Military marriage benefits go beyond the ordinary perks associated with regular, non-military marriages. Understanding and taking advantage of these benefits as a military couple can be incredibly helpful for the personal and financial well-being and stability of military families. From healthcare to community support, the military provides a range of benefits to couples navigating the challenges of service life. We dive into the most helpful military marriage benefits below. Plus, we spoke with a real military couple who have been married for over 12 years, and have reaped the benefits of military marriage, and tell us all about it in this article. Let’s dive in!
Healthcare Benefits for Military Spouses
Military spouses enjoy comprehensive healthcare benefits that stem from their spouse’s active duty. This system is known as “Tricare,” a military healthcare program designed to cater to the medical needs of military families. Through Tricare, military spouses gain access to a wide range of medical services, ensuring that their health and well-being are taken care of. Tricare may cover things such as routine check-ups, hospitalizations, prescriptions, and preventive care.
The importance of healthcare benefits for military spouses is especially crucial during deployments and relocations, where life can get pretty crazy for a military spouse. Tricare allows for consistent and reliable healthcare, which in turn helps create stability and resilience in military families. A stable military family means less stress for the active duty service member. It’s a win-win!
Military couples enjoy a spectrum of financial benefits that provide financial support throughout their service journey and even after they are no longer active. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) offers assistance with housing costs, a critical aspect of financial well-being, to uniformed service members.
Besides housing, military families may also benefit from tax advantages. For example, certain military pay is tax-free, such as the combat pay exclusion and basic allowance for housing exclusion. There are also deadline extensions and credits offered to military personnel.
Educational benefits for spouses further contribute to the financial landscape, where the military covers part or all of military families’ education. Thanks to the GI bill, military personnel, and their families may apply for financial aid pertaining to education costs.
These multifaceted financial advantages not only alleviate immediate monetary concerns but also empower military couples to plan for their future. By combining various forms of financial support, the military recognizes the unique demands placed on service members and their spouses, aiming to create a foundation of financial security that allows these couples to focus on their roles in the armed forces without undue financial stress.
Deployment Support Services
Deployment can be an emotionally challenging aspect of military life, and the armed forces understand the importance of providing comprehensive support services to spouses left behind during these periods. Emotional and practical assistance is a huge part of deployment support services, which offers a network of resources to help spouses navigate the hardships they may face.
Some deployment services include counseling, commissary privileges, and community engagement programs. These initiatives aim to provide support to a spouse during deployment. In addition, the military recognizes the significance of maintaining communication between deployed service members and their spouses, and as such, deployment support services often include technological solutions and resources to facilitate communication between spouses.
Housing Assistance Programs
As we mentioned earlier, housing assistance programs are a huge financial help to military families. The various military housing programs encompass a range of options, from housing allowances to subsidies, making the cost of living more manageable for military couples.
For example, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) ensures fair compensation for uniformed service members in the 50 U.S. states, considering local housing costs when paid-for military quarters aren’t available. However, BAH doesn’t cover all housing expenses. It simply allows service members the freedom to choose off-base housing without penalties for budgeting decisions. Actual out-of-pocket expenses may vary based on housing choices.
One notable aspect of these military housing assistance programs is their adaptability to the dynamic nature of military life, providing support during moves between duty stations. This ensures that relocations are not only smoother but also accompanied by the necessary financial and logistical assistance.
Military personnel and spouses alike have access to a wealth of educational opportunities, exemplifying the armed forces’ commitment to fostering personal and professional growth within military families. The GI Bill, a law providing military families with the financial means to pursue higher education, opens doors for career development and advancement. In addition to the GI Bill, various scholarships and grants are available to military families, offering financial assistance to spouses and active duty members seeking to further their education.
Community and Support Networks
Military spouses find invaluable support within the strong military community networks. These networks recognize the unique challenges faced by military families and serve as pillars of strength for spouses and children, connecting them with others in similar situations.
The importance of community support cannot be overstated, offering a sense of belonging and understanding. Whether through local resources, support groups, or specialized organizations, military spouses can tap into a wealth of assistance. The bonds formed within these networks provide not only emotional support but also practical advice, creating a web of connections that become crucial during deployments and relocations.
In acknowledgment of the sacrifices made by military families, particularly the spouses, the armed forces provide vital survivor benefits to ensure ongoing support in times of loss. These benefits offer financial assistance and resources to the surviving spouses of service members. These survivor programs aim to alleviate the financial burden during difficult times. Survivor benefits often include compensation, access to healthcare, counseling, and assistance with the bureaucratic processes that follow the loss of a loved one. By offering these benefits, the military strives to honor the memory of those who served while providing practical assistance to the surviving spouses.
Retirement Benefits for Military Couples
Military spouses may be qualified to receive certain benefits after retiring, as well. For example, some couples may qualify for a VA pension, which helps facilitate their financial future. There may also be healthcare available to retired vets through various different programs such as Tricare and CHAMPVA. Planning for military retirement as a couple involves navigating unique challenges, but the comprehensive support offered by each military branch ensures that the transition from active duty to retirement is as smooth as possible.
A Real Military Couple’s Story
Meet Amanda and Derek. A real military love story that kicked off in whirlwind fashion. These two lovebirds met, fell head over heels, and just eight months later, they were saying “I do” at the ripe age of 18. They had to get married quickly due to the impending year-long deployment Derek faced. Fast forward more than 12 years, and guess what? They’re still going strong! While they initially tied the knot for love, Amanda and Derek stumbled upon some pretty helpful military marriage benefits along the way.
We spoke with Derek Wade, a Marine Corps veteran living in Wisconsin, who told us, “When we got married at 18, we benefitted from Basic Housing Allowances, affordable housing military benefits, and tuition assistance. These greatly helped with getting our life started together as a young couple. To this day, we still benefit from many different military benefits such as tuition costs covered via the GI Bill, discounts at many stores, and special banking/home rates.”
Derek’s wife, Amanda Wade, also received benefits through the military as a spouse of a Marine Corps.
She explained, “Being the spouse of a Marine came with a lot of hardships. It also provided me with a lot of privileges, despite not being a service member. For instance, when I married Derek, we had to move into on-base housing in California. I knew nobody and had never even been to the West Coast in my life. However, the moment we moved in we were welcomed by a community of people who we could relate to and shared the same fears. There were a lot of lonely weeks and months while Derek was active, but I never felt alone. To this day, I still find myself benefiting from Derek’s time in the Marine Corps by proxy. We were able to purchase our first home together thanks to the VA Loan. We have the privilege of only having to pay for one college education since Derek’s tuition was completely covered by the military. And the area we live in now holds a lot of special events for Veterans that Derek participates in which provides unique opportunities for our three young sons to learn more about their Dad’s time in the service and see him in a different perspective than they are used to.”
In conclusion, military marriage benefits encompass a wide range of support services and advantages, from healthcare to financial stability. Military couples are encouraged to explore and utilize these resources to enhance their well-being and navigate the unique challenges of service life successfully. And as we learned from Derek and Amanda, military marriage benefits can extend well into military retirement!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about military marriage benefits
Let’s dig into some of your burning questions on military marriage benefits.
Q: Do military spouses receive healthcare benefits?
A: Yes, military spouses may be qualified to receive healthcare benefits, which may be through a program known as Tricare.
Q: What financial support is available for military couples?
Q: How does the military support spouses during deployments?
A: The military provides emotional and practical assistance, such as community support, counseling, and housing programs, along with resources for communication with their spouse during deployments.
Q: Are there educational opportunities for military spouses?
A: Yes, military spouses may qualify to benefit from educational opportunities such as the G.I. Bill, scholarships, and grants.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]