US Military Spouses to be Reimbursed for Professional Licensing

A new provision in the defence bill bumps up the maximum military spouse reimbursement to $1,000, for re-licensing and re-certification costs each time they relocate with their service member.

The defence bill, signed into law by President Donald Trump, also extends
the authority for this reimbursement by two years through 31 December 2024.

Separate provisions in the bill would remove some barriers for spouses who own businesses when they move from state to state, and provide funding for Defence Department officials to work with states to address the core issue of cumbersome and costly requirements of getting re-licensed or re-certified in their profession every time they move from one state to another.

A current pilot programme reimburses spouses for re-licensing costs of up to $500, and was authorised in 2017, but the service branches implemented their individual programmes in May and June, 2019.

Thus, the reimbursement is retroactive for fees incurred with permanent change of station moves where orders were received on or after 12 December 2017. It was not immediately clear whether the increased maximum would apply retroactively.

Many military spouses spend time and money getting re-credentialed in their field when they move to a new state, costing money for exams and other fees, as well as lost pay potential as they go through the process.


Jowers, K. (2020) Military Spouses to be Reimbursed up to $1,000 for Professional Relicensing. Air Force Times. 20 January 2020, pp.21.


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