June Shirt Blast
By Senior Master Sgt. Alex Gross, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published May 31, 2018
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
Hello Swamp Foxes! The past couple drills focused on points and retirement. This month's is going to cover two little known benefits that deploying federal employees are entitled to. I know it may not affect everyone, but everyone knows someone it affects. If you deployed since 2010 and didn't get these benefits; not to worry! You can still go back and request it, I did.
The first entitlement affects just about every federal employee that deploys for the Guard or Reserve components. It entitles the member serving to an additional 22 days (176 hours) per calendar year of LM (Military Leave). The additional LM can only be applied to non-pay status portions of your time card, such as military LWOP (KG). The benefit essentially puts you in a pay status and allows you to earn benefits such as annual leave and sick leave. Since it goes by calendar year, you can receive more than 22 days in a given deployment. For example, deploying in October and returning in April could result in 44 days. To receive the benefit, you need to work with the CivPay office that covers your civilian job since this is a federal employee benefit not a military entitlement. They would then need to submit a CMS ticket (or equivalent for your agency) with DFAS (or whoever is over your agencies pay system) requesting the retroactive earnings. In the ticket, they would need to include your LESs, orders, travel voucher, and time periods you'd like covered. Below are all the references you might need for the additional LM portion.
The second entitlement is reserve differential pay; this is a separate entitlement for civil servants that covers the entire period of the deployment order. Similar to the above benefit, it can only be used for periods you were in a non-pay status for your civilian position. A differential occurs if your civilian pay is higher than your military pay (to include entitlement such as BAH, FSA, danger pay, etc). In these cases you are entitled to the difference. This may not affect many technicians since most technicians will make more in a military status than civilian status, but it is worth the time to check. To receive the benefit, you need to work with the CivPay office that covers your civilian job. They would then need to submit a CMS ticket (or equivalent for your agency) with DFAS (or whoever is over your agencies pay system) requesting the retroactive earnings. In the ticket, they would need to include your LESs, orders, travel voucher, and time periods you'd like covered. You may also be required to fill out a spreadsheet or other document to calculate the differential. The below is a link to the nuts and bolts of the program.
I hope this has been helpful; please feel free to discuss this topic with your peers, supervisors, and subordinates, you never know who it could help. Thanks for your time and all you do!