Air Force to pay up to $500 for spouse occupational license transfer during PCS

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The Air Force announced the spouse relicensure reimbursement program, May 15, which would provide financial relief up to $500 to Airmen whose spouses must obtain state occupational relicensures or recertifications during a permanent change of station or assignment across state lines.

The Air Force will reimburse qualifying relicensure and recertification fees incurred during PCS/PCAs authenticated on or after Dec. 12, 2017.

“Part of taking care of Airmen and families means making it easier for spouses to continue their careers after a military move,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “This policy reduces financial burdens and makes the professional careers of our Air Force spouses more portable.”

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.

“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 new policy will allow for reimbursement of relicensing fees including exams, certifications and registration, and will cover occupations such as teaching, cosmetology, real estate and nursing. Qualifying relicensing costs must be incurred and paid after and within 24 months of the date the member’s PCS/PCA orders are authenticated.

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

Airmen and spouses can find more information about this program at www.afpc.af.mil/Benefits-and-Entitlements/Employment-Resources/. General information about career and education programs for spouses is available from an installation’s airman & family readiness center, the Department of Labor website at https://www.veterans.gov/milspouses, and the Department of Defense Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program at https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil.