Eligible spouses may be awarded $500 for relicensure reimbursement

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Airmen in the middle of a permanent change of station move have a lot on their plate. Unforeseen expenses can add up, fortunately a program may be able to provide financial relief for families.

Earlier this year, the Air Force announced the spouse relicensure reimbursement program. The program provides up to $500 for eligible spouses who must obtain state occupational relicensures or recertifications during a PCS across state lines.

“The strength of the nation’s Air Force is not the platforms we operate or the technologies we employ; it is our Airmen and their families. Family readiness is Airman readiness,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the military services to reimburse service members for occupational state relicensing and recertification costs their spouses incur due to a PCS/PCA. While some states authorize reciprocity for certain types of occupational licenses, not all states do, resulting in the spouse needing to update a license or certification according to the new state’s requirements.

Glenn Arola, a spouse employment counselor with the Airmen and Family Readiness Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., said historically, spouses had voiced concern about licenses and certifications not transferring to other states.

“Most licenses and certifications have state specific requirements causing more financial stress,” Arola said. “Multiple PCSes throughout an Airman’s career make it difficult for spouses to maintain their own career. Spouses have to obtain a license or certification in a new state even though they already hold one in their current state due to the move. A PCA will also qualify for this reimbursement.”

According to Arola, certain issues would qualify, or disqualify a spouse from the program: Spouses have a 24 month window from the date the sponsor’s PCS/PCA orders are certified (not the date they arrive on station), spouses must be listed on the orders, they must show proof of a current license or certification from a different state and must have obtained the current license or certification for their current state, and they must show proof of payment for the current license or certification that is within the 24-month eligibility period. The reimbursement will not exceed $500.

“We can’t do enough to support Air Force families,” said Shon Manasco, assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs. “This is a positive step in the right direction to support our spouses as they pursue their own careers.”

For more information, Team Edwards members can call the A&FRC at 661-277-0723 to schedule an appointment. They can also visit www.afpc.af.mil/Benefits-and-Entitlements/Employment-Resources/