Another Special Pays Update from BUMED

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Navy Medicine Leaders,

Please disseminate this very detailed explanation of how we got to this point of delays in the conversion of special pays and the way forward to mitigate and get through this change period. There are new requirements and timelines different than before that have contributed directly to the delays we have experienced in receiving the new pays in a timely manner. The takeaway for me is that once we get through this initial conversion start up it will be much more manageable and the wait time reduced to the prescribed administrative processing time.

Regards to all,

Robert A. Alonso, MD, MA, F.A.P.A.
CAPT MC USN
Deputy Chief, Medical Corps
Medical Corps Career Planner
Office of the Corps Chief BUMED M00C1
1NW153
7700 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22042-5135

—–Original Message—–
From: Marin, William L CIV USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:18 AM
To: Alonso, Robert A CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Molinaro, Joseph D CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Stiff, Raymond D CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Roy, Deborah E CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Cc: Melody, Brendan T CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Tennyson, Ruby M CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Subject: SPECIAL PAYS UPDATE

Deputy Corps Chiefs, I just wanted to update you on where the progression of
the conversion to the Consolidated Special Pays.

– I know you have all heard of the delays in processing the new special
pays, which is the result of the added layer of all pays now having to be
paid by DFAS who has 30 days for their processing. Also, for those pays
such as the previous MC and DC ASP and ISP, which were lump sum payments
that my office could pay before, not only is there the added layer of going
to DFAS, but now the IP which replaced the ASP and ISP is paid in the
paycheck vice as a lump sum. What this has caused is a possible addition
of up to 3-4 weeks from the date DFAS has completed their processing. For
every payday there is an event that occurs called an Update & Extract Date
(U&E), and the U&E occurs approximately 7 days prior to the payday, and the
U&E is specific time. For example, 0100 on that date. There are also
events that occur called Cycles, and what the Cycles do is process entries
to post in an individual’s pay account. The cycles don’t necessarily run
every night, sometimes they may not run for a couple of days, and they don’t
run over the weekends, so DFAS could post an entry three days prior to the
U&E cutoff, but if there are no cycles running between those dates then the
entry will not post until after the U&E cutoff. What the U&E Event does, is
anything that has posted to the individual’s pay account by that U&E
date/time, will post in the upcoming paycheck, but if it misses that cutoff
by even a minute, then it will not reflect until the next paycheck, which is
now 3 weeks away.

Also, since the new IP is paid in the paycheck it is not paid until
after the fact, vice up front like the old ASP and ISP. With the old pays
the member was paid the lump sum up front, but under the IP being paid in
the paycheck the pay is paid after the event occurred. For example, an IP
start date of 1 July 2017 will not reflect in the 1 July 17 paycheck. The
earliest it would reflect, if posted in time, is the 15 July paycheck, and
pay for the last two weeks.

– My office is restricted from sending anything to DFAS earlier than 30 days
prior to the effective date. Although we allow individuals to submit
requests for special pays to my office 60 days prior, the earliest we can
submit to DFAS is 30 days prior to the effective date, so we complete our
processing and then have to hold it until within the 30 days. Plus, my
office also has 30 days in order to process a request before sending it to
DFAS. When the workload is light we usually can complete it within a couple
of weeks, but when the workload is heavy, which this year is due to everyone
having to submit a special pay, and all having to go to DFAS, it will likely
take my office 30 days to process. This creates part of the time delay. Due
to the processing times, and the payday cutoffs, it is likely the earliest
the IP will reflect in a paycheck is at least two paychecks after the actual
effective date, and that is if the request was submitted to my office 45-60
days prior to the effective date. Take a request submitted 15 days prior to
the effective date, my office takes 30 days, DFAS takes 30 days that is
already 45 days past the effective date, and it hasn’t even posted in the
DFAS pay system yet. If it posts in time for the next payday cutoff, which
will be 2-3 weeks then it will be approximately two months from the date the
pay was effective. Individuals need to be patient. I receive dozens of
emails a day inquiring on the status of the request, and some cases a
request that was submitted less than a week prior. Researching the status
of a request takes time away from actually processing requests, so
appreciate if you could push to your Corps to communicate with their command
and let the command contact us if need, and give the process the time to
work. When a request is submitted if there are any issues we will contact
the command/member and let him/her know, so if they haven’t heard anything
then they can expect it is being processed, but they should consult their
commands vice contacting my office.

– DFAS has caught up and for the most part is completing their actions
within the 30 days, but most actions are completed right at the 30 day mark,
and my staff is doing the same. The process is what it is, and both my
staff and DFAS are doing what we can to get requests processed as quickly as
possible, but there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to be done
both with us, and at DFAS to make a payment happen. DFAS has changed their
policy and rather than stopping the old pays such as VSP and BCP back to the
past they are now crediting the difference between what the individual was
paid for those two pays and what they are eligible for under the new pays.
Then they are stopping the old VSP and BCP the date they are performing the
action. This makes it easier on the member, and does not create debts etc.
as they were doing previously when they first started processing these pays.

– For MC/DC many are inquiring about the increase in their IP for the ASP 1
July 2017. The IP agreement is for one year from their start date, and if
there were any ASP or ISP $ subtracted from their annual IP rate, due to
overlapping pays that $, was subtracted from the annual IP rate, and will be
put back in once the year is over. Any increase to the IP will occur at the
end of the first year, and will start at the beginning of the second year.
Similar to if they terminate and renegotiate their MSP/DOMRB. If they were
paid an anniversary MSP/DOMRB 1 July 2016, the T/R the MSP/DOMRB 1 Oct 16,
they would not be paid the full one year of MSP/DOMRB on 1 Oct 16, the would
receive the prorated portion, which is the difference of what they were paid
1 July2016 for the period 1 Oct 16 – 30 June 17 and the new MSP/DOMRB ending
30 Sep 17.

– When is an officer eligible for the new IP. This applies to all Corps.
An individual is eligible for an IP at the earliest 3 months after the
officer completed the required training for that particular specialty. For
example, a MC officer completes internship 30 June 2017 will become eligible
for either the residency IP, or the GMO IP if not going directly into
residency, 1 Oct 2017 and will have to wait for the FY18 NAVADMIN to be
released to submit. Until that time they will continue to receive the
internship IP, or VSP if they have not converted to the CSP. For residents,
their eligibility date is the same for the specialty IP as long as they are
privileged and practicing on 1 Oct 17. Until then they will continue to be
paid the resident IP, or VSP, if they have not converted. They are eligible
for the BCP prior to 1 Oct 17 if they are board certified, but if they have
not converted to the IP yet they will have to in order to receive the BCP.
They cannot be paid the VSP and the new BCP during the same period, and the
old BCP is no longer available to request. Under the Legacy Special Pays
the same rule existed for the ISP, which was the specialty pay, and MC/DC
officers were not eligible for the ISP until 3 months after completing
residency.

– This firs year is difficult with everyone having to change, and the DFAS
system is not set up for the new pays so everything has bot be performed as
a workaround, to include pays under the legacy special pays. For example,
what was MSP and DOMRG anniversary payments DFAS has realized their system
will not release an MSP/DOMRB anniversary payment if the individual’s VSP
has been stopped, so DFAS has converted everyone under the MSP/DOMRB to a
CRNA-ISP to allow the anniversary payments to be made.

I know this is much more information than what you probably wanted to know,
but I thought it may be helpful to understand how the process works, for all
pay items and not just special pays. As always please do not hesitate to
ask if you have any questions, or need assistance.

We are almost to the end of the FY, and once an individual is in the new
special pays everything will run much smoother for the future. I appreciate
the patience and understanding from all of you, and ask you please let your
Corps know we are doing everything we can to get their pays processed, and
started.

 

SEMPER FI!

William L. “Bill” Marin
Program Manager, Navy Medical Special Pays Program
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (M13)
7700 Arlington Blvd. (Suite 5125)
Falls Church, VA 22042-5125

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