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Military Spouses Can Now Get Double the Cash for Licensing After a PCS

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Seven military spouses at Robins recently graduated with their Certified Nursing Assistant licenses
Seven military spouses at Robins recently graduated with their Certified Nursing Assistant licenses from Central Georgia Tehnical College through a grant-based program by the Air Force Aid Society. CGTC is partnering with the Robins Airman & Family Readiness Center to provide educational programs to Team Robins spouses. (Photo: 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs)

Military spouses who face professional licensure fees after every PCS now have access to double the reimbursement cash from the Pentagon, thanks to a new law included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The rule reimburses up to $1,000 for licensing requirement fees per PCS for moves that occurred on or after Dec. 12, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2024, up from $500.

This change impacts every branch, though new directives for each branch with the actual how-tos are still coming and vary.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signed the new Army directive on Jan. 16, 2020. The Navy followed with its version Feb. 12. The Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Air Force have not yet put forth official word on the updated amount, and spouses must wait until they do so to apply.

For the one year the reimbursement program has already been in play, it’s use seems pretty good. While it was capped at $500 per move through the end of 2019, 423 military spouses received a total of $138,015 in reimbursements, although only 51 of them and $15,000 of the reimbursements were Army spouses. The Air Force leads the services with the most spouses reimbursed at 159, and the Navy has the highest dollar amount at $37,608.

The Army has received almost 100 requests, but has sent back 44 of them for further required action, according to what Army spokeswoman Cathy Vandermaarel told the Military Times in December.

How to Apply for the Spouse License Money

So how does it actually work? Standard military issue answer: it depends on your branch. But we do have some of the particulars below. But brace yourself, you’re probably going to have to rely on your service member to help you do this. (Ugh. I know.)

Navy

Sailors should send an encrypted email to askmncc@navy.mil with the following info:

  • Claim form SF Form 1164
  • Copy of PCS orders
  • A copy of the service member’s PCS travel settlement voucher DD form 1351-2, indicating state-to-state member and spouse relocation
  • Receipts for costs incurred for relicensing/recertification
  • Proof of previous certification/license
  • Proof of new recertification/relicense

Marine Corps

Spouses can take the following documents to the installation Personnel Administration Office:

  • Copy of PCS Orders
  • Copy of previous certification/license
  • Copy of new recertification/relicensing document
  • Receipt showing recertification/relicensing fees

Air Force

Spouses should take the required documents to the local servicing finance office, and the staff there will walk them through the rest of the process.

  • Copy of PCS Orders
  • Copy of previous certification/license
  • Receipt showing recertification/relicensing fees

Army

Each installation should have an assigned officer to accept and approve the process. Once approved, the reimbursement will hit the soldier’s direct deposit within 10 days. The required documents are:

  • SF 1034 “Public Vouchers for Purchase and Services Other than Personal”
  • Copy of PCS Orders
  • Copy of previous certification/license
  • Copy of new recertification/relicensing document
  • Proof of fee payment
  • Copy of marriage certificate

Coast Guard

Just like for Navy spouses, Coast Guard spouses should go through their service members after they have received their new certification or license. You’ll need:

  • Claim for members for Expenditures on official business voucher (Optional Form 1164)
  • Copy of PCS orders
  • Copy of new recertification/relicensing document
  • Receipt showing recertification/relicensing fees

As you can see, the general theme is that you pay out of pocket for your new license and certification, and then you submit the information for reimbursement. Make sure you read and follow the directions carefully and prepare yourself to submit multiple times.

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