably to a Captains Mast immediately afterward. It sounds innocent enough but it may have caused an international incident. He fears losinbg his EOD Rating. He graduated EOD School and re-enlisted for another 6-years, with a 75K bonus. Can he lose his bonus and what's the severest form of punishment he can receive?
  • Received 100% P&T from the VA in November. I am a DoD employee

    Received 100% P&T from the VA in November. I am a DoD employee living on-post and am going through IDES for the Army Reserves. I want to quit my job to work on my physical and mental health, however if I do I will have to move off post. If I move it will be from California Back to Georgia. Since I can't change unit to GA because I am in the IDES process. How do I get out of the Reserves ASAP?
  • My husband was recently discharged from the navy for alcohol

    My husband was recently discharged from the navy for alcohol treatment failure. He was a nuclear machinist mate with 3 years and 4 months in the service. His enlistment bonus was 15k. How much of that bonus is he responsible for paying back? Personnel is throwing out all sorts of numbers, even saying that he may owe the full 15k because they removed his nec when he went to rehab. My understanding was always that the bonus was yours to keep after completing the pipeline.
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