The Department of Defense continues to support the popular Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program,which provides up to $4,000 (over 2 years) of financial assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses, or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields, with several key changes in eligibility and dollar amounts. Here is a summary of the changes:
• Be available to spouses of active-duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2 and O1-O2 including the spouses of activated Guard and teserve members within those ranks. Spouses of Guard and reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders.
• Offer a maximum financial benefit of $4,000 with a fiscal year cap of $2,000. Waivers will be available for spouses pursuing licensure or certification up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000.
• Require military spouses to finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course.
• Be limited to associate degrees, certification and licensures.
The MyCAA program does not include Coast Guard spouses.
MyCAA Financial Assistance pays tuition for education and training courses and licensing/credentialing fees. This includes state certifications for teachers, medical professionals and other occupations requiring recognized certifications; licensing exams and related prep courses; Continuing Education Unit classes including those offered through professional associations; and degree programs leading to employment in Portable Career Fields. MyCAA also pays for high-school completion courses, GED tests and English as a Second Language classes.
• MyCAA does not pay for education and training programs that include computers; application, graduation or membership fees; student activity cards; childcare; parking; transportation; or medical services.
• If a spouse enrolls in a course without an approved MyCAA Financial Assistance document, the spouse will be responsible for paying course costs.
• MyCAA does not provide reimbursements of any kind to spouses for any reason.
• MyCAA FA payments are made directly to schools using MyCAA’s electronic invoicing system. Eligible spouses can establish a MyCAA Account by visiting the MyCAA website at https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa. Once spouse profile information is provided, MyCAA will verify spouse DEERS benefit eligibility.
Eligible spouses will be allowed to create the Career and Training Plan and request FA when within 30 days of course start dates. Additionally, spouses are responsible for applying to their selected school or program and enrolling in each course included in their approved MyCAA Career and Training Plan.
Military spouses can help themselves by:
•Visiting www.careeronestop.org to explore Portable Career Fields and find schools that have programs of study leading to licenses, certificates and degrees
.• Finding their school in the MyCAA website using the School Search function. If the desired school is not listed, follow the directions shown at the end of the School Search.
• Establishing and managing their MyCAA Account at https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa, use MyCAA resources to create a Career and Training.