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Transitional Compensation: Help for Victims of Abuse

Victims of abuse can feel isolated and discouraged. For military families, this isolation can be more intense when they are living far from extended family and close friends. No matter what your situation is, the military community has resources to support you. If you’ve bravely decided to leave an abusive relationship, transitional compensation is a financial benefit that can help you move and get back on your feet.

To be eligible for the benefit:

You are not alone

Whether you are questioning your partner’s behavior toward you or looking for ways to manage your safety at home, help is available.

  • You must have been living in the home of and married to the service member.
  • Your service member must have been convicted of a dependent-abuse offense.
  • Your service member must have been separated from the military under a court-martial sentence, sentenced to a forfeiture of all pay and allowances by a court martial for a dependent-abuse offense or administratively separated, at least in part, for a dependent-abuse offense.

A dependent-abuse offense must be listed as a reason for the separation or forfeiture, although it does not have to be the primary reason. Active-duty victims of domestic violence are also eligible for transitional compensation when the offender is also active duty.

What you need to know

If you’re eligible to receive transitional compensation benefits, there are some important aspects of the benefit you should know about.

  • Amount of the benefit: The compensation amount is based on the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which changes annually. Find current amounts at the Department of Veterans Affairs DIC website.
  • Length of the benefit: It is available for 12 months, or the unserved portion of the service member’s obligated active service, whichever is longer. Compensation will not extend beyond 36 months.
  • Maintaining eligibility: You will become ineligible for compensation and benefits if you remarry or move back in with the former service member while receiving benefits.
  • Recertifying eligibility: If your compensation is available for more than 12 months, you are required to recertify your eligibility annually.
  • Travel and transportation allowance: You may be eligible to receive this allowance along with the transitional compensation benefit. It helps abused spouses or parents of abused children who need to move away from the abuser for safety reasons. It can be used to cover travel expenses and the cost of shipping household goods.
  • Other benefits: As part of the Transitional Compensation Program, you may be eligible for other benefits, including medical care, exchange privileges and commissary privileges.

Transitional compensation is one of the many resources available to you as a victim of domestic abuse. Your installation’s Family Advocacy Program or legal assistance office can help you apply for transitional compensation and provide you with additional information on legal topics, such as divorce. Also, your installation’s FAP staff can help you:

  • Develop a safety plan for you and your family
  • Find a safe house or shelter
  • Access counseling
  • Arrange a medical exam or court appearance
  • Find additional military and civilian resources

Remember that as a victim of domestic abuse, you are not alone. Victim advocates are available to provide you with information and resources. And you don’t have to be experiencing a crisis to speak with a victim advocate — they can support you regardless of what state your relationship is in. Read more about your domestic abuse reporting options while in the military, and know that if you have questions, your victim advocate can help.

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