Before deploying, you took steps to make sure everything was squared away legally, financially and medically for you and your loved ones. Now that you’ve returned, it’s time to revisit your personal and administrative affairs. Review the following suggestions regarding your personal affairs to make sure all is in order upon your return.
Some of the legal documents you prepared before deployment may need to be updated, cancelled or revoked. For free help with these tasks, find the nearest military Legal Assistance Office using the Armed Forces Legal Assistance’s Legal Services Locator.
- Terminate powers of attorney if you no longer wish to have the designated person(s) acting on your behalf. Any existing powers of attorney will remain in effect until the expiration date, or until you revoke the power of attorney. Revocation should be in writing, signed by you in front of a notary public and delivered to the person(s) you designated as your power of attorney.
- Review and update wills, including your living will and last will and testament, to ensure these documents still meet your needs. Consult an attorney or the nearest military Legal Assistance Office to make changes to wills as necessary.
- Understand expiring legal protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, including those related to court and administrative procedures, default judgments and evictions. Read this article to learn more about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or contact the nearest Legal Assistance Office for more information.
It may be helpful to revisit some of the administrative preparations that you made prior to deployment.
- Update your family care plan if you outlined arrangements for dependents while you were away. Make changes to these plans as needed and address any updates with affected loved ones. For help with family care plans, contact a Military and Family Support Center at an installation near you.
- Review your Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance to ensure all information for your beneficiaries is still correct. Consult the nearest Legal Assistance Office or a civilian attorney to make updates if necessary.
- Verify information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System to make sure everything is current and that eligible family members can receive benefits. Certain life changes, like the birth of a child during deployment, may require updates in DEERS and/or through TRICARE.
- Terminate emergency assistance pre-authorizations if they are not expired. You can do this by destroying the original documents or by contacting creditors and seeking assistance from legal advisors.
It is important to revisit your income and budget now that you’re back, as your financial situation will likely change.
- Review your Leave and Earnings Statement using MyPay to make sure that you’re no longer receiving additional pay (e.g., special and incentive pay or family separation allowance). You should also confirm that taxes are being withheld now that you’ve returned. Keep in mind that errors in pay will be subtracted or added to future pay statements, so it’s important to identify issues as soon as possible and report them to your unit’s pay administrator immediately. Learn more about reviewing your LES here.
- Initiate, change or stop allotments that you may have set up prior to deployment. You can do this by completing the Department of Defense form (DD Form) 2558, “Authorization to Start, Stop or Change an Allotment” and submitting the form to your unit’s pay administrator.
- Create a new budget to account for changes to your monthly income, especially now that you won’t be eligible for special pay, allowances or combat zone tax exclusions. If you are a National Guard or reserve service member, read this article to learn more about how your finances may change.
- Understand expiring financial protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, including those related to reduced interest, foreclosures and termination of leases (like residential or automotive leases). Read this article to learn more about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or contact your Legal Assistance Office for more information.
- Get help with finances as needed through Military OneSource financial counseling, approved community resources from the Joint Forces Headquarters or the Personal Financial Management Program at an installation near you.
A series of health assessments is required for those deployed out of the continental United States for more than 30 days without a fixed U.S. military treatment facility. If you were deployed within the U.S. or outside of the U.S. for 30 days or less, you may or may not be required to complete these assessments — it all depends on health threats identified during deployment, your health risk assessment and decisions by your command. Learn more about health care assessments here.
- Complete the Post-Deployment Health Assessment if required. This short survey will be completed in part by you and in part by your health care provider to help you get and stay healthy after deployment. In addition to assessing your current state of health, this will help your provider identify and provide medical care as needed.
- Schedule a face-to-face health assessment with a trained health care provider if you were required to complete the Post-Deployment Health Assessment. This will include a discussion of your responses to the Post-Deployment Health Assessment, behavioral or mental health issues following deployment, concerns about environmental or operational exposures and other relevant topics.
- Complete the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment if you were required to complete the Post-Deployment Health Assessment and a face-to-face health assessment. This short survey will be completed in part by you and in part by your health care provider. After this form is completed, your provider will discuss any concerns and determine if additional health care referrals are required.