Today, I was working on a PCS post (keep your eyes open tomorrow), and I ran across this absolute gem from Life Lessons of A Military Wife: The Ugly Stuff No One Wants To Talk About But Is A MUST To Know. Yes, this post is a year old, but that doesn't make it any less important.
You can click over and read the entire, amazing post, but for The Paycheck Chronicles I want to focus on a few points that particularly jumped out at me:
As morbid as this sounds, if your servicemember is on life support, wait at least eight days to stop life support, as that is when more benefits will start. If you don’t, you will not receive these additional benefits.I'm not sure why this would be true, but I am going to find out. I will let you know when I have more information.
If you have children, it is a smart idea to send a custody order with your overseas assignment orders to the person stateside who will be the guardian of your children. Get a POA that says upon your death, this child will go to that person. Make sure the POA says ONLY upon your death, your spouses’ death or the death of a single parent.While the author is talking about overseas situations, I think this sounds like a great idea regardless of your location. Let's see if our base legal services department will help me make this happen.
If you’ve ever been pregnant and lost the baby (at least 20 weeks or 350 grams in weight) you are entitled to receive Family Member SGLI insurance of $10,000 for each child. This is retroactive back to November 2009, so if you know of ANYONE who lost a child or unborn baby, please tell them about this. This covers any child up to 18 years old OR as long as they have a military ID. You will need medical record proof.More information is available on page 41 of the VA Life Insurance Handbook.
There is also an interesting conversation in the comments regarding a DD Form 93, Record of Emergency Data, commonly known as a "Page 2." This document details the service member's family relationships and designates beneficiaries for military related death benefits. It is unfortunately common for the contents of the DD93 to be a surprise to the spouse, either because the service member did not clearly communicate their thoughts to their spouse, or because there has been an administrative error. Because this is an incredibly important document and the information contained within has an enormous impact on the long-term financial plans of the spouse, I highly recommend that spouses obtain, via their service member, a copy of the service member's DD Form 93 to be kept in the spouse's personal records.
There are so many benefits to military service, but they are often confusing and complicated. Knowing the details is the first step to making sure you don't miss out.
Many thanks to Veteran Military Wife for her many, many valuable Life Lessons.