Secondary Dependents of U.S. Military Members
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Secondary Dependents of U.S. Military Members
There are times when your dependents may include more than your
spouse and children. These added dependents can increase your
financial responsibilities. If you’re responsible for the financial support
of other family members, you may be eligible to add them as your
secondary dependents.

Preparing and submitting applications to have eligible persons included
as your secondary dependents can ensure you receive the benefits and
allowances you and your dependents are entitled to. These benefits
may include the following:

* Increased Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) not to exceed full BAH
with dependents
* Uniformed Services Identification and Privileges Card
* Travel allowances

Who can be secondary dependents?
Secondary (non-primary) dependents can include:

* Parent, parent-in-law, step-parent, parent by adoption, or any person
who stood ‘in-loco parentis’ (in the place of a parent) to you for at least
five years prior to your emancipation.

* Unmarried children ages 21 and 22 who are enrolled in an accredited
institution of higher education on a full-time basis.

* Ward of the court, unmarried, and placed in the permanent legal
physical custody of the member, or if not permanent custody for a
period of at least 12 consecutive months.

* Unmarried child over age 21 incapable of self-support because of
mental or physical incapacity that occurred while the child was
considered a dependent of yours as a member or retired member, or
is considered the dependent of a deceased member (while under age
21 or under age 23 and a full-time student).

To qualify as a secondary dependent, the individual’s income, not
including your contribution, must be less than one-half of the actual
living expenses. The law requires the individual to be ‘in fact’ dependent
on you, the service member. Your  contribution must be more than one-
half of the dependent’s actual monthly living expenses. Documentation
to prove living expenses and your contribution must ALWAYS be

To be considered sufficiently dependent upon the member, the claimed
dependent’s countable income must be:

* Less than 50 percent of his/her expenses

* The member’s contribution must exceed 50 percent of the
dependent’s expenses. The law requires the individual to be “in fact”
dependent on the member, so the member’s contribution must be more
than one-half of the dependent’s actual monthly living expenses).

Need to submit a secondary dependency application or speak
with someone about one you've already submitted?

The Customer Care Center can be reached at 1-888-DFAS411 (332-
7411), option 4, then option 2, from 8:00am to 5:00pm ET, Monday
through Friday. To continue to secondary dependency claim inquiries
for all active and reserve members, select option 5, then option 1 for
Army. Retirees should select option 6.

More information and forms needed to start your packet for a dependent
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