DOD guidelines specify that military dependents with permanent disabilities must meet certain requirements to retain eligibility for military benefits.
To access military benefits and keep their military ID cards, DOD requires financial dependency redetermination every four years. Sponsors who have their full financial dependency determination recorded in DEERS may qualify to complete their redetermination process by answering three questions about their incapacitated dependent through a visit to an ID card facility OR mailing in to the appropriate DEERS/RAPIDS office. The verifying Official at the ID card office will enter the data and the Sponsor will answer three questions generated by the system. The answers to those questions will determine whether that is all that is required or if the Sponsor will need to submit a full redetermination packet.
If a change in dependency has occurred, Sponsors with permanently disabled adult children must seek the appropriate financial dependency redetermination — by submitting the necessary paperwork to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) — for their children if they have not done so within the last four years. Failure to complete the redetermination process every four years may result in a break in DEERS eligibility and a loss of benefits.
Every four years, you must submit to DFAS a completed, notarized financial dependency determination (DD Form 137-5), along with an approved medical sufficiency statement (completed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist), to your nearest military ID card (DEERS) location. Be sure to include the following documents for your dependent adult child upon submission:
- Social Security Disability Annual Statement
- Employment stubs from the previous year
- Proof of bill payment from the last 12 months, demonstrating that the servicemember is paying for more than 50% of the adult dependent child's expenses
If your adult dependent child has an "indefinite" expiration date on their military ID card, you will still need to submit a DD Form 137-5 to DFAS. Call your DEERS location to confirm whether or not your child needs to be physically present for any part of the recertification process.
For further information, call DFAS at 888-332-7411. Choose option #4, then option #2, then option #5, then choose their branch of service. You can find your local military ID card (DEERS) location by going to: https://idco.dmdc.osd.mil/idco/
You can watch an online DFAS video on filling out the DD Form 137-5 here: https://youtu.be/LI5j2CXKBSE
For more information, please visit milConnect - FAQ (osd.mil).
If you have any questions or need our assistance with your military benefits, an AAFMAA Member Benefits Representative can help. Call 800-522-5221 , select option 2, then option 2 again; or email [email protected].
This article was originally published July 20, 2017.