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 provided.
Requirements 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.