Marine Corps spouses can now file for professional licensing reimbursement anytime they must move duty stations.
Under the National Defense Authorization Act, any Marine spouse required to move due to a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) may now apply for up to $500 for license reimbursement.
The new benefit is open to spouses of active duty and active reserve Marines.
Quite often, state and local governments require licensing in certain fields — many which happen to be portable careers for military spouses. These professions include hairdressers, medical assistants, phlebotomists, and massage therapists, for example.
Army and Air Force spouses already receive this benefit.
Read on to learn more about the new reimbursement policy and how it works.
The reality is, most military spouses move every few years with their service member.
In 2017, the unemployment rate in the military spouse community was 16%. Due to frequent disruptions in employment, it can be difficult for military spouses to find full-time work. It can also be hard to continue work in your given field if recertification takes too long.
As a result, many turn to highly portable careers in fields like healthcare, where it’s easier to find work with every PCS move.
Because these fields usually demand state-specific certifications or licensures, it can feel overwhelming to start over with each move due to the high cost of state exams and recertification. The new benefit will alleviate the financial burden for military families in having to potentially repeat this process with every single move.
The reimbursement process is pretty simple, actually.
All requests must be submitted through the local Personnel Administration Office/Center on your new base. The benefit only covers up to $500 for each change of station. You'll also need to submit it no later than 24 months after the PCS orders issued date.
What You’ll Need:
For more details on reimbursement and/or spouse employment resources, contact your local Family Member Employment Assistance Program office.
No certification? No problem. The government will pay for that, too.
Even if you don't have a certification, you can get one on the government’s dime. MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account) offers military spouses up to $4,000 for certain licenses, certifications, and degrees.
A few healthcare and IT options that MyCAA pays for:
There are many other career options, so be sure to check with your Family Member Employment Assistance Program office to get pointed in the right direction.
The best part? You can use MyCAA for online certifications, too. This is especially helpful when you may need to PCS in the middle of a certification program — the program goes with you!
While using your MyCAA benefit, you will have access to career counselors who can help you pick the best career path for you. They will also help you choose a career that can move with you from each duty station to reduce those employment gaps on your resume.
Whether you plan to use your MyCAA benefit or spouse reimbursement for licensure or certification, be sure to take full advantage of your military spouse benefits.
If you're eligible, take the time to read all the specific requirements in order to receive full reimbursement. The military can be picky about paperwork filings, so it’s wise to have a professional assist you in getting it done correctly.