Friday, September 16, 2011

Department of Defense #Adoption Reimbursement

One of the lesser-known benefits of military service is reimbursement of some expenses of adoption. This may include Guard members currently on active status! According to the "DoD Adoption Reimbursement" page:
"Are you planning to or in the process of adopting a child? Federal law authorizes reimbursement for certain expenses associated with adoption to a maximum of $2000 per child and not to exceed $5000 per calendar year.

Of course, there are requirements and limitations you must be aware of. For instance, the adoption must be arranged by qualified adoption agencies or a source authorized under state or local law. Private and stepchild adoptions must be finalized in a U.S. court.

In order to qualify for the reimbursement, service members must be serving on continuous active duty for at least 180 days and the adoption must be finalized while on active duty. In addition, the claim must be submitted while on active duty and within 1 year of the date that the adoption was finalized.

Complete policy and procedures can be found in DoD Instruction 1341.9 and Volume 7A, Appendix A for the DoD Financial Management Regulation. Here you can also find what expenses can be reimbursed as well as those that are excluded.

More information is also available for…

Air Force Family Support Centers; Marine Corps family support, finance, personnel, legal assistance offices; and military chaplains can be good places to start gathering information for your application.

Your personnel office will assist you complete your application, ensure your submission is complete and send the package to DFAS Cleveland for adjudication.

Applications must be submitted to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Cleveland Center - Code JFLAGA
1240 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, OH 44199-2055
For questions concerning a claim, an e-mail can be sent to the DFAS Adoption Reimbursement mailbox at

NOTE: It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for a determination to be made. For claims that are approved, payment will be issued via direct deposit. If a claim is denied or additional information is necessary, the service member will be notified in writing."
Legal service workers assisting military families should keep this potential benefit in their toolbox.  
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