Benefits for Same Sex Couples Will Begin 3 September 2013

The Department of Defense has announced that it will be extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples no later than 3 September 2013.  Affected families have been anxiously awaiting information since then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s February announcement that the Department of Defense (DOD) would extend benefits to all married couples regardless of sex.  The 26 June 2013 Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, prompting a department-wide review of policies relating to benefits.

Benefits impacted by this announcement include:

  • Housing allowance at the with dependent’s rate
  • Tricare medical coverage
  • Family Separation Allowance

Servicemembers in same-sex marriages will be required to register their spouse with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) in order to receive benefits.  This will require a valid marriage certificate.  Servicemembers whose marriage occurred prior to 26 June 2013 will have their benefits paid retroactively to that date.  Servicemembers who have married since 26 June 2013 will have their benefits paid retroactively to the date of their marriage.

Department of Defense civilian employees with same-sex spouses will also become eligible for spousal benefits.  The DOD will be working with the Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel Management to ensure that all appropriate benefits are being extended.

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.
  • Robert

    I would like to comment but before I do, what exactly does “socially acceptable” as stated in your “Commenting Policy” mean? This entire story can be construed as being “socially unacceptable” for most people.

    • guest

      Why would the story be deemed socially unacceptable? Especially when 53% of the American population supports gay marriage according to recent polls and DOMA was recently struck down as unconstitutional? If anything gay marriage is completely and totally socially acceptable to the majority. It seems the homophobic dinosaur views may put you in the minority Robert, heck even my insanely Catholic 70 year old parents are OK with it.

  • Bridget

    Does the extension of benefits include VA Benefits, like the VA Home Loan?

  • Mx2

    All benifits. Why it that so hard to understand. Is equal a new concept for you.

    • iugirl524

      While All benefits is the rule. You cannot still get VA benefits because of how the va funding laws are written. They have to go before congress to change and update the VA policy and extend benefits to same sex married couples.