script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js">

AFBCMR Granted Relief; How Long for DFAS to Compute Back Pay?

snag41

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I filed a BCMR in January 2016 for credit for active duty for 159 days in 2013 when I was erroneously removed from MPA orders for a medical condition (PTSD) that was already annotated in my medical records. I was informed in early January 2018 that the AFBCMR granted me the relief i sought and a copy of the decision was forwarded to DFAS to determine any back pay for the 159 days of active duty.

I received a letter from DFAS is mid-March, 2018 listing a number of items to provide DFAS Debts and Claims in order to determine my back pay for the 159 days. I sent an email with all of the attached documents to the website listed on the DFAS letter on 27 March 2018, and then never heard a thing from DFAS. After several weeks, I began calling the main Customer Care number (866-912-6488), but they couldn't tell me anything about my case b/c the CSR's apparently don't have access to the Debts and Claims accounts (they can only view basic information). I did receive a letter from DFAS in late August asking me to submit my 2013 tax returns again (even though they were in the original documents I sent on Mar 27). The last time I called the Customer Care number, I was told that my case was "re-opened" on 7 Sept 2018. Not sure what "re-opened" means and why it took from March 27 to Sept 7 to be "re-opened"?

Does anyone here have any insight into the DFAS process for computing back pay granted through a BCMR decision? Specifically how long it took to determine their back pay. I can find no information anywhere (in this forum, at the DFAS website or on the Internet all all). I know they're going to subtract my civilian pay earned during that time from any back pay, and wonder if anyone knows how they compute that?

Thanks in advance!
 

snag41

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Kind of got the answer to my own question, so I'll share it here in case there's anyone else in a similar situation. The Air Force made great progress last year clearing it's backlog of BCMR cases. However, they pretty much all arrived at DFAS at nearly the same time, creating a backlog there. DFAS is obviously aware of the backlog and doing all that they can to clear them, but simply b/c of the volume of BCMR's received, it's going to take some time. I don't have an estimate as to when my case will be completed, but I do know it's being actively worked.
 

snag41

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I thought I'd give an update to my case since it's been about 18 months since my last post. Believe it or not (most of you being military or military veterans will probably believe this), I still have NOT been paid by DFAS. Soon after I wrote the above post, I learned that my case was sent to VA for them to determine if I was paid any benefits during the time for which the BCMR covers, and of course, I was paid compensation. In June 2019, I got a letter from VA that included my new DD-214 showing the additional 159 days of active duty in 2019, and a debt notice stating I can't receive compensation and active duty pay at the same time (which I already knew). In any case, I paid back the $2800 to VA, and in October 2019 my case was returned to DFAS where it still sits... It's been over two years since I was first contacted by DFAS. I know they're backlogged, but how hard can it be to do a simple calculation to determine how much to pay me for 159 days minus my civilian wages earned during the same period? I was going to wait until Mar 15 to request a Congressional, but now with the COVID-19, I'll wait a little longer. I used to work at DFAS, and am completely disgusted that this has taken so long. I'll let you know once I receive payment or at least a letter explaining what my back pay should be...
 

Manmumar

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I'm waiting on DFAS also. In my situation, I was sent on Appellate leave in latter 2003 while my Court Martial made its way though the system and was closed in 2007. In 2019, BCNR tossed the conviction and BCD and the letter I received stated that DFAS is to conduct an audit for backpay and restoration of rank.

Last week I talked with DFAS and they had not received the request from BCNR to conduct any such audit. So I'm waiting for DFAS to ask BCNR if they adjudicated my case and then for them to reply, etc, etc etc

Since I was engaged in private employment (had to eat) between 2003-2007, will they subtract this from any monies due to me? I don't have tax returns older than 10 years. Speaking with someone else, they said that I shouldn't expect anything because appellate leave is considered excess leave and that it's a no-pay status.

My DD-214 says I was on active duty. During that period I actually did receive mail with ORDERS to perform specific actions, and specifically told in the letter that failure to comply is punishable by UCMJ action. So, technically Uncle Sam still had a contract on me.
 

snag41

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Manmumar: I don't know about the appellate leave or how that works but I can tell you with certainty that they (DFAS) will subtract civilian wages earned from any back pay you're owed. I finally got paid (it took DFAS -- and the VA since they needed to provide information to DFAS) over two years to pay me. Part of the problem is that DFAS ran out of funding for FY2018, so my case was completed Mar 30, but the money didn't hit my account until last week.

DFAS does a worksheet and they determine your basic pay, BAH, BAS and in my case flight pay for the period in question. They add all of that together and then add any leave earned in that period and come up with the grand amount due (which in my case was around $45000 for 159 days of active duty). DFAS then used my tax returns to determine my civilian pay for the time for which the BCMR covered, and basically took about $25,000 -- so I got a little over $15K. Of course, I was promoted to O-5 one month into the time covered by the BCMR, and DFAS didn't account for that, so I asked them to recalculate my active duty back pay and I believe they're doing that now (they needed a copy of promotion order).

DFAS also shorted me another $3400, b/c when they contacted the VA to see if I collected any compensation for the period covered by the BCMR (which I did), I did owe at the time $3400. In the 18 months it took from the time my case went from DFAS to the VA though, I repaid the VA the $3400. But DFAS still collected it and told me VA would need to refund me the $3400. Naturally once I got paid I called VA, and they said that's incorrect and DFAS would need to refund me, so I'm fighting that battle now.

Altogether, the entire process took a little under 4 1/2 years from the time I submitted my case to the AFBCMR to the time DFAS paid me (incorrectly, but at least I got some of it). I think with the $3400 and the promotion, I'm looking at close to another $11,000 that they still owe me. I can only guess at how long it will take to see that. ALso, you don't pay any taxes on your back pay, so long as the amount is less than your civilian wages (so I interpret that to mean that as long as you see at least one dollar in back pay, it won't be taxed, b/c that means you made more in your civilian wages than your active duty pay).

One side note here -- the MEDCON process my AF reserve unit erroneously started on me actually worked out in my favor. Although the 9 months of "No pay, no points" was brutal for me personally and financially, it did break up my 1095 as I'd been on active duty for almost 2 1/2 years up to the point the morons at my reserve medical unit called me home. Once the RILO found me fit to return to duty (AFRC SG returned me to duty with no restrictions less than 48 hours after receiving my package -- that tells you how screwed up and incompetent my reserve medical unit was)...in any case, I quickly found another MPA tour at the Pentagon and since 1095 was no longer an issue (I didn't need any waivers which at the time weren't being granted), I was able to do another 3 years of active duty and cross the magic 7205 points threshold, and got an active duty (Regular) retirement! I still see the doc who ordered me off my tour back in 2013 (I'm back on active duty as a retiree), and while I was mad at him back then (and still today question his competence), I now think I ought to buy him lunch or something since his idiotic decision allowed me to get that active duty retirement, along with 159 additional days to now be added to my retirement pay and the $25K in back pay! And, in an even better stroke of luck, I'm back on active duty since I got a regular retirement from the reserves and qualified for a retired recall program that's only open to active duty. Maybe I should buy the doc lunch and dinner!

Best of luck to you. Be patient and check everything DFAS sends you. Do your own calculations and if you were do for a promotion or something during that time it might be worth filing a BCNR to try and get it retroactively, as that will make your check that much bigger.
 

Manmumar

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I was in contact with DFAS last week. They requested my direct deposit information and gave me an estimate (subject to so much red tape and blah, blah)...

I’ll be happy to receive it but it won’t make me rich, make me whole or replace the retirement that I would have been eligible for 6 months ago. My life over the last 17 years has done that for me, by my own efforts and a lot of Divine blessing. I still have to work on retirement though.
 

SGTFROG

Well-Known Member
Registered Member
I was in contact with DFAS last week. They requested my direct deposit information and gave me an estimate (subject to so much red tape and blah, blah)...

I’ll be happy to receive it but it won’t make me rich, make me whole or replace the retirement that I would have been eligible for 6 months ago. My life over the last 17 years has done that for me, by my own efforts and a lot of Divine blessing. I still have to work on retirement though.
Hi Manmumar, I read that you obtained a change in your military discharge. From BCD to Honorable, congrats. When you were issued your new DD-214 was box #28 Narrative Reason for Separation changed from showing court martial? I ask because my son recently won a upgrade from BCD at the ARD. Thanks for any information.
 

Manmumar

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Block 28 says SECRETARIAL AUTHORITY. The DD-214 was reissued by HQMC and in box 18 remarks it has verbiage that says that previously issued DD-214 is cancelled and superseded by the current version. I'm not sure if a copy of both DD-214s is in the files provided but a copy of the certificate should be there.
 

SGTFROG

Well-Known Member
Registered Member
Block 28 says SECRETARIAL AUTHORITY. The DD-214 was reissued by HQMC and in box 18 remarks it has verbiage that says that previously issued DD-214 is cancelled and superseded by the current version. I'm not sure if a copy of both DD-214s is in the files provided but a copy of the certificate should be there.
That's for all your help.
 
Top