Captive / POW / MIA Entitlements

Army National Guard: Federal Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Tweet
Share

Summary:

Soldiers designated with Captive, Missing, or Missing in Action (MIA) status are entitled to receive the pay and allowances to which entitled when the status began or to which the Soldiers later become entitled.

Eligibility:

Active duty Soldiers who are officially determined to be a Captive, Prisoner of War, Missing, Missing in Action, interned in a foreign country, captured, beleaguered or besieged by a hostile force, or detained in a foreign country against their will are entitled to receive or have credited to account the pay and allowances to which entitled when missing status began or to which a member becomes entitled later.

Benefit Highlights:

General: Soldiers who are officially determined to be Missing, Missing in Action, interned in a foreign country, captured, beleaguered or besieged by a hostile force, or detained in a foreign country against their will are entitled to receive or have credited to their account the pay and allowances to which entitled when the status began or to which a member becomes entitled later, as follows:

  • Basic pay, special pay, incentive pay for hazardous duty, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), Family Separation Allowance (FSA), Family Separation for Housing (FSH), station per diem (allowances for not more than 90 days), and/or Hostile Fire Pay (HFP) if qualified immediately before missing status

Payments continue though date of receipt by the Army of evidence of the death of the member or date of presumption of death made by the Secretary of the Army or the Secretary's designee, or date of return to Army jurisdiction.

Captive / Prisoner of War (POW) Status: Soldiers who are captured are placed into Captive or Prisoner of War (POW) status per the Geneva Convention. In particular, Captive or POW status is designated to one who, while engaged in combat under orders of his or her government, is captured by the armed forces of the enemy. Once POW status is determined, the authority for payment of the Soldiers is moved from the field finance offices to the Secretary of the Treasury.

  • Captive or POW Pay and Allowance Entitlements: Soldiers are entitled to all pay and allowances that were authorized prior to the POW period. Soldiers who are in a POW status are authorized payment of 50% of the worldwide average per diem rate for each day held in captive status. The Secretary of Defense may authorize more than 50% of the worldwide average per diem rate requested by the Secretary of the Army.
  • Captive or POW Pay and Allowances Administration: Secretary of the Army may allot part or all of a captive's pay and allowances (except what is already allotted) to an interest-based savings fund that is maintained by the Secretary of the Treasury. Withdrawal procedures are established by the Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Captive or POW Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Housing (BAH): Soldiers are entitled to Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Housing (BAH) even if they were not previously authorized. If a single Soldier is not receiving BAH at the without dependent rate, this item would be granted at the commencement of the POW status.
  • Veterans Administration (VA) Educational Benefits: The Spouses and Children of POW members are authorized certain educational assistance. The educational benefits, which are in the form of monetary grants, are the same as those to which the Spouse or Children would be entitled if the member were deceased or 100 percent disabled as a result of a service-connected illness or injury.
  • Educational benefits are authorized to Spouses and Children of members who have been in a POW status for 90 days or more. The entitlement to educational benefits will be terminated at the time the member is repatriated; however, if the Spouse or Children are currently enrolled in an educational program, the semester or quarter may be completed without reimbursement to the VA. Any educational entitlement under this program will be deducted from any subsequent educational entitlement under any other program. The VA can provide additional information about these educational benefits. To file a claim, you will need a copy of the DD 1300, Report of Casualty, and a copy of your marriage license or birth certificate for Children.
  • Income Tax: Information pertaining to taxable status of benefits can be found in Chapter 44 of the DoDFMR, 7A and through the IRS.
  • Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP): Traditionally, the SBP is a pension protection program; designed to afford a surviving Family member a portion of a member's retired pay upon their death. Public Law provides for an active duty entitlement, regardless of years of service, to certain survivors if the member's death was in the line of duty and not due to their own misconduct. Should the POW member be declared deceased, SBP eligibility will be determined. SBP annuities are reduced by the amount of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation paid by the Veterans Administration. The Casualty Assistance Officer (CAO), supported by benefits and entitlements specialists, will provide you with ample information about this program if applicable.
  • Power Of Attorney: Public Law extends the power of attorney executed by a member who is now listed as POW. The power of attorney must have expired after the member entered a POW status and must designate the member's Spouse, parent or other named relative as his/her attorney in fact. The law may or may not facilitate commercial transactions initiated by the POW Family since the consummation of such transfer of securities is primarily a matter of local law. A power of attorney may not be extended under the law if the document clearly indicates that the power granted expires on the date specified even though that person, after the date of the execution of the document, enters a POW status. Because of the complexities of the legal issues involved, we suggest you ask your CAO to arrange for a meeting with your local Legal Service Office.
  • Promotions: POW personnel continue to be considered for promotion along with their contemporaries. Policy provides for each missing or captured officer/enlisted member to be considered for promotion to the next higher grade when they are eligible. The eligibility for officers is based on the date of rank in their current grade. For enlisted members, eligibility is based on time in grade and time in service.

Missing in Action (MIA) Status: "Missing" is a casualty status guided by United States Code that provides for missing members of the Military Service. Excluded are personnel who are absent-without-leave (AWOL), deserters, or dropped-from-the-rolls. A person declared missing is categorized as beleaguered, besieged, captured, detained, interned, Missing, or Missing in Action (MIA). To be categorized as MIA, the casualty is a hostile casualty, other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who is not present at his or her duty location due to apparent involuntary reasons and whose location is unknown. A Soldier who enters a missing status is entitled to the pay and allowances to which entitled when the missing status began or to which the member later becomes entitled.

  • MIA Pay and Allowance Entitlements: A Soldier who enters a missing status is entitled to the pay and allowances to which entitled which the missing status began or to which a member later becomes entitled while missing. The right to a certain pay is not affected by the fact the member had not actually received payment before entering the missing status.
  • MIA Allotments: Allotments in effect before a Soldier enters missing status may be continued. As directed by the Secretary of the Army (or designee), allotments may be initiated, suspended, resumed, increased, decreased, or discontinued where circumstances so warrant in the interest of the missing Soldiers, the Family members, or the government.
  • MIA Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Housing (BAH): While in a missing status, Soldiers without dependents are entitled to BAH at the without dependent rate. Enlisted Soldiers are entitled to BAS at the rate payable when rations in kind are not available. Payments of these allowances are authorized from the beginning of the missing status, even though there was no housing or subsistence allowance entitlement before the missing status began.
  • Veterans Administration (VA) Educational Benefits: The Spouses and Children of POW/MIA members are authorized certain educational assistance. The educational benefits, which are in the form of monetary grants, are the same as those to which the Spouse or Children would be entitled if the member were deceased or 100 percent disabled as a result of a service-connected illness or injury.
  • Educational benefits are authorized to Spouses and Children of members who have been in a MIA status for 90 days or more. The entitlement to educational benefits will be terminated at the time the member is repatriated; however, if the Spouse or Children are currently enrolled in an educational program, the semester or quarter may be completed without reimbursement to the VA. Any educational entitlement under this program will be deducted from any subsequent educational entitlement under any other program. The VA can provide additional information about these educational benefits. To file a claim, you will need a copy of the DD 1300, Report of Casualty, and a copy of your marriage license or birth certificate for Children.
  • Income Tax: Public Law provides that the entire amount of compensation of MIA personnel is tax deferred until they are repatriated or determined to be deceased.
  • Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP): Traditionally, the SBP is a pension protection program; designed to afford a surviving Family member a portion of a member's retired pay upon their death. Public Law provides for an active duty entitlement, regardless of years of service, to certain survivors if the member's death was in the line of duty and not due to their own misconduct. Should the MIA member be declared deceased, SBP eligibility will be determined. SBP annuities are reduced by the amount of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation paid by the Veterans Administration. The CAO, supported by benefits and entitlements specialists, will provide you with ample information about this program if applicable.
  • Power Of Attorney: Public Law extends the power of attorney executed by a member who is now listed as MIA. The power of attorney must have expired after the member entered a MIA status and must designate the member's Spouse, parent or other named relative as his/her attorney in fact. The law may or may not facilitate commercial transactions initiated by the MIA's Family since the consummation of such transfer of securities is primarily a matter of local law. A power of attorney may not be extended under the law if the document clearly indicates that the power granted expires on the date specified even though that person, after the date of the execution of the document, enters a MIA status. Because of the complexities of the legal issues involved, we suggest you ask your CAO to arrange for a meeting with your local Legal Service Office.
  • Promotions: MIA personnel continue to be considered for promotion along with their contemporaries. Policy provides for each missing or captured officer/enlisted member to be considered for promotion to the next higher grade when they are eligible. The eligibility for officers is based on the date of rank in their current grade. For enlisted members, eligibility is based on time in grade and time in service.
  • MIA Leave Accumulation: While in missing status, Soldiers accumulate leave without regard to any leave accrual limitations currently expressed in law. However, a Soldier whose death is described in the current Section 3406, Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation, 7000.14-R, Volume 7A, Chapter 34, may, in addition to leave accrued before entering missing status, accrue no more than 150 days of leave during the missing status period, unless the actual date of death is found to have occurred on a date when the member had accrued leave in excess of 150 days.
  • MIA Leave Settlement: Leave accumulated while in a missing status may not be taken, but shall be paid. Settlements for leave accumulated while in a missing status will be accounted for separately and settled according to two categories as:
    • Returned from missing status
    • Death in missing status. Although leave will accrue for the entire missing status period, the actual accrued leave settlement will vary according to the circumstances in the following categories:
      • Death prior to fifth year MIA status
      • Death subsequent to fifth year MIA status
      • Death, MIA status less than 5 years
      • Special conditions of entitlement
  • Hostile Fire Pay (HFP): Soldiers entitled to Hostile Fire Pay (HFP) or Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) immediately before being determined Missing, Missing in Action, interned in a foreign country, or captured by a hostile force shall continue to be credited with HFP/IDP for each month while in such a status.

Additional Information:

For more information, please see the POW/MIA entitlements webpage maintained by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service:
http://www.dfas.mil/

Department of Veterans Affairs POW/MIA entitlements webpage:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-pow.asp

VA POW Fact Sheet

DoD 7000.14-R DoD Financial Management Regulation - Volume 7A: Military Pay Policy - Active Duty and Reserve Pay Chapters 34 and 37

Document Review Date: 3 December 2014