MPFC advocates for benefits for ALL military families!
Once a spouse is enrolled in DEERS, he or she is eligible for the whole array of military benefits. Some of the important benefits to most service members and their spouses are:
- Military Family Member Identification Card – allows you base access, commissaries, exchanges, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)centers, and Family Center programs
- TRICARE health care coverage – Family members may enroll in TRICARE Prime (managed care) or in TRICARE standard (cost shares and a deductible but you see the doctor of your choice) for no fee. The TRICARE dental program has an additional enrollment fee. Optometry appointments are on a space available basis so you may have to pay out of pocket for the appointment and your glasses or contacts. Reserve component families have access to TRICARE coverage depending on their service member’s status.Dependent-rate housing allowance – amount varies by geographic location.
- Eligibility for the family separation allowance
- Ability to move off base to live with a spouse
- Space-A travel – this space available travel is a great way to travel, but it is based on priorities.
- Educational benefit – the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the option to transfer remaining education benefits to mil spouse, or dependent children, or both. The trick of this option is that the transfer has to take place while your service member is still serving–after discharge, they can’t add dependents and transfer benefits.
- Command-sponsored visas (pending DoD review)
- Access to legal assistance – free service in drafting wills, power of attorney, etc.
- MilitaryOneSource Counseling – Confidential, non-medical counseling is available through Military OneSource via telephone, online or face to face. Eligible individuals may receive confidential non-medical counseling addressing issues requiring short-term attention.
Learn more about the many benefits at http://www.militarybenefits.com/
Top 5 Military Spouse Benefits:
- Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) – One of the most advantageous programs offered to military spouses is the MyCAA Scholarship. This program offers up to $4,000 in financial assistance to military spouses who are pursuing any of the following offered by an institute aligned with the MyCAA Program. MyCAA is open to spouses of service members in the pay grades of E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2.
- Family Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – Military spouses are eligible to receive up to $100,000 in life insurance coverage. Military members can elect to enroll their family members in this program for coverage of $10,000 to $100,000. Spouse and dependent coverage may not exceed the coverage held by the service member, and children are restricted to $10,000. Contact your Military Personnel Office for enrollment information.
- Patriot Express – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has established this small business loan program for veterans and spouses. Its purpose is to assist with the initial costs in establishing a small business, or costs related to expanding a small business. Low interest rates are assigned to the loans, typically ranging from 2.25%-4.75%. The SBA guarantees up to 85% of the total loan, with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
- Transferred GI Bill Benefits – Education benefits can be transferred from service members to their spouses and children. Once the military member has reached the required time in service, he or she may elect to assign a portion or all of their GI Bill benefits to a family member. Benefits may be used while the military member is still serving in the Armed Forces. Spouses are able to use the benefits for up to 15 years after the military member separates from the Armed Forces, and children may use the benefits until they reach 26-years of age. Children may also be eligible for additional benefits, such as monthly housing allowances. Your installation’s Education Office and the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) office can provide additional details.
- Military Spouse Preference (MSP) Program – With unemployment remaining high, any advantage that can help to secure a desired position is helpful. Under the MSP, military spouses are given preferential employment placement in vacant Department of Defense (DoD) civilian positions. These vacancies may fall under either civil service or Appropriated/Non-Appropriates Funds. Please contact you local Civilian Personnel Office (CPO) or Human Resources Office (HRO) for current vacancies. Info courtesy of: http://militarybenefits.info/5-top-military-spouse-benefits/
- Military Spouse Residency Relief Act - allows a military spouse to have the same place of residency that their service member has established or is residing in due to military orders. Please note, for LGBT military families, the residencies tax benefit applies only to states that allow same-sex marriage. Please consult your military legal office for your specific situation.
- Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act - provides a wide range of protections for individuals entering, called to active duty in the military, or deployed servicemembers. It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of those deployed servicemembers.
- Hatch Act – prohibits federal, and in some instances even state and local, officials from engaging in partisan activities. While as a military spouse you are not under Hatch Act, it is only professional that you do not place your service members into awkward situations.
- Adoption rules for LGBT military families varies by state. View the Human Rights Campaign parenting laws map and state laws. http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/adoption-foster-care-agencies-state-law
- Factsheet for military families considering adoption: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_milita.cfm
- DoD Adoption reimbursement: http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/adoptionreimbursement.html
- Getting started with adoption: http://www.militaryfamily.org/your-benefits/adoption/
- LGBT adoption laws: http://www.lifelongadoptions.com/lgbt-adoption-resources/lgbt-adoption-laws
Discounts available for military families:
- NY Weeksville Heritage Center.
- Allstate and State Farm extends discounts to LGB families
- Blue Star Family Museum Program
- Home Depot
- Marriott Hotels and Resorts
- Choice Hotels
- Regal Cinemas
- Amtrak Rail
If you don’t know if a Military Discount is offered, it never hurts to ask! You might be surprised at what sort of deals and savings are available to you!
List of available support for service members & military families:
- Joint Services Support for National Guard Families
- DoD Transition Assistance Program
- Military One Source – provided by the DoD at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. Provides up-to-date inforormation and free counseling sessions. Connect by link or call 1-800-342-9647.
- White House Joining Forces Initiatives
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