**This is a guest post contributed by Heather Lomax.
Getting engaged is one of the most exciting milestones in a couple’s life together. But when one of you is in active duty, the question of “when” becomes more and more pressing with each passing day.
While you might be more inclined to wait for marriage, there are several benefits to getting married before deployment.
Housing Allowance Benefits
Housing benefits are extremely beneficial for military families who are constantly on the move from base to base. And not only are there allowances given to spouses but children as well.
The housing allowance is presented from the date of marriage, but you must have your marriage license in order to get approved for benefits. In some states, there’s a waiting period to receive your marriage license that ranges from one-five days, so be sure your license comes in time for the day you wish to apply for benefits.
Medical Care Benefits
The Tricare Military Medical System provides health care coverage to military spouses and children. Once the marriage is confirmed and the application is approved, a military ID card is issued. Military spouses can also file for reimbursement should they require a medical ID card before it is officially issued to the couple.
Family Separation Allowance Benefits
This is a benefit that spouses receive as a supplement to income while their husband or wife is deployed. It can help pay for things like groceries, gas, and other necessary living expenses. The only caveat is that this benefit takes 30 days of active duty in order to go into effect.
Movement of Dependents and Household Goods
Moving is expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Fortunately, our government is sympathetic to this additional hardship put on military families, which is where household goods benefits come into play. Once the active duty family member applies for a new station, the government will reimburse for any relocation and travel expense.
Being married to a soldier and living on a base can have some huge perks when you’re a Military ID cardholder, especially if you have children or wish to have them in the future.
For one thing, military base shopping centers have competitively priced items with no tax added, so you can buy groceries and clothing for cheap compared to the rest of your area.
Bases also provide family support services to service members and their dependents, such as counseling, daycare, and religious services.
Furthermore, card holders get special access to education services offered on-base ranging from babies to adults. On top of that, outdoor activities and holiday events are usually free-of-charge for card holders. So, in order to take full advantage of the base benefits, it literally pays to be married!
Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Challenge Coins Ltd.