Tracking Your Pay
Marines are encouraged to visit https://mypay.dfas.mil and establish an account and password so they may view their pay information from the Internet worldwide. All you will need is your SSN & a PIN.
Note: To get a new PIN call (816) 843-3786 and you will be issued a new random temporary PIN for your account. This PIN will be mailed to your address of record currently contained in the pay system.
Good "legal health" begins prior to deployment. Plan to complete powers of attorney, wills, and other document before deploying. Please visit the legal section of our website for more information.
The Staff Judge Advocate is also standing by to assist. You may visit their website at HQMC Legal or call directly at (504) 678-5506.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) is a law passed by congress that guarantees Reservists certain rights, such as reemployment upon return and continuation of employer sponsored medical insurance. In order to guarantee these rights you must be able to show that you informed your employer that you are leaving for military service.
Additionally, when you are called to active duty, your family may continue their coverage under your employer-sponsored health plan for up to 18 months. However, unless you notify your employer that you wish to continue coverage, your family may be dropped from the employer-sponsored healthcare plan, and your cost may be more than your current share of the plan's premium.
Details on USERRA can be found at http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/main.htm. If you have problems with your employer, call an Ombudsman at 1-800-336-4590.
Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
In order to enroll in any Military or TriCare medical or dental benefit program, your eligibility must be verified by the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Medical and dental offices will also want a copy of your dependant ID Card.
When your sponsor activated, you should have been automatically enrolled in DEERS. To confirm that you are enrolled, and/or find the ID Card site nearest you, call 1-800-538-9552. You can also visit DEERS website.
There is more information on DEERS enrollment. There is also a link there for the "DEERS website" which will allow sponsors to see the family members listed in DEERS under their SSN, however it will not show details or status.
Your correct enrollment in DEERS is critical to receiving the benefits you rate!
Call 1-800-538-9552 to confirm your family's eligibility status.
If your loved one is away on military duty and you need to get information to them about an emergency at home, the American Red Cross can help. To use this service call 1-877-272-7337.
To assist the Red Cross in quickly locating your sponsor, please have the following information ready:
- Name & Rank
- Unit they are assigned to.
- Their military address.
The Red Cross verifies the family crisis and relays information to the appropriate command; however, it is up to the military whether the service member returns home. You can find the Red Cross Chapter nearest you at http://www.redcross.org/where/chapts.html
Mail to Deployed Service Members
The following items are prohibited and must not be sent:
- Illegal substances.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Explosives (including fireworks).
- Offensive or obscene materials (including photos, drawings, or any other material which may offend members of the opposite sex, another race, nationality, or ethnicity).
How to send care packages: Keep the packages small (no bigger than a shoe box). Large packages take longer to be delivered and are more cumbersome for your service member to haul around. Smaller, frequent packages are your better option. The U.S. Postal Service offers FREE boxes for Priority Mail. You can also order free boxes from the USPS online store (for use with Priority Mail shipping ONLY). The recommended size is the #4 or #7 box.
For more info on mail and links for organizations wishing to provide support, visit http://www.usmc-mccs.org/News/deploy/mailtotroops.asp
Marine Corps Community Services
One Source is available at no cost to you. If you have a problem, they have an answer! And best of all, it's here any time of day, wherever you are. So get in touch today. We have consultants who speak Spanish and simultaneously translate into more than 140 other languages.
- From the United States: 800-869-0278
- Or call collect: 484-530-5889
- Online: http://www.militaryonesource.mil
Other Great Websites:
- Family Readiness
- Deployment Connections
- The American Red Cross
- Armed Services YMCA
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
- Family Programs
- Military Child Education Coalition
- Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, CA
If you would like to visit the military installation nearest you to take advantage of services on base, you can find phone numbers and specific information on the services available at Base Services. Remember, you may need your dependant ID Card and a copy of your sponsor's orders to use most of the services!
Tricare Dental Benefits
TriCare Dental Benefits are available for Marines and their families for a monthly fee. This benefit pays 100% of most "diagnostic & preventive" services, and 80% of "basic restorative" services (fillings, etc.). Specific benefit information can be found by going to Tricare Dental and clicking the "TriCare" tab or by calling 1-800-866-8499.
Enrollment IS NOT AUTOMATIC upon Sponsor's activation. You must either enroll on-line or call 1-888-622-2256 and an enrollment form will be mailed to you. Enrollments received by the 20th of the month will become effective the 1st of the following month. If you are already enrolled in the TriCare Dental Plan, your costs will change to those for active duty (below) during your mobilization.
Reservists are now eligible for TriCare benefits up to 60 days prior to mobilization!
When a Marine/Sailor is on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days, their family is eligible for TriCare benefits. Benefit details can be found at http://www.tricare.osd.mil or by calling your TriCare region; to find your region's phone number, visit the TriCare website, or call DEERS at 1-800-538-9552, option 3.
This automatic coverage pays 80% of most "allowable charges." There is normally a deductible, however congress has waived it for mobilized reservist and their families through Nov. 04. There is no enrollment required. Your Dependant ID Card acts as your "insurance card." You may have to cover charges in excess of the "allowable."
This is an additional savings you may realize if you use your TriCare Standard benefit at a "participating provider." To find one near you, visit http://www.triwest.com/common/provDir At these providers, you pay only 15% and don't pay for costs exceeding "allowable charges." Again, no enrollment is required.
TriCare Prime/ TriCare Prime Remote for Active Duty Family Members (TPRADFM):
If your sponsor's orders are for longer than 180 days, and you live in a "catchment area", you are eligible for TriCare Prime; outside a catchment area, you may be eligible for Prime Remote. Enrollment in TriCare Prime IS REQUIRED and there is a delay from receipt of application to effective date of coverage. To find out if you are in a catchment area, visit http://www.tricare.osd.mil/tpr and use the zip code check feature. Military providers or TriCare Prime network providers must be used. Many reserve component families may have continuing relationships with providers who are not in the TriCare Prime network. In these cases, enrolling in TriCare Prime may not be the best choice. Instead, using TriCare Standard can be the most flexible and economical option, even though beneficiaries must pay a share.
The Emotional Stages of Deployment
- Anticipation - Tensions often build 4-6 weeks before the separation.
- Withdrawal - Spouses may become more distant just before deployment, not sharing their thoughts and feelings. Couples often quarrel shortly before separation.
- Emotional Numbness - Once separated, a sense of emptiness sets in. Old routines are gone.
- Recovery & Acceptance - New routines and support systems are in place.
- Excitement over homecoming - It's normal to feel excited and uneasy about becoming a team again.
- Renegotiation & Stabilization - Before things settle down, husband and wife need to get to know each other again. They must also redefine roles and responsibilities.
Adjusting to the Absence
When a loved one leaves, family members may go through a difficult adjustment period. If you have trouble adjusting to the absence of a spouse or loved one, you can:
- Cultivate new skills or hobbies - Take a class or start a project; it's important to continue personal growth.
- Keep a journal - Many people find that writing down their thoughts and feelings is comforting.
- Share empathy and support with others - Remember, you aren't alone. Plan events with other families.
- Seek support from your faith community - Many people find comfort and solace from their faith.
- Do something special for yourself and your family - Rent a movie or make a meal that your loved one wouldn't necessarily enjoy. Have a fun day with the kids.
- Ignore rumors - It's important to reply on official sources of information when a loved one had been deployed.
- Seek professional counseling -If you feel like you can't cope, contact your health care provider or call 1-800-869-0278 for a referral. You can seek a list of providers from Military counseling
Helping Children Cope
Children may find it very difficult to adjust to the absence of a loved one. Some children may even be angry. It's important to keep talking to your child; many children may also benefit from consistent routines throughout the separation.
- Help children understand they have not done anything wrong - Try to explain that serving in the military is the loved one's job.
- Talk about where their loved one will be and what they will be doing - Post a map where your child can see it.
- Be as honest and give as much information as possible - It's important to give as much information as possible.
- Make sure they don't feel like they have been abandoned - Telling a child that a loved one is "at work" may help.
- Limit television coverage related to your loved one's duty - Watching repeated media coverage of conflicts could be emotionally draining. If your child wants to watch television coverage, try to do it together so you can reassure and answer questions.
Ways children can communicate with loved ones
Have your Marine/Sailor read books or stories into a recorder so your child can listen to it when they're deployed.
- Encourage even young children to add their notes to the end of your letters or write their own. Provide a stack of pre-addressed and stamped envelopes and paper for letter writing.
- Keep track of the time for which a loved one will be gone with a calendar or other visual aid.
- Create a special photo album or scrapbook for children.