Employment

Military Pay

The amount of pay you receive from the military is determined by your rank and years of service.

In addition to the monthly pay charts listed above, active duty members also will receive extra benefits and allowances:

  • Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS): $239.96/month for officers, $348.44/month for enlisted members. This is to help offset food costs of active duty service members and is based on the USDA Food Cost Index.

  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH): this allowance is given when government-funded housing is not available. It is based on various factors such as geographic location, pay grade and your dependents.

Military Retirement Pay

Service members with 20 or more years of service are eligible for retirement pay. When you served determines which retirement plans you are eligible for. All of the plans offer benefits, and pay during retirement is based on a percentage of your active duty pay, but each plan calculates this percentage differently. Because all plans allow service members to retire at any age after 20 years of service has been completed, it is possible to retire at age 37.

  • Final Pay: eligible for veterans who entered active duty service on or before Sept. 8, 1980. If this applies to you, your monthly pension will be 50% of your final month’s pay. Your pension increase by 2.5% for every year of service beyond 20 years. You will also have a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) added to your base pension each month based on the Department of Labor’s consumer price index.

  • High 36: eligible for veterans who entered active duty between Sept. 8, 1980 and August 1986. If this applies to you, your monthly pension is 50% of the average monthly pay of the 36 month period in which you were highest paid. Your pension increases by 2.5% for every year of service beyond 20 years. Each year, a COLA is added to your base pension.

  • Choice of High 36 or Career Status Bonus/REDUX: eligible for veterans who entered active duty service after August 1, 1986. If this applies to you, you must pick between two options. The first option is the High 36, listed above. The second option is the Career Status Bonus/REDUX (CSB/REDUX). If you retire after 20 years of service, you receive 40% of the average monthly pay of the 36 month period in which you were highest paid. Your pension increases by 3.5% for every year of service beyond 20 years but the increase in your COLA is minus 1%. The advantage to the CSB/REDUX is when you reach age 62, your retirement pay is adjusted up to equal the base pay you would have receive if you had been enrolled in the High 36 plan.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) helps veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find and keep suitable civilian jobs. It also helps find services to assist veterans who cannot work due to their disabilities. Available services include:

  • A comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine your abilities, skills, interests, and needs in order to cater to your strengths.

  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning.

  • Services to help you develop your resume and brush up on your job-seeking skills.

  • Assistance in order to find and keep a job.

  • Resume-boosting training such as apprenticeships, non-paid work experiences, and on-the-job training.

  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business schools.

  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and referrals to outside help-professionals.

  • Independent living services.

In order to qualify for VR&E, a veteran must meet the three requirements for an evaluation: have received or will receive a discharge that is not dishonorable, have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% and submit a completed VA Form 28-8832. You are eligible for up to 12 years after the date you separate from active military service or the date you were notified of your VA disability rating, whichever came last. After you have established your eligibility, you must meet with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). The counselor will evaluate you and determine whether you are entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services.

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