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Thread: Family member with cancer? Family separation.

  1. Fresh Newbie
    McDoty's Avatar
    McDoty is offline
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    Aug 2016

    Family member with cancer? Family separation.

    My husband is 3 days away from reporting to his new overseas duty location. We are on accompanied orders, and I am set to arrive 2 months after him.

    However, my mother was just diagnosed with cancer, and I may need to stay to help her during her treatments. I know I can come back and visit as much as I want, but it may be very extended visits... maintaining 2 seperate households is a tricky situation in the military... Not too mention incredibly taxing (both mentally and financially)... and even if he temporarily moves into barracks housing while I'm at home, we wouldn't qualify for family sep since we are on accompanied orders. And I don't want him to get in trouble for accepting the OHA rate for dependents, or accusing him of something like lying about having a dependent, if I end up living with my mom for a year so.

    Does anyone know if there are programs or benefits that help in these kinds of circumstances?... Or at least keep the military informed of the situation so that he cannot be accused of any illicit behavior, since I may not be there for some time.

    I've been trying to search for information on the web, but all it filters for me is info on how to make a parent a dependent, which is NOT the information I am looking for.
  2. Senior Member
    villanelle's Avatar
    villanelle is offline
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    Aug 2009
    His best bet as far as keeping the military in the loop is to talk to his command as soon as he checks in, letting him know you'll be coming and going and asking what he needs to do to make sure he stays within regulations..

    It would affect your housing, and your COLA. I can't recall the exact number, but I think it starts be an an issue at something like 60 days. If you are living off base, you could just make sure to find a place that costs less than the OHA without dependents rate, which I don't recall actually being that much of a difference, so that when you are gone if they decrease the OHA he's allowed, he'd still get paid the full rent. (OHA isn't like BAH. The allowance is actually a maximum but you get paid your actual rent, so if your rent is at or below the "without dependents" rate, he'd get the same amount even if the qualification is changed as you come and go. I *think* the utilities allowance is also based on dependents, in which case that would change if you official left.). Then there is the COLA. Since that is paid to cover living in a more expensive place, if you aren't living in that place then they won't pay it for you (just for him). However, that is fairly simple to get turned on and off (from the "with" to "without" dependents rate), so that shouldn't be a problem. If you live on base (or in military housing), it can get more complicated because there's not a good war to switch on and off the housing like there is if they just adjust the OHA between the dependents and without-dependents rate.

    Have you considered just not moving? Technically, he could see if he qualifies for humanitarian/compassionate reassignment, which would get him out of the overseas assignment completely, but that's very hard to qualify for, and have career implications because it means they put him in a job close to your mom, which may or may not advance his career. If that's a route you are interested in considering, you can google the requirements for your branch under one of those two terms. Again, it is very hard to get and can take a while, so with 3 days until he leaves, that would mean he'd have to move, and then move back if/when it was approved.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  3. Senior Member
    dekeoboe's Avatar
    dekeoboe is online now
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    Apr 2010
    North Carolina
    He might also be able to look into getting his orders changed from accompanied to unaccompanied and you stay behind the whole time he is gone. And see if the military will consider your "designated place" to be where your mom lives. Have your HHG already been packed and shipped?
  4. Senior Member
    *Stephanie*'s Avatar
    *Stephanie* is offline
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    Feb 2008
    JBER; Anchorage, AK
    I had cancer and was getting BAH while my DH got single OHA. There's ways to get it approved. He just needs to talk to finance and his command.

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