There are different rights that mobilized service members have under federal law, including the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, which can be discussed with GI Rights Hotline Counselors or Military Legal Counsel. These can include
- Reduced interest rate and rate caps on loans, mortgage payments, and credit card debt;
- Protection from automobile repossession;
- Eviction protection and possible rent ceilings;
- Delay of all civil court actions, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or divorce proceedings;
- Termination of leases (in some circumstances);
- Delayed payment of taxes.
Other laws include The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, which protects reservists employed by US owned companies from losing their jobs based on membership in the military. It requires that employers give time off for drills and training as well as deployment. In addition, it requires that reservists who complete a deployment be given back their job with no loss of seniority or pay grade and with reinstated health insurance. Self-employed reservists can potentially suffer greater financial adversity in the event of deployment and could explore the possibility of a hardship discharge with a GI Rights Hotline Counselor.
Despite these special protections, being mobilized can cause serious complications for GIs. Many of the different discharges mentioned elsewhere in this site can help mobilized service members deal with the complications of being called to active duty. Family hardship and parenthood status, conscientious objection, medical issues, and sexual identity can all be avenues a reservist could use to avoid mobilization when applicable. Counselors are available to discuss any of these issues. Sometimes an activated reservist’s issues can even be resolved prior to the ordered date for mobilization so that the person can avoid having to report altogether. Members of the IRR can apply for a delay or exemption and may follow with an appeal if the first decision is unfavorable. GI Rights Hotline counselors can give information about contacting the military for these issues