There are plenty of challenges facing military spouses all over the world. While a list of benefits for military families and spouses doesn’t eliminate any of those challenges, it does help to have few things balance out the scale, so to speak.
Just by being a military spouse, you have automatic access to many services and programs thatothers you may need to ask for, or apply to receive. Here are 10 military spouse benefits to consider as you research what’s available to you.
1. Military Spouse Career Advancement Account
One of the best military spouse benefits is access to the Military Spouse Career Advancement (MyCAA) scholarship. The MyCAA offers financial aid — up to $4,000 — to military spouses pursuing various institute-aligned programs: A license, certification, or an associate’s degree. Spouses of any E-1 through E-5, as well as O-1 through O-2 servicemember, are eligible to complete their program. This benefit is extremely helpful for military spouses looking for their next career move.
2. Military Spouse and Family Healthcare
All family members of active-duty members gain access to military spouse and family healthcare benefits through TRICARE, regardless of their military member’s branch of service. While not an insurance company, but rather a company that acts like one, TRICARE is one of the many well-appreciated benefits for military families.
3. Military Basic Allowance for Housing
As an active-duty military spouse, another benefit you have access to is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). This is part of your servicemember’s bi-weekly pay, but the amount you receive depends on where your servicemember is stationed. If it so happens that your servicemember is stationed in a location you cannot go to, you will receive BAH based on where you choose to live rather than the location where they’re stationed. Be sure to check out mortgage assistance for military families if you need it.
4. Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) allows military spouses and children access to affordable life insurance coverage. A military servicemember may enroll their family members into this program; however, a spouse or dependant may not exceed the coverage held by the servicemember. Luckily, there are other military spouse life insurance policies available to you, designed specifically with the needs of military families in mind.
5. Marriage Counseling and Family Support
Another one of the military spouse benefits available to you is access to Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC). There, you can access individual, marriage, and/or family counseling without putting any of it on your public record. Counselors are able to meet you off base if necessary for privacy reasons. This is one of several mental health services available to military members and their families.
6. Military Discounts
Don’t be shy about asking for military discounts! This is a great benefit for military spouses, servicemembers, and Veterans to take advantage of. Companies and businesses don’t always post their military discounts, but if they have them available, the savings you receive can really add up. Military discounts are there to help you and your family out, so before you check out or make a purchase, ask if there are any current military discounts.
7. Military Spouse Preference Program
Unemployment is a challenge for American citizens everywhere, but it is especially high among military spouses and families. One military spouse benefit implemented to combat this is the Military Spouse Preference Program (MSP). Under MSP, you have access to the preferential employment placement in vacant civilian positions with the Department of Defense (DoD).
8. World Travel
While moving may not be for everyone, there is something exciting about being able to travel so much as a military spouse. Be sure to take advantage of the travel and relocation allowances offered to you by the DoP to make moving easier.
9. Military Spouse Scholarships
The MyCAA isn’t the only scholarship available to you as a military spouse. There are other benefits for military families and spouses in the form of scholarships. You can find both federal and state scholarships available as a military spouse or family member, as well as scholarships that are branch-specific, scholarships offered by nonprofits, and MilSpouse club scholarships. Apply to as many as are available to you to gain access to an easier higher education.
10. Commissaries and Exchanges
If you’re looking for military spouse benefits, be sure to check out commissaries and military exchanges. Active-duty and retired personnel — and their spouses — are able to use the Exchange available on most bases and online. They typically offer groceries sold at cost as well as discounted name brand products without sales tax.
The benefits available for military members and their families change often, so be sure to keep checking in for any updated benefits that may help you out!
More Benefits for Military Spouses:
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Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.