How Can a Divorced Military Wife Receive Benefits?


Quick Answer

Divorced military wives may receive benefits under the 20/20/20 rule, according to Military OneSource. The rule requires a minimum of 20 years of military service, a 20-year marriage and an overlap of the marriage and service for at least 20 years. If the former military wife remarries, she loses her benefits.

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Full Answer

Benefits covered under the 20/20/20 rule include medical care, commissary, exchange and theater privileges, reports Military OneSource. Wives that are unable to qualify under the 20/20/20 rule may qualify under the 20/20/15 rule. Benefits under the less strict rule entitle the former spouse to continue her medical coverage under Tricare for a period of one year. She does not maintain other privileges after the finalization of the divorce. Spouses that do not qualify under either of these rules lose their benefits upon the finalization of the divorce.

Biological and adopted children of the service member remain eligible for medical coverage after the divorce, advises Military OneSource. Stepchildren that the service member did not adopt lose their medical coverage when the divorce finalizes and the service member completes the update to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Eligible children maintain their eligibility until age 21 unless they are in college, in which case, the eligibility extends to age 23. Once the child ages out of eligibility, he has the option of purchasing coverage until age 26.

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