MyCAA Expanded Eligibility + Other Military Spouse News - MedCerts

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ATTN Military Spouses: For a limited time, the Department of Defense has expanded eligibility for My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) to the first 1,250 approved applicants in the ranks of E-6 and O-3. MedCerts is an approved school for the MyCAA scholarship.

As a busy military spouse, you qualify for multiple government-sponsored benefits and programs. The U.S. updates and enhances these programs frequently — so frequently it can be hard to keep up when you're busy with work, school, family and other responsibilities.

It's been a particularly significant year for DoD milspouse and military family programs. For example, did you know the military recently expanded My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) eligibility? To help you stay up to date, here's the biggest military spouse news in brief.

1. Dependent Care Flexible Spending

The DoD has decided to make Dependent Care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) available to service members with legal dependents. When the program is active, your family can deduct $5,000 in pre-tax payroll income for your dependents.

2. Military Parental Leave Expansion

As of January 4, 2023, the Department of Defense will grant 12 weeks of parental leave to all new parents following birth, adoption or long-term foster placement. For birth-giving parents, these 12 weeks will follow any convalescent leave a doctor might recommend.

3. Enhanced Support for Family Members with Special Needs

The DoD is also expanding its Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). This program coordinates with military and civilian organizations to support service families having members with special needs. New aspects of the program include:

  • A new online tool to provide direct information access,

  • A family support feedback tool to improve service quality and

  • Improved messaging for service providers to share with families.

The DoD made these changes to improve families' military experience and provide more support to those who need it most.

4. Universal Pre-Kindergarten at DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools

The DoD recently announced its plan to request funding for universal pre-kindergarten in its schools. The requested funds — more than $90 million — would serve 4-year-old children in DoDEA schools worldwide.

The program would put preschool education within reach for military families who are otherwise unable to afford it. If approved, it will become active in 2024.

5. Portability for Professional Licensing

Military spouses in state-licensed professions currently have to secure new licenses whenever their families relocate. In January 2023, President Biden signed a law allowing license reciprocity.

Now, if state-licensed military spouses move to the participating states, they can carry their licenses over and start work sooner. Unfortunately, the military doesn't expect all states to participate.

An alternative option for spouses seeking training is to earn a nationally recognized certification. MedCerts provides certification-focused programs in high-demand fields such as healthcare and information technology.

6. Expanded Eligibility for Military Spouse Scholarship Funds

The DoD runs the MyCAA scholarship program for eligible military spouses. To be eligible, you must be married to an active-duty serviceperson in an eligible pay grade.

As of March 2023, eligible pay grades include:

  • E-1 to E-6,

  • O-1 to O-3 and

  • W-1 to W-2.

Pay grades O-3 and E-6 are new additions. The DoD currently limits enrollment in these categories to the first 1,250 applicants. If you are the spouse of an O-3 or E-6 servicemember, apply to a MyCAA-approved program at MedCerts before space runs out.

Take Advantage of MyCAA Eligibility With MedCerts

MedCerts is a MyCAA-approved school offering career education to military spouses, often at no cost. Talk to one of our education consultants to find a program that meets your goals.

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Published on May 9, 2023


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