Dependency Determinations (Military)
In this section we will be dealing only with the process required to obtain an ID card and a Dependency Determination listing on the DEERS system for a disabled family member.
Each Branch of service has a specific process required for Dependency Determinations and issuing ID cards. The Sponsor MUST have a current Incapacitation/Guardianship court order signed by a judge in their possession at the time an ID card with a Dependency Determination is applied for as well as a CURRENT Medical Sufficiency statement/Letter completed by the individual's PCM no more than 90 days old. (See SNRPs September 2009 Newsletter Medical Sufficiency Letters Simplified) It is best to enquire at your branch DEERS office regarding Determination authority, the proper initiating office, current requirements and regulations and to obtain the proper forms.
For reference we have used the current Air Force enrollment information.
Not all states in the continental US recognize individuals as a Legal Adult, also known as the Age of Majority, at the same age. The legally recognized "Age of Majority" varies from 18 years of age in some Western States to age 19 or even age 21 in others. It is recommended that Sponsors obtain any needed court documents pertaining to Incapacitation/Guardianship prior to the YOUNGEST Legal Age of Majority in the US, which is age 18. Obtaining an Incapacitation/Guardianship court order early will prevent any need for a repeat court appearance after a PCS to a new state with differing age requirements.
NOTE! ALL branches of service require the same basic documentation listed below to process a Dependency Determination and issue an ID card. DD form number change with the branch of service but the "proof" documents required will remain the same. This information is meant as a starting point for you and an illustration of where to begin. ALWAYS check with your local DEERS, MPF, Personnel or Family Support Office for current, up to date information.
Active Duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Individual Member Augmentee (IMA)
Favorable Dependency Determinations are accomplished by the DFAS-IN to which your location is assigned. Parents/Guardians MUST INITIATE TO PROCESS BY COMPLETING A DD Form 137 and submitting to DFAS for review BEFORE a Favorable Dependency Determination can be issued and is required for the following categories of dependants in accordance with Air Force Instruction 36-3026 to receive ID cards:
- Incapacitated Children under the age of 21
- Incapacitated Children over the age of 21 (DD Form 137-5)
- Incapacitated Student 21-22 years of age (DD Form 137-5 OR 6)
- Child born out of Wedlock (DD Form 137-4)
- Parents, Parents-In-Law, and Stepparents (DD Form 137-3)
- Ward of the Court (DD Form 137-7)
For Eligibility Criteria request a current copy of ;
Form AF136-3026(I) 20 December 2002
"Table 4.5 Eligibility Criteria, Required Documentation to Apply, and Approved Documentation Required for ID Card Issue Incapacitated Children Over the Age of 21 (Initial Application)"
This form explains the Eligibility Criteria, the Documentation Required to apply (MUST be current), and the Approved Documentation Required for Issue of the ID Card (MUST BE CURRENT). We've included this information below. A copy of the AF136-3026(I) TABLE 4.6 may also be needed for reference.
Dependency Requirements and Documentation
- Incapacitated children, over the age of 21 A completed Favorable Dependency Determination Letter AND Parents marriage certificate, child's birth certificate, a SSN card, a medical sufficiency statement, or Physicians statement from a uniformed services medical treatment facility (DD Form 2792, Nov 2006 Exceptional Family Member Medical Summary filled out by your child's PCM) written within 90 days of application (See SNRPs September 2009 Newsletter Medical Sufficiency Letters Simplified for more detail), a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating the child is not eligible for Medicare, Part A, and a statement that the child is not married.
- Incapacitated Student (21-22 years of age) Parent's marriage Certificate, SSN Card, a letter from the school certifying full-time status at the time the incapacitation took place, an Individual Education Plan (IEP), a medical sufficiency statement (See SNRPs September 2009 Newsletter Medical Sufficiency Letters Simplified for more detail), and a Favorable Dependency Determination, letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that the child is not eligible for Medicare, Part A, and a statement that the child is unmarried. If the sponsor is deceased, a copy of the death certificate is also required.
- Current court order declaring an Incapacitation, assigned Guardianship of the dependent and any addendums required by the court (Required in all circumstances for individuals age 21 or older)
Always check with your local MPF and DEERS office for the latest information required by your branch of service and the initiating authority for this determination. There are variations in the list of required documentation between both Branches of Service and the Base or Post you may be assigned to. ALWAYS ASK, NEVER ASSUME!!!
We recommend Sponsors make copies of all forms and keep them on file. Copies may often be used should originals become "lost" in the office shuffle. A binder with page protectors can be an easy portable storage option for individuals needing to reference paperwork often. Once the application has been made, processed and cards issued most original forms should be returned to you. ASK FOR THEM or obtain copies. Keep them in your binder. You may need them later to re-prove a Dependency Determination and most certainly when applying for other programs.
TIP: If a specialized set of forms is required for a specific action, KEEP THE ORIGINALS OR OBTAIN COPIES! You'll most likely need them later.