Marines Will Cover up to $500 in Licensing Fees for Spouses Under New Policy

Marines, veterans and spouses get face-to-face with employers during the Marine Corps Air Station New River job fair, Sept. 5, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Martin Egnash)
Marines, veterans and spouses get face-to-face with employers during the Marine Corps Air Station New River job fair, Sept. 5, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Martin Egnash)

The Marine Corps has announced its policy for covering the cost of spouses' professional credentials and licensing fees following a permanent change-of-station move.

In a Marine administrative message issued Thursday, Marine and Family Member Programs Director Marie Balocki said the service will reimburse up to $500 per PCS to cover the costs of professional licensing or re-certification, to include exams and registration fees, after a move.

The new policy aims to reduce military spouse unemployment, estimated to be between 16% and 24%, and follows a congressional mandate in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The Army and Air Force announced details of their reimbursement plans earlier this month; the Navy is expected to follow suit next month.

To be eligible, Marine spouses must successfully obtain the same license or certification in the professional field they practiced at a previous duty station in the new state.

The new benefit is not offered to spouses of Marines with initial assignment orders, those who fail in their recertification efforts or those whose military members are retiring.

It also does not cover travel costs associated with relicensing.

The benefit is backdated to Dec. 12, 2017, the date the fiscal 2018 NDAA was signed.

Marines must apply for the reimbursement through their admin office. They will need copies of their orders, the old certification or license, the new certification and receipts showing payment of fees.

To be reimbursed for licensing expenses dating from Dec. 12, 2017, through May 2019, service members must submit the paperwork before May 2021.

The new policy applies to active-duty and reserve Marines; reimbursement eligibility is effective through Dec. 31, 2022, according to the MARADMIN.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @patricia.kime.

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