Same-sex Family Benefits Available by October 1
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Department of Defense announced the extension of benefits to same-sex partners to ensure fairness and equal treatment to the extent allowable under law on Feb. 11.

NAVADMIN 024/13 provides information on Navy's implementation of the Department of Defense's extension of family benefits to same-sex partners.

"These benefits will be available no later than October 1," said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director military plans and policy. "To qualify, Sailors and their same-sex domestic partner will be required to sign a Declaration of Domestic Partnership attesting to the existence of their committed relationship."

The declaration is similar to that in use by other federal agencies. Service members will file the declaration at their PSD, where a DD Form 1173 ("dependent" ID card) will then be issued allowing access to benefits. Children of same-sex domestic partners will also qualify for the ID card and benefits.

Benefits that will be extended to same-sex domestic partners and families include:
* Dependent ID cards (DD Form 1173) which will be renewed in accordance with existing policies
* Commissary and Exchange
* Access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)
* Access to child and youth programs. This includes child care, youth programs and youth sponsorship.
* Space-Available Travel on DoD Aircraft
* Joint duty assignment for dual military partners
* Access to Legal Assistance
* Access to most Family Center Programs
* Emergency leave and emergency leave of absence for the military member to attend to partner emergencies.
* Access to sexual assault counseling program. Emergency care provided; additional care determined by medical eligibility.
* Exemption from hostile-fire areas for dual military if partner is killed in a combat zone.
* Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations
* Transportation to and from Primary and Secondary school for minor dependents
* Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives
* Payments to missing person
* Authorization to participate in surveys of military families, including the quadrennial quality of life review.
* Ability to participate in the quadrennial quality of life review
* Authority of Service Secretary to transport remains of a dependent

These benefits are in addition to the 20 educational, survivor, and travel and transportation benefits now available, without constraints, to same-sex domestic partners by designation of the service member. These member-designated benefits are available to all Service members and a beneficiary of their choosing.

Much like the process for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell law, Navy will review and modify all necessary instructions, notices, and MILSPERMAN articles, develop and deploy training for command triads, installation commanders, chaplains, care and benefit providers to include all Personnel Support Detachments (PSD) to ensure a clear understanding of the documentation requirements for, and the benefits associated with, these ID cards.

Certain benefits currently provided to military families cannot be extended to same-sex domestic partners at this time because they are restricted by law. Those benefits include Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the 'with dependent rate, and medical care to include eligibility for TRICARE.

Benefit information and updates to policy on benefits for same-sex partners and families will be posted as the become available on Navy's Don't Ask Don't Tell Post Repeal website on Navy Personnel Command's web page under Support and Services

Benefit Training for Same-Sex Partners and Children Begins
Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

Member-Designated Benefits and Guidance on Benefits for Same-Sex Partners
NAVADMIN 024/013

Memorandum Extending Benefits to Same-sex Domestic Partners of Military Members
Secretary of Defense

Same-sex Couples Can Claim New Benefits by October
By Karen Parrish/ American Forces Press Service

Panetta Signs Memo Extending Benefits to Same-sex Partners
American Forces Press Service

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