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

Here are some quick tips to help you with military spouse benefits:

  • Get a copy of your marriage certificate and keep it with other important documents. Ask for it from the city, town, or county clerk's office where your wedding took place.
  • Ask your spouse to enroll you in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). This lets you receive medical and other benefits. Contact information can be found on the TRICARE DEERS site.
  • Obtain a military identification card from the ID card facility. You will need it to receive military spouse benefits and to gain admission to installations, exchanges, and commissaries.
  • Memorize your spouse's Social Security number. You will need it for all sorts of paperwork and forms.
  • Learn how to read your spouse's leave and earnings statement (LES). It tells you how much pay, allowances, and leave time your spouse has. Visit the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Compensation page or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Military Members page to learn more.
  • 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.
  • Visit your installation's Family Support Center. It can give you information about relocation, local job and volunteer opportunities, and much more. Be sure to ask about the new spouse orientation program.
  • Register your vehicle on the installation. Check with the Provost Marshall or Military Police to see what documents you'll need.
  • Ask your spouse to list you as a beneficiary on his or her Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy. This is also the time for your spouse to update his or her record of emergency data sheet (DD Form 93).


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