I am happy to report that the Army, through their Family Advocacy Program, has made an important step in recognizing the need to financially support abused dependents. It was authorized by Congress and is called the Transitional Compensation Program. The legislation authorizes temporary monetary payments for families in which the active duty soldier has been court-martialed or is being administratively separated for a dependent-abuse offense.
Transitional compensation (TC) is designed to partially alleviate financial hardship for the abused dependent(s) as a result of reporting the dependent-abuse offense.1 TC may be authorized for a spouse or former spouse of an activity duty soldier who has received official notification of an administrative separation or court-martial conviction (with a qualifying sentence) for domestic abuse or child abuse. Dependent children residing in the home of the soldier at the time of the abuse may also qualify for TC.
Payments are for a minimum of 12 months or until the soldier’s ETS date (date their enlistment is up), whichever period is longer, but may not exceed a maximum of 36 months. (There is no ETS for officers as they do not enlist.) The current monthly Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) rate is $1,154 for the spouse, $286 for each eligible child, or $488 per eligible child if there is no spouse payment. If the spouse has custody of dependent children of the soldier, the amount of compensation to the spouse will increase for each child. If there is no eligible spouse, compensation can be made to a court-appointed guardian on behalf of the dependent children.
Transitional compensation beneficiaries are also entitled to other privileges for the duration of their eligibility period. During the eligibility period, beneficiaries are entitled to commissary and exchange privileges. They are also eligible to receive medical care, including behavioral health services, as TRICARE beneficiaries. Dental care services may be provided in dental facilities of the Uniformed Services on a space available basis. Certification that the spouse has not re-married and is not cohabitating with the solder (offender) is required to be sent to the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) on an annual basis.
Benefits will be forfeited to eligible dependents if the eligible spouse remarries. In addition, if the soldier or former soldier cohabitates with the eligible spouse or dependent child receiving transitional compensation, payments will cease.
This is a MAJOR STEP for which I applaud the Army. I do not know if the other branches of the service are doing something similar, but I hope they will follow the Army’s lead.
1 U.S. Army, ARMY OneSource, September 2010