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Pay and Benefits

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

5 Things to Know

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) was founded in 1904 by several naval officers, Navy wives and civilian friends who saw a need for formal and organized assistance for Sailors who fell on hard times.

At the time, the U.S. couldn't afford to provide benefits packages for the military. There were no medical benefits for service families, retirement pay or survivors' benefits for families of deceased personnel. Instead, Sailors and Marines would pass the hat to collect donations to help shipmates' families. Today, NMCRS meets the needs of Sailors and Marines in a variety of ways. They are a non-profit organization that receives funds through donations, loan repayments and thrift shop sales.

1. The relief society can provide a range of financial assistance, along with counseling for future stability. This can come in the form of interest free loans or grants to cover emergency travel, funeral costs, education assistance and disaster relief, among other needs. Service members can fill out and print an application from the website or just fill one out at their nearest society office. Loans are usually repaid through a monthly allotment taken directly out of your paycheck.

Active duty and retired Sailors and Marines are eligible for assistance along with family members who have a military ID cards, surviving spouses and Reservists on active duty for 30 days or more. Make sure to bring a completed budget, found on the NMCRS website, military ID card, a recent leave and earning statement or retired annuity statement, and any bills or other documents about your financial need.

2. If a Sailor or Marine needs $500 or less, he or she can apply for a quick assist loan without an appointment or application fee. Simply walk into an NMCRS location and walk out with an interest-free loan within a few minutes. Active duty Sailors and Marines are eligible if they have no outstanding NMCRS loans and no disciplinary actions that impact their pay or rank.

3. The society also offers a free "Budget for Baby" workshop. It's designed to help expecting parents prepare for the financial cost of a baby. Workshop attendees receive free junior sea bags, including baby blankets handmade by NMCRS volunteers. Contact your nearest office to find out when the next workshop is. You can find your nearest office here.

4. There's even a visiting nurse program that makes two types of nurses available to service members and their families. Registered nurses are available to answer questions on a variety of medical topics, including help with newborn babies. To contact a nurse, just call the nearest office. Combat casualty assistance (CCA) nurses are also available to help individuals cope with the mental stress of combat. Anyone who served with the Navy or Marine Corps during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation New Dawn (OND) is eligible, regardless of current military status. (No ID card is required.) To contact a CCA nurse, email visitingnurse@nmcrs.org or call 703-696-0032.

5. The relief society also offers reduced prices on clothes, uniforms and household goods at thrift shops around the world. A military ID card is required to shop at these locations.

Source: The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

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