In March the U.S. Navy began asking sailors to leave their homes 14 days before sea duty to quarantine to limit the spread of COVID-19.
As a result of the extended duty, a group of military spouses are contacting Congress to update the Family Separation Allowance to reflect the constraints of the pandemic, reports Stars and Stripes.
“They’re using the homeport scenario as a scapegoat,” said Navy spouse Bettie Annable. “This scenario is new and is pretty much uncharted waters because they don’t have instruction, per se, as to separation pay regarding quarantine.”
The current separation allowance policy starts when service members set out to sea, but the current reality of coronavirus means sailors must depart their families weeks or months before leaving port.
Once a ship leaves the pier, families are entitled to a $250 per month Family Separation Allowance by the Department of Defense.
“When the spouse is taken away for quarantine for the sake of the mission, it’s already in line with that word. It seems to me that the definition of that policy is outdated and should be revised,” said Navy Spouse Danny Ku to Stars and Stripes.
Photo by Christian Lopez/Stars and Stripes