Military families have a lot to deal with - emotionally, logistically, and financially. What benefits are out there for military families to make life a bit easier for them? Where can they find discounts and deals? We've created this helpful financial guide aimed specifically to help military family members learn about the different resources, federal programs, retail discounts, and deals for dependents of U.S. soldiers.
U.S. soldier family members should be able to rely on fellow Americans to provide support and help in one way or another. In this guide we aim to help military families navigate their finances as well as get the support needed in various aspects of their busy lives.
There's one key thing to keep in mind, one thing that's hammered into our brains again and again: Everyone serves. Whether you're military personnel, retired veterans, or have family members who serve or are veterans themselves, it's important to remember there are plenty of resources and support groups available. However, beyond a simple breakdown of military family benefits, it's easy to get lost in military resources and give up on your search before finding what you really are after! Here are the main support groups that all dependents should check and use regularly:
Blue Star Families:
Offering everything from career coaching to discounted movie tickets, this community offers the opportunity to get support in a variety of ways. Sign up to get a mentor and find the help you need.
This is an official resource for completely free online tutoring and homework help for U.S. military members and their families. The members themselves, children, and some spouses are eligible.
Offering military veterans and family members a new career path, this nonprofit organization offers accelerated learning programs for coding, programming, and software development.
Medical experts at Harvard Medical School and UCLA have been studying the resilience of military families for decades, and now, they offer courses in resilience and coping training.
Air Force Benefits
The Air Force provides Airmen and their loved ones with outstanding insurance plans and low-cost life insurance. They also take care of basic needs such as living expenses, including utilities and maintenance for those who choose to live in on-base housing. Vacation benefits include 30 days with pay and, if they choose to fly, they can take advantage of available space on Air Force aircraft to travel to many international destinations as well as almost any state in the U.S.
Other benefits include:
In which eligible service members who are actively serving may be reimbursed a maximum of $2,000 per child for qualifying expenses related to the adoption of children under age 18.
Air Force Aid Society Merit Scholarship:
A $5,000 scholarship available to dependent Children and Spouses of active duty and retired Airmen who have demonstrated outstanding potential based on their GPA.
- The full list of Air Force specific benefits can be used to save thousands of dollars every year on education, healthcare, and family services.
National Guard Benefits
Members of the National Guard qualify for a range of benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
These include benefits such as:
Life Insurance Programs:
Providing Nation Guard members and their families with added financial security at very competitive rates.
Providing tax-free monthly benefit to wartime Veterans with limited or no income.
Health care benefits:
Providing all necessary inpatient hospital care as well as outpatient services to preserve, promote and restore the health of those who serve.
Military Marriage & Spouse Benefits
The wives, husbands, and partners of military members may feel like they're alone, but that's far from the truth. Not only are there communities of military spouses ready to network with, but there are more scholarships, business funds, and remote jobs available than ever before! Military spouse benefits and resources include everything from a free library to a military family life counselor to partner associations.
US SBA Spouse-Owned Business Support:
Spouses of the military who are hoping to start a business have accesses to resources and capital via the U.S. Small Business Administration.
FlexJobs for Military Spouses:
This is a job search tool for those looking for remote or freelance jobs, and it has a lot of resources for spouses.
My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA):
Backed by the Department of Defense, this scholarship program provides tuition assistance to those pursing a STEM-related associate degree or certification in a portable career field.
Naval Services Family Line:
A nonprofit for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard families, this organization offers a mentorship program as well as leadership courses.
Also, check out helpful tips from blogging networks and magazines like MilitarySpouse.com and NextGenMilSpouse.com.
"Military brats" have a mixed bag of privileges and struggles. The drawbacks are pretty obvious, with a family member going missing for long stretches of time, lots of moving, and needing to switch schools frequently. The benefits of being a military child include having access to educational tools, tutoring, and various kinds of financial help. Luckily, there's support for military families during deployment, especially for military children. Benefits of military family members include some of the following programs:
Military Kids Connect:
The main gateway for children to connect with other military kids, this site features message boards, interactive games, and ways to connect.
United Through Reading:
A simple but life-changing form of military family support, this program involves separated service members and their families reading aloud together.
Our Military Kids:
This is a nonprofit organization that supports 5-12th grade kids of military members in athletic, fine arts, and tutoring programs.
Child Care Aware:
This federal program partners with the military and Department of Defense to connect people with child-care programs at a reduced fee. The exact program depends on the military branch.
This resource is for service people and their family members; if the child is a K-12 student, it's one of the only free military dependents benefits.
Do Parents Get Military Discounts? Are They Considered Dependents?
Military benefits for parents of service members are limited. They cannot be enrolled in Tricare, but if you learn how to make a parent a military dependent, they may have access to some limited Tricare Plus options.
Health care can get expensive, especially if someone is treating a spouse with PTSD or a potential brain injury. Luckily, military family benefits tend to cover those sorts of things, but that doesn't mean the transient lifestyle can't lead to unforeseen costs, or even sudden wealth. Getting a hold of good military insurance benefits not only helps in emergencies but also can provide resources in times when things are going well. A number of insurance and financial options are available as well as ways money can be drawn on in times of stress.
- USAA: With numerous forms of banking, insurance, wealth management, and loans for military family members, from auto loans to mortgages to health insurance to credit monitoring, the USAA is the top insurer of military families and veterans.
- Armed Forces Insurance: Providing active military and veteran insurance for family needs from auto to renters' insurance, AFI has been an important provider sine 1887.
- First Command: A banking solution that offers financial planning, loans, investment management, and insurance for military family members, this institution dates back to the 1950s.
- Tricare: This is the official health insurance of the U.S. military.
- AAFMAA: This banking solution offers mortgages, wealth management, and life insurance.
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: They offer many kinds of services and loans for military family members, from financial counseling to thrift shops to education assistance.
- Army Emergency Relief: For those in the Army, this organization offers interest-free loans and grants as well as financial assistance.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Grants: The VFW offers emergency financial assistance for veterans.
- Military Star Card: Earn rewards and build credit with a military-focused credit card.
Your individual state may have a military family relief fund for direct financial aid as well!
There's a huge array of military discounts out there for a huge variety of situations: when things are going well and you're shopping for a gift for your loved one's return, or when things are a bit more dire and spouses are scrounging for cheap groceries. We've picked out some of the most useful deals for military families that can help transitions go smoother.
Looking For More Military Family Discounts?
If you haven't found the coupons and deals you need here, know that there are always more deals out there for military dependents. You can use CouponFollow's Interactive Military Discount Guide to sort through over 250+ different Military discounts, coupons and deals based on programs you've enrolled in and categories of interest.