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DOD Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits

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The DOD remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs.

Entitlements such as TRICARE enrollment, basic allowance for housing and family separation allowance are retroactive to the date of the Supreme Court's decision. Any claims to entitlements before that date will not be granted. For those members married after June 26, 2013, entitlements begin at the date of marriage.

The DOD recognizes that same-sex military couples who are not stationed in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage would have to travel to another jurisdiction to marry. That is why the department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur. This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the department, and help level the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to be married.

For civilian benefits administered government-wide to federal employees, the DOD will follow the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Labor's guidance to ensure that the same benefits currently available to heterosexual spouses are also available to legally married same-sex spouses.

Related Sites:

DOD News Release [ http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=16203 ]

Secretary Hagel's memo [ http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2013/docs/Extending-Benefits-to-Same-Sex-Spouses-of-Military-Members.pdf ]

Further Guidance from Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright [ http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2013/docs/Further-Guidance-on-Extending-Benefits-to-Same-Sex-Spouses-of-Military-M.pdf ]

Related Articles:

Hagel: Defense Department Welcomes Supreme Court Decision [ http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=120364 ]