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If you are a military spouse or active-duty spouse who has left an abusive relationship, and your service member spouse has been separated from the service due to domestic or child abuse, you may be eligible for transitional compensation as a way to help you get back on your feet.
What is transitional compensation?
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.
Transitional compensation is a temporary resource that provides financial support and other help to dependent victims of abuse. If you are a military spouse or active-duty service member spouse who experienced abuse while your spouse was active duty, you may be eligible for this resource.
What support does transitional compensation provide?
This resource provides temporary:
- Monthly payments to abused spouse/children. The amount is based on Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which changes annually. You can find current amounts that apply to your situation by visiting the VA website—About VA DIC for spouses, dependents, and parents.
- Military benefits. You can continue to use the commissary and exchange while receiving transitional compensation.
- Medical care. You can continue to receive TRICARE benefits from either a military treatment facility or an approved TRICARE provider, including behavioral health services.
How long will this resource help support me?
Transitional Compensation may be approved for 12 to 36 months. Reach out to your domestic abuse victim advocate for more information.
If compensation is available for more than 12 months, you are required to recertify your eligibility annually.
Am I eligible?
The best way to determine if you are eligible is to call a domestic abuse victim advocate. You do not have to be married to report abuse, and if you are not eligible to receive this benefit, Family Advocacy Program staff can still connect you with safety and advocacy resources.
You may be eligible for this benefit if:
- You were married to the abusive service member
- Your service member was convicted of a dependent-abuse offense; or
- Your service member was 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
In general, 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. There may be situations where this resource is available when the offense is not listed as a reason for separation. Contact a domestic abuse victim advocate to learn more.
Active-duty victims of domestic abuse are also eligible for transitional compensation when the abuser is also on active duty.
You will become ineligible for compensation and benefits if you remarry or move back in with the former service member.
What other support is available to me?
Transitional compensation is one of the many resources available to you. Your nearest FAP office or Legal Assistance Office can help you apply for transitional compensation and provide you with additional information on legal topics, such as divorce.
FAP staff can also 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, you are not alone. Domestic abuse victim advocates are available to provide you with information and resources. You don’t have to be experiencing a crisis to speak with a victim advocate — they are here to support you. Read more about your domestic abuse reporting options while in the military, and know that if you have questions, a victim advocate can help.
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