Ex-spouses of military service members are not automatically entitled to continued military benefits; however, if the ex-spouse is eligible, commissary, exchange and medical benefits are available. Eligibility is determined based on the duration of the marriage, the duration of the service member's military service and the number of years during which the military service and marriage overlapped. A benefit available to ex-spouses of retired service members is the Survivor Benefit Plan annuity, payable upon the retired service member's death; this is subject to the service member designating a beneficiary, which may or may not be a former spouse, notes Military.com.
For an ex-spouse to qualify for continued commissary, exchange and medical benefits under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, their marriage to a service member must have lasted for at least 20 years, all of which must have overlapped with military service, notes Military.com.
Continued medical benefits for a period of one year may be granted to ex-spouses of service members who do not meet this requirement. To qualify, the marriage and military service must both have lasted for a period of at least 20 years. However, the overlap between the marriage and military service need only have lasted for a minimum of 15 years, states MilitaryOneSource.mil.