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 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.

More information and forms needed to
start your packet for a dependent >>
Military Dependent ID Card
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