Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Military Spouse Benefits Updates

Military Spouse Education Benefits Program Reopens but Restricted

D.O.D announced that the MyCAA program will start taking new enrollments on Oct. 25th, 2010. There have been some major changes to the program since its inception with DOD reducing the tuition amount, only approving up to an AS degree, and restricting the program to junior enlisted/ officer spouses.

The military spouse career advancement program is a Department of Defense (D.O.D) program that pays for associate’s degrees, certifications and licensure programs leading to employment in portable careers.

Only spouses of an active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine service member, or activated Reserve member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, or O1-O2 is eligible. There is a maximum amount of $4,000 per spouses with a $2,000 a year cap on funds.

To get started the spouse must establish an account at https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa.The spouse must have an established and approved career goal and have an approved degree program.

To apply for the program a spouse must call a military OneSource consultant at 1-800-342-9647 to create a career plan and academic goal. The program only covers tuition up and it does not cover fees and other costs.

The program is sponsored by the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy and the program is designed to decrease the stress of Permanent Change of Duty Stations (PCS) on military families.


FINRA Certification Spouse Scholarship

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation's Military Spouse Fellowship offers free training each year to spouses of active-duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army or Air National Guard or reserve component servicemembers.
Fellowships are awarded by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and spouses can earn the Accredited Financial Counselor™ certificate. The program covers the enrollment fee, study materials, webinar study sessions and two attempts at each examination for the two required courses.
Interested spouses should have an interest in financial education, be able to complete 400-2000 practicum hours, and have the time to study online for the exam.

The Accredited Financial Counselor™ certificate requires the coursework, two exams and the practicum to be completed in order to be certified.

The program started in 2006 and is a partnership with Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) and the National Military Family Association (NMFA). After accreditation spouses provide services as financial counselors at variety of settings in both the U.S and overseas.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education

Currently the scholarship is closed however spouses can sign up for an alert of when the program opens up for next year at: http://www.militaryfamily.org/get-info/support-family/spouse-employment/financial-counselor-fellowships.html


The Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarships

The Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarships program is sponsored by the National Military Family Association and the scholarship of up to $1,000 is awarded to spouses of Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve, Retirees, and Survivors. The scholarship can be used for tuition, fees, and room and board for any of the following programs:

 GED or ESL
 Vocational training
 Professional certification
 Post-secondary
 Graduate school
 In-class or on-line
 Full-time or part-time

The program opens for enrollment for 2011 on December 1st and enrollment will be open until January. The scholarship is only for a year and must be reapplied for each following year.

For more information please sign up for the email news alert letter from The National Military Family Association at: http://www.militaryfamily.org/publications/enewsletters/enewsletter-sign-up-1.html


New Tax Laws for Military Spouses

Military Spouses can keep their home state for tax filing purposes, regardless of where the family is stationed. The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act says the non-military spouse can now retain the same home state of record/state of residence as the military spouse, as long as the non-military spouse’s sole reason for leaving that state was due to a permanent change of station (PCS) for the military spouse. For more information contact the Base Jag/legal office.


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