Monday, March 20, 2017

Are Adult Children of Active Duty Personnel Entitled to Any Military Benefits?

Active duty personnel act as direct sponsors for their spouses and minor children for the duration of their military career. But what about adult children? Are adult children also entitled to receive any military benefits?

Benefits from Birth or Adoption

Natural and adopted children of active duty personnel are entitled to receive full military benefits such as medical care from the date of birth or adoption. Their enrolment in DEERS will ensure that they are covered and accounted for whenever they need treatment. Children who reside with both parents will not normally need to receive an ID card until they reach the age of 10. However, if a child resides with a non-custodial parent who is not entitled to any military benefits, then the sponsor will need to ensure that their child has their own ID card earlier in case they need to access military installations and facilities closer to where they live.

Living Abroad

Children of active duty personnel are entitled to live abroad with their parents for the duration of their parent’s tour without having to go through a lengthy, costly visa application process. That means they can attend school and apply for work within the local community (in some countries) if they so choose. But they are not always entitled to take advantage of higher education benefits that would ordinarily be reserved for local residents. A child who goes abroad with their parents at the age of 15 can live abroad while their parents are stationed abroad. Their visa will be valid until their parents are due to return to America. This is a benefit that many children would not usually be able to experience.

Turning 21

Benefits of having an active duty parent will change once a child turns 21. Circumstances vary, but usually, the military will look at an adult child’s status in order to decide whether or not to issue another ID card to adult children of active duty personnel. If an adult child is enrolled in full-time education by the time they turn 21 and the parents can prove that they contribute at least 50% towards their child’s education and upkeep, then adult children are entitled to keep their ID card and full military benefits until they reach 23.

Young children of active duty personnel can keep benefits into their early twenties as long as they are in full-time education. If not, their benefits will end.

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