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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.
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