The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

While protecting our country, some service members may have trouble meeting their financial obligations for a variety of reasons such as an unexpected activation, deployment, injury, or extension of service. The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was enacted in 2003 to offer these service members and their families special protections and benefits.

The SCRA covers all active duty service members, Reservists, and the members of the National Guard while on active duty. The protection begins on the date of entering active duty and generally ends 30 to 90 days after the date when the service member is discharged from active duty.

If you are on active duty and have questions about the SCRA or the protections it offers, contact your unit judge advocate or installation legal assistance officer.

If you are the family member or dependents of an active duty service member and you have questions, or think you may be entitled to the protections and benefits of the SCRA, contact or visit your local military legal assistance office.


Health Insurance

Under the SCRA, service members whose health insurance lapses or is terminated during their military service are entitled to reinstatement of that insurance upon leaving the military. The service member may not be subjected to a waiting period, coverage limitations, or exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions because of the lapse in coverage. These protections also apply to dependants such as children or spouses, covered under the service member's policy.

The insurance provider may limit or exclude coverage for medical conditions or disabilities determined to be service-connected by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The SCRA also does not cover health insurance provided by a service member's employer. Employer-provided insurance is covered under USERRA.