When Does SCRA Protection Begin for Reservists?

Reserve

Reservists, under certain circumstances, enjoy the same benefits as other military personnel under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

While all members of the military are entitled to SCRA benefits, the date these benefits kick in can vary among the different types of military personnel  – especially when it comes to reservists.

Protections begin for reservists when they receive call-up orders. This is in contrast to active duty servicemembers, who receive protections when they report for duty. For reservists, the date they begin military service has less significance for SCRA purposes.

Thus, when you are trying to determine whether your client is entitled to SCRA protections, you must find out what branch of the military they serve in and the dates of their service (or the date of the call-up orders when it comes to reservists). If you have the customer’s Social Security number, you can attempt to get this information through the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC).

Tread Carefully with Reservists

But be careful in circumstances that involve reservists. It is easy to make a mistake that could have significant consequences. If you know the person is a reservist and the military status verification dates are unclear, get another verification. You could try to contact the appropriate military branch for confirmation, or use the the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service.

Without a Social Security number, the process becomes even more complicated. When you don’t have the Social Security number, it’s infinitely easier and faster to go through a third party such as the SCRACVS; because the bare-bones DMDC site will not provide definitive military status verification without a social security number.

How an Affidavit Can Help

Once you can have the start and termination dates, you can get an affidavit to help you with  SCRA compliance. Various courts and administrative offices have different names for this affidavit. These include:

  • Military affidavit
  • Affidavit of military service
  • Affidavit in compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
  • Nonmilitary affidavit
  • Affidavit as to military service
  • Active duty military affidavit

Regardless of what your local jurisdiction calls it, a document swearing that you have done your due diligence to determine the defendant’s military status will help you avoid delays you’re your case, trouble with the law and the possibility of steep fines or other penalties.

The SCRACVS can provide you with the military status verification you need as well as an affidavit to take with you into court. Protect yourself and your institution — use SCRACVS for all your military status verification and affidavit needs.

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.

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