MOAA Clarifies MyCAA ???s

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) has put together a nice FAQ sheet that helps to explain some of the questions about how the MyCAA changes will affect those of us who are current participants but will no longer be eligible under the new rules.

For participants like me, who are currently enrolled in the program but are losing their eligibility because our spouses have been in the military too long, there are a few important dates:

  • By August 31st, any new career plans must be approved (I’m changing plans quickly, so I need to have that complete by August 31.)
  • By October 21st, all financial approval for new classes must be complete.  You may apply for classes that begin up until 15 January 2011.

The instructions say that these steps must be “applied for” by the dates listed, but I would err on the side of caution and give them ample time to process your requests before those dates.  If only we knew what would be enough time to get everything.  In my past experience, it has taken weeks to get replies to any communication.  I would like to think that they are going to honor our good efforts to communicate with the program administrators, but at this point I am distrustful of the process.

Once weeding through all the confusing information, it isn’t too bad, but it is frustrating.  For many families, this is not the right time to be suddenly cramming a spouse’s education into a short period of time.  Unfortunately, these changes have pushed them into a situation where they need to choose between losing this financial assistance or making their family’s life unpleasant for this next year or so while they try to complete as much schooling as possible.

So, spouses, if you are a current participant in MyCAA and you will lose your eligibility when the changes take effect in October, now is the time to push those education plans as far as your family situation will allow you.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Pouncy

    Thanks so much for these clarifications!

  • OSNavyWife

    I am currently enrolled & will be disqualified under the new laws. With being disqualified, that means I don’t fall under the new guidelines of having to finish the degree in the 3 years right? That is definitely not going to happen for me.

    The thing that irks me about this is that they’re saying that the money wasn’t supposed to be used for Bachelor’s degrees. Is it our fault that the MYCAA people approved our plans for that, if the career we chose is in a portable career field?

  • Good advice Kate. That was the idea behind posting the schedule. MOAA will continue to work towards opening the benefit up to all spouses, but in the meantime, stay on top of the deadlines to complete programs if that’s allowed under the new guidelines. Good luck!

  • AFwife

    The new MYCAA rules are hurting my chances of advancement. I qualified last year but, won’t this year because of my husbands rank. I thought the initial problem was so many people were starting and not finishing? If that was true how is it that they are kicking out those of us who are finishing? P.S. our total income is still less than $50,000. Does this sound right?

  • Amber

    Quick question!

    Are there any repercussions for spouses whom received/or plan to receive these benefits and FAIL and/or DROP OUT of their intended programs?

    I ask because I personally have known spouses who have done just that. It is unfortunate that many stipulations have been placed on the program and those individuals are able to get away scott free. I know that this may sound harsh, but those are the ones whom have taken advantage of the intended program.

    I would like to see success from this program, not continuous changes and amendments.

    • Amber, in theory there is a way to prevent this. New Financial Assistance is not supposed to be approved unless the previous classes have been successfully completed. I’m sure there are ways to scam the system (I’m not even sure I want to imagine) but obviously we can’t force everyone to be honest.

      I think that a better approval process certainly would have helped prevent some of the problems we are currently seeing.