The Defense Manpower Data Center is an important resource that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service uses to get the crucial military status information our clients need.
The Department of Defense maintains the Defense Manpower Data Center. The DMDC keeps records on individuals’ military statuses on specified dates.
Seven government agencies provide personnel reports to the DMDC:
Each agency files a record with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database, which is maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center.
These records are vital to innumerable processes, both for servicemembers and those doing business with them.
Servicemembers should periodically verify that the information in the DEERS and Defense Manpower Data Center databases is accurate. Military personnel must update their records whenever a life change occurs such as a divorce, birth or death. Servicemembers should also make sure that their employment and active-duty status records, such as a call-up, re-enlistment or a move, is accurate.
If the database is muddied with inaccuracies, the effect could be serious and widespread. Servicemembers with incorrect records on file could experience interruptions in their benefits, or the benefits of their dependents. This could prove an especially difficult situation in the event the servicemember is deployed and difficult to reach for any period of time. Loss of insurance benefits, housing, tuition assistance and much more can saddle servicemembers and their families with erroneous, staggering bills. These debts can take years to clear and rectify, if it is even possible.
Some benefits — such as TRICARE — as well as protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act continue after retirement. Therefore, servicemembers should check the DEERS database to make sure their retiree status is accurate.
The DEERS database maintains information on uniformed service personnel’s active, retired and reserve members, their family members, and the DOD’s civil service personnel and contractors. However, the SCRA may not cover all these individuals. The verifications DEERS supplies also ensure accurate delivery of federal benefits. These include health and life insurance, as well as educational benefits.
Further, accurate military records are critical to proper enforcement of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Foreclosure, eviction, repossession and many other actions businesses or individuals take for financial reasons may be illegal under the SCRA if the servicemember is deployed.
The law gets even more convoluted when comparing the time the servicemember entered into the contract in relation to their deployment. Generally speaking, if a servicemember is deployed after they sign a contract, the protections against enforcement can disappear. However, different courts of law have interpreted the law differently. Does the government consider the servicemember deployed when it sends the notice? When the servicemember receives the notice? When they report for duty? Or when they leave the country? Translating this law can be a slippery slope.
Taking legal action against deployed servicemembers or their families or seizing their property can result in steep fines or even jail time for violators. The DOD has been cracking down on these offenses, fining some institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The easiest way to avoid this type of trouble is to get accurate military status verification before proceeding with any legal or disciplinary action. It is sometimes possible for individuals to collect accurate information on their own, but they must have the servicemember’s Social Security number. Without a correct Social Security number, the Defense Manpower Data Center does not guarantee accurate results. The DMDC includes a disclaimer with these types of verifications, saying that it does not guarantee the information is correct.
As expected, such documents often do not hold water in court. Although many institutions require a Social Security number to do business with clients, not all do. Furthermore, errors are common when using handwritten data, so the Social Security number may then be incorrect.
Businesses needed military status verification from the Defense Manpower Data Center would do well to depend on a third-party service like SCRACVS to complete their searches for them. SCRACVS can complete a search and produce accurate results without a Social Security number, often in only 24 hours. We can also provide a military affidavit — something the Defense Manpower Data Center doesn’t do. Some jurisdictions call this a nonmilitary affidavit.
The fee is only $36.40 — likely a tiny percentage of the debt involved, and definitely infinitesimal compared to a fine imposed by the federal government if you do not check military status first. Institutions needing frequent, numerous, and automated verifications can get a volume discount as well, saving time and money. With SCRACVS, registration is free and we do not charge any monthly fees. Institutions and individuals only pay for the number of verifications they request, and, we offer a 100% money-back guaranty.
Before pursuing legal action against a client in default, check military records. Those who have even the slightest doubt in their ability to collect accurate information should depend on SCRACVS. For a comparison of the pros and cons of data collection methods, click below.
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