leah rissesco

Leah Rissesco says the military now says it won't claw back all of her husband's housing allowance. (CBC)

A member of the Canadian navy living in Nova Scotia is getting a slight financial reprieve from the $51,000 the military is trying to claw back from his pay.

The wife of Leading Seaman Jeffrey Rissesco says the military now says they are only pulling back six years of housing allowance, rather than 11.

"The payment order is still in effect, but it has been reduced," Leah Rissesco says. "I guess that shows a spirit on both ends of making some efforts towards having this fixed."

Rissesco says the total amount is now likely less than $30,000, but the whole financial mess still feels like a "kick in the guts" for her and her husband.

"It’s hard to have strength when you’re not getting any answers," she says. "It seems like they’re only paying attention now to kind of keep us appeased at the moment. Who knows where it’s going to go."

Her husband started collecting a housing allowance called the posted living differential in 2001.

Leah Rissesco says there wasn’t a problem with the supplement until 2012, when the military decided their Vaughan, N.S., home lies 300 metres outside the boundary that determines who qualifies.

The military has been clawing back the money, putting the family in dire financial straits just a couple years before Rissesco is due to retire.

Rissesco was forced to sign over his $25,000 severance and his wages are being garnisheed.