MSAN – Providing Information in the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s Final Report
MSAN is proud to be part of a movement dedicated to supporting military families. Comments from a 2014 MSAN survey are mentioned in a major report published this week.
The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission released its final report on January 29, 2015.
The commission submits the report to the President of the United States and the U. S. Congress listing fifteen recommendations to modernize the Uniformed Services’ compensation and retirement system. The commission’s recommendations are aimed at maintaining an All-Volunteer Force, in both war and peacetime, by being committed to the interests of the Service members and their families.
The Military Spouse Advocacy Network and the Esponsas Militares Hispanas USA Armed Forces jointly conducted a survey in 2014. The Commission includes feedback from the survey in their 2015 report (page 185). This survey provides information on the awareness and utilization of Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA). Specifically, the survey mentions the embarrassment applicants experience when applying for this program.
“We looked into FSSA when my husband was E3, but was told by his COC that he shouldn’t apply for it because his basic pay ‘should’ have been enough.”
“I think it’s more embarrassing than hard to get the signature which is why we decided to just bear with it and see what we could eliminate from our expenses.”
The final report gives the Commission’s recommendation 13: “Ensure Service members receive financial assistance to cover nutritional needs by providing them cost-effective supplemental benefits”.
For more complete information on the commission’s recommendations on FSSA visit: http://www.mcrmc.gov/public/docs/report/MCRMC-FinalReport-29JAN15-HI.pdf
As an organization dedicated to supporting our military community, MSAN is grateful that the survey findings provides awareness and assistance to congressional decision makers in understanding the needs of military families.
~Verenice Castillo, MSAN Founder & President
“Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) is a voluntary benefits program that increases participating Service members’ incomes above the threshold of eligibility for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program. FSSA and SNAP have the same Congressional mandate and overarching goal of providing nutritional assistance to eligible beneficiaries. FSSA does this by raising a Service member’s household income to 130 percent of the Federal poverty level through an increase in Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). SNAP provides money on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, bringing household monthly food spending up to the maximum allotment for the household size, assuming 30 percent of net household income is spent on food.” (180)