Military Spouse Career Support Act
A bipartisan Senate bill seeks to expand eligibility for military spouses to be compensated for expenses related to switching from active duty to service in the Reserve. The Military Spouse Career Support Act is the latest in a wave of bills seeking to improve veteran benefits, spouse employment options, and quality of life.
Senator John Ossoff (Georgia) and Senator Eric Schmidt (Missouri) drafted the Act as a follow-up of sorts to the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act, which required military spouses to be reimbursed by the federal government in cases where they were required to PCS from one state to another and apply for job-required licensure in the new state.
What’s in the Military Spouse Career Support Act
The Military Spouse Career Support Act of 2023 is a House bill that would, if passed, require the government to pay back military spouses for business expenses related to the military spouse’s transition out of active duty and into Reserve duty.
If the bill passes both the House and Senate and is signed into law by the President, it would provide identical military benefits to families transitioning into the Reserve as military families get when they experience a permanent change of station move or PCS.
The government will reimburse approved costs in typical cases with one exception; lawyers are not covered under this arrangement.
Those benefits include spouse reimbursement for applying for new business licenses, certifications or similar requirements for starting a business in a new location.
According to an article published by Stripes.com, just under 40% of active-duty military spouses need professional licenses or certifications.
Timing of the Bill
Attention seems to be at an all-time high with respect to military quality of life, spouse employment, and meeting the basic needs of service members.
The introduction of the Military Spouse Career Support Act comes on the heels of an executive order issued by President Joe Biden addressing other military spouse employment issues.
That order would install policies at federal agencies for expanded leave options during permanent change of station moves and requires the government to develop a plan to hire more military spouses and make remote work more accessible for them.
What Studies Show About Military Spouse Employment
A study by Penn State University notes that only 18% of active-duty military spouses “were able to retain employment through a PCS” in 2020. Military spouses “who relocated due to a PCS within the past year were more than twice as likely to be unemployed than spouses who did not relocate within the past year…”
The same study also notes that military spouses experience an unemployment rate above 20%, which hasn’t changed in more than 10 years.
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.