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Military Marriage Benefits [All You Need to Know]

military marriage benefits

Military marriage is a hot topic. On Reddit, there is an entire debate about the pros and cons of being a military spouse and about getting married for military benefits. So, it is no surprise that we receive a lot of questions regarding military marriage benefits. In this article, we will provide as much information as we can on this topic.

Some of the details we will include are Army marriage benefits and Army spouse benefits (in particular) and military wife benefits (in general). We will even give answers to specific questions like, “How much do military wives get paid?”

If you are a military spouse yourself or are about to become one, you will certainly find this article useful. So, read on.

What Benefits Does a Military Spouse Get?

The pay is the same regardless of whether you are married or single. Thus, there is no separate military marriage pay chart, and the answer to “Do military spouses get paid?” is no.

1. Allowances

One benefit of being married in the military is getting allowances.

  • Family Separation Allowance
what-benefits-does-a-military-spouse-get

This is one of the monetary military spouse benefits. When you are separated from your military wife or husband because of their military duty, you are entitled to a tax-free allowance that starts after 30 days of separation.

2. Health Care

how-much-do-military-wives-get-paid

Marrying a soldier or once-soldier also entitles you to certain health care benefits. TRICARE is the most typical health care program that spouses qualify for.

You need to register in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to get an ID card to start using TRICARE. Your health plan options include TRICARE- Prime, Select, Select Overseas, or For Life. You can also consider the U.S Family Health Plan, Prime Remote, Prime Overseas, or Prime Remote Overseas.

If your military spouse is in the Guard or Reserves or on active duty, the TRICARE Dental Program is also available for enrollment.

3. Education

  • Navy – Marines Relief Society Loans and Scholarship

As a spouse, you may be eligible for loans and scholarships from $500 to $3,000 every academic year.

  • Air Force General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)

This is an Air Force spouse benefit in the form of partial tuition aid.

  • Army Emergency Relief Program

This is a need-based benefit that supports the education of military spouses. It applies to spouses of both active-duty members and military veterans.

  • Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Supplemental Education Grants and Loans Program

This is a tuition assistance program for military spouses of members of the Coast Guard.

Aside from the branch-specific assistance above, you can look for military-friendly institutions that offer military spouse discounts. Some discounts can be greater than 50%. You just need to do your research!

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer

If your military member has only used a portion or has not used the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at all, you, as the military spouse, can avail of them through transferring.

However, note that only active-duty service members with a minimum of 6 years in service are qualified to transfer the benefits, and he or she must serve an extra four years as a prerequisite once transferred.

For military spouses of Veterans:

  • The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship

You can avail of this scholarship if your military spouse:

  • died in the line of duty while on active duty or after Sep. 11, 2001
  • died in the line of duty while not on active duty or after Sep. 11, 2001
  • died from a service-related disability or after Sep. 11, 2001 as a Selected Reserve member

Note: You do not qualify for the scholarship if you remarry.

Benefits include tuition money, housing money, and books and supplies money for up to 36 months.

  • The Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program

You can avail of this scholarship if your military spouse:

  • is permanently or fully disabled because of a service-related disability
  • died while on active duty or because of a service-related disability
  • is missing in action
  • was captured or forcibly detained in the line of duty
  • is getting treatment (outpatient) for a service-related disability
    • and will probably be discharged because of it

Benefits come in the form of monthly payments for

  • college programs
  • career training courses
  • apprenticeship or on-the-job training
  • educational or career counseling

You can get benefits for up to 45 months if you began using the program before Aug 1. 2018 and after this date, you can get benefits for up to 36 months.

  • Note: You can not avail of both the Fry Scholarship and the DEA Scholarship. Even if you qualify for both, you can only choose one.

4. Training & Employment

Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

This program offers up to $4,000 to military spouses seeking a license, certification, or associate’s degree provided by an eligible institution.

You are eligible if your spouse is in the Guard or Reserves or on active duty with ranks of E1 TO E5, W1 to W2, and O1 to O2.

5. Home Loans Programs

  • VA Home Loan

You can qualify for this loan and get a COE, which is short for Certificate of Eligibility if your Veteran is:

  • missing in action
  • a prisoner of war
  • dead because of service or a service-related disability (and you are not remarried)
    • or you did not remarry before Dec. 16, 2003, or before you were 57

You will have to apply to get the loan, and your appraisal, credit info, income,…will be evaluated before a decision is made.

6. Base, Commissary, Exchange Benefits

You can purchase lower-cost items from commissaries and exchanges on bases as long as you have a valid ID.

  • Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program

This program gives military spouses the benefits to have fun, relax, and connect with others. It includes (but is not limited to) discounts or free entrance to museums, amusement parks, fitness and sports events,… There can also be boating programs, golf courses, and individual skills development courses offered. The specifics vary locally.

7. Military Discounts

You can get military discounts all year round!

In retail:

  • 11 Tactical – 30 percent discount on some clothing and gear.
  • Adidas – 40 percent off with a SheerID.
  • Allen Edmonds – 15 percent off online purchases with an ID.me account.
  • Brooklyn Bedding – 25 percent off and free shipping with an ID.me account.
  • Michaels Craft & Supplies – 25% off for in-store purchases with a valid military ID.
  • Reebok – 50% off with an ID.me account.
  • Yankee Candle – 10% off with a valid military ID.

In travels:

  • Alaska Airlines – 15 percent off inflight meals, discount fares, up to 5 check-in bags free of charge
  • Expedia – Free gold membership upgrade, 10 percent off some hotels, and other travel deals
  • Regional Transportation District in Denver – Free bus and rail fares with valid military ID.
  • United Airlines – 5 percent off tickets and extra baggage allowance

8. Burial Benefits

army-spouse-benefits

You can apply to arrange a pre-need burial as a military spouse by providing the following info:

  • Yours and your military spouse’s social security number
  • Yours and your military spouse’s place and date of birth
  • Your military spouse’s status, service history, and discharge documents

You can also apply for a Veterans burial allowance or a Veterans death benefit, covering burial, funeral, as well as transportation expenses.

Your Veteran must not have been discharged dishonorably and tick one of the following:

  • died because of a service-related disability
  • died during VA care
  • died during properly authorized traveling at a VA’s expense
  • died with a claim for VA compensation (original, pending, or reopened)
  • died while receiving VA compensation or pension
  • died while receiving full military retirement pay or disability pay

You cannot avail of a burial allowance of a Veterans death benefit package if your military member died:

  • on active duty
  • As a Congress member
  • As a federal-sentenced prisoner

  • Note: You must submit your application within 2 years following your Veteran’s burial or cremation if it is a non-service-related burial allowance.

You can apply online or by mail with the following information (of your Veteran) attached:

  • military discharge documents
  • death certificate
  • receipts for expenses
  • statement of account with
    • a name
    • service type or item bought
    • credits and/or unpaid balance

For a service-related death, if the Veteran died:

  • on or after Sep. 11, 2001, the max burial allowance is $2,000
  • before Sep. 11, 2001, the max burial allowance is $1,500

For a non-service-related death, if the Veteran died:

  • on or after Oct 1. 2021, the max allowance is $300 for burial allowance and $828 for a plot
  • between Oct 1, 2020, and Oct 1, 2021, $300 for burial allowance and $807 for a plot
  • between Oct 1, 2019, and Oct, 2020, $300 for burial allowance and $796 for a plot
  • between Oct 1, 2018, and Oct, 2019, $300 for burial allowance and $780 for a plot
  • between Oct 1, 2017, and Oct, 2018, $300 for burial allowance and $762 for a plot
  • between Oct 1, 2016, and Oct, 2017, $300 for burial allowance and $749 for a plot
  • between Oct 1, 2015, and Oct, 2016, $300 for burial allowance and $747 for a plot

9. Survivors Compensation & Pension

military-spouse-benefits

  • VA Survivors Pension

If you are qualified, you are entitled to monthly payments. The specific amount you receive depends on a few factors, including your countable income and MAPR amount (which is based on whether you qualify for Housebound or Aid & Attendance benefits and the number of dependents you have).

Specifically, the pension you receive is your countable income minus the MAPR amount. 

  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

You can apply for DIC using the VA Form 21P-534EZ and submit it online through AccessVA or by mail.

The monthly rates start from $1,437.66 but there can be added mounts depending on other factors, such as if:

  • The Veteran had a VA disability rating for 8 years
  • You have a disability
  • You have a disability and cannot leave the house because of it
  • You have 1 or more children under 18

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have learned all about military marriage benefits from this article. Since there was a lot of information, feel free to bookmark this for future reference. Leave any questions in the comments. And if you think this will benefit another reader, help us share it with them!

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