Things to know about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The SCRA may be one of the most important benefits of joining the military. Learn how it can protect your finances while you serve.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides legal and financial protections for members of the armed services, the Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. SCRA benefits cover a wide variety of financial areas, including rental agreements, interest rates, certain judicial proceedings and tax payments.
Who does SCRA cover?
The SCRA covers full-time, active duty service members for all five branches of the military, the Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Reservists called to federal active duty are covered, as are National Guardsmen called to national emergency federal orders lasting more than 30 days. Service members who are lawfully absent from duty due to sickness or injury are covered as well.
For full-time active duty service members, protections kick in on the day service begins. For Reservists and members of the National Guard, protections start the day they are notified of a call to active duty.
What does SCRA cover?
The act covers a number of benefits, from complex taxation needs to basic day-to-day financials. Here are some commonly used protections and benefits:
Note that this list of benefits is not comprehensive, and for more information —including additional detail and context for these benefits — visit the Department of Justice website.
What doesn’t SCRA cover?
A number of financial transactions are not protected, including:
How do I access my SCRA protections?
In most cases, you can contact your lender, landlord or service provider with a written record of the relevant information, such as relocation paperwork or deployment documents.
Ultimately, the SCRA is enforced by the Department of Justice and the attorney general. If your landlord or a lender is not complying with the terms of the act, your first step is to go to the legal assistance offices within your military branch to ask that the case be reviewed. If these offices can’t resolve the issue, they’ll bring them to the Justice Department.
For more on the SCRA and financial support for military members, contact the U.S. Bank Military Service center.