9 Tips for New Military Spouses to Ensure You Receive Your Benefits

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Military life can be an exciting adventure, as long as you're prepared. Here are some tips to help you begin your new life as part of the military community.

  1. Obtain a copy of your marriage certificate and keep it with other important documents. You can get it from the city, town or county clerk's office where you were married.
  2. Ask your spouse to enroll you in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS. Be sure you're enrolled in DEERS as it's required to receive medical and other benefits. For contact information, visit TRICARE DEERS.
  3. Get a military identification card from the ID card facility. You'll need it to receive military spouse benefits and gain access to installations, exchanges and commissaries.
  4. Memorize your spouse's Social Security number. You'll need it for all sorts of paperwork and forms.
  5. Learn to read your spouse's leave and earnings statement, or LES. Your spouse's LES will show you how much pay, allowances and leave time your spouse has. Visit Department of Defense Military Compensation or Defense Finance and Accounting Service to learn more.
  6. Learn about the military's health benefits. Visit TRICARE to learn about the three options available for medical benefits, and ask your spouse for enrollment information.
  7. Visit your installation's Military and Family Support Center. You'll get information about relocation, local job and volunteer opportunities, and much more. Be sure to ask about the new-spouse orientation program.
  8. Register your vehicle on the installation. Check with the provost marshal or military police to see what documents you'll need.
  9. Ask your spouse to list you as a beneficiary on his or her Servicemembers Group Life Insurance policy. This is also a good time for your spouse to update his or her record of emergency data sheet (DD Form 93).

Following these steps will help you receive the benefits you're entitled to as a military spouse. For more resources on being new to the military, take a look at Military OneSource's New to the Military page.


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