GI benefits


Members of the armed forces serving in the Persian Gulf war's theater of operations are eligible for certain military benefits. Families should check with National Guard, reserve or regular service officials if they have questions about such benefits, which include:

* Family separation allowance of $60 a month after the first 3days.

* Foreign duty pay. This is paid to enlisted men and women (except those drawing sea pay) at a rate ranging from $8 to $22.50 per month, depending on pay grade. This is currently authorized for all Desert Storm countries except Qatar.

* Special-leave accrual, which allows members to accrue up to 30 additional days of leave beyond the current 60-day limit.

* Combat pay of $110 a month, paid since Aug. 1, 1990.

* Federal income tax relief. Gross income of enlisted members in the gulf's war zone is exempt from federal taxation. For officers, tax exemption is limited to the first $500 of gross income.

* Savings plan. Military personnel in a hostile-fire area may contribute up to $10,000 to a 10 percent voluntary savings program administered by the Treasury.

* Free postal service from the theater of operations.

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