Two days into the government shutdown, USAA is already working to help military personnel by presenting them with options should the shutdown delay their pay. If the shutdown continues and military pay isn’t delivered on February 1, the program provides service members with the ability to secure an interest-free payroll loan, as long as they meet the minimum qualification.
The payroll loan option is contingent on the government shutdown impacting standard payroll timing, and USAA intends to email eligible members details about the program and terms once February 1 draws closer.
However, some details about the program have been released, including some basic eligibility requirements.
As reported by Military.com, military personnel must have a current direct deposit with USAA Bank for their pay, with at least two months of consecutive direct deposits payments.
The interest-free payroll loan amount that an eligible person may request is based on their normal direct deposit amount over the course of two weeks, with the maximum loan amount allowed being $6,000.
To qualify, the person must also be in good standing with the bank.
Currently, the program is only designed to cover the February 1 paychecks, so service members may need to plan for other options should the shutdown continue beyond that point.
The interest-free payroll loan is also only being offered to members of the military, as their pay is guaranteed to be covered for the period in which the shutdown is in effect. Federal employees are not in the same “guaranteed to be repaid” status, so they are ineligible for this specific program.
Pension checks for military retirees and those receiving payments through the Survivor’s Benefit Plan (SBP) should not be impacted by the government shutdown as those funds originate from an account that is not tied to the annual budget bill that has yet to be passed by Congress.
VA benefits are not expected to be immediately affected by a short-term shutdown, as those are funded from a different source. However, based on information provided by VA officials during the last shutdown in 2013, if the shutdown carries on for several weeks, disability checks may be impacted.