Are you the spouse of an active duty member of the Department of Defense or activated member of the National Guard or Reserves? If so, the Department of Defense’s expanded Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program will provide up to $4,000.00 of financial assistance for spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to employment in a portable career field.
Program Sponsor: Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community & Family Policy (DUSD/MC&FP)
Program Description: The Department of Defense’s expanded Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program will provide up to $4,000.00 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields.
Who Is Eligible: Spouses of Active Duty members of the Department of Defense and activated members of the National Guard and Reserve Components are eligible. The period of eligibility for spouses of Guard and Reserve members is from the date of the Alert or Warning Order for Military Recall or Mobilization, through activation and deployment until 180 days following De-Mobilization. Spouses of the severely injured, ill, wounded or killed in action are also eligible.
What MyCAA Pays For: MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA) pays for expenses such as education and training programs, tuition, licensing and credentialing fees. This includes degree programs (e.g. associates, bachelors, masters, doctoral and post doctoral), continuing education classes (including those offered through professional associations), Bar, CPA and other similar exams, state certifications for teachers, medical professionals and other licensed professionals. MyCAA does not pay for computers, school application fees, graduation or membership fees, student activity cards, child care, parking, transportation, or medical services. NOTE: If the cost of a course includes books, supplies or other necessary equipment, MyCAA will cover that cost. Payments are made directly to schools using the MyCAA’s electronic payment system. Referrals are made to federally funded English As A Second Language (ESL) Classes and GED Classes and Testing Programs.
How MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA) Works: A military spouse can apply for MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA) after completing a MyCAA Career and Training Plan.
- A Career and Training Plan includes the spouse’s chosen career field, name of school and course information (course titles, codes, costs and start/end dates). If incorrect information is provided, the MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA) Request will be rejected during the school invoicing process. The spouse will then be responsible for paying course costs.
- FA Requests are initiated each time the spouse adds specific course start/end dates when it is time to enroll in one or more courses included in the spouse’s Career and Training Plan.
- It is critical that spouses select the correct school name/campus location and input correct course information into their Career and Training Plan to prevent billing problems. This information should be validated by school officials prior to the spouse applying for MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA).
- Career and Training Plans may be edited (e.g. courses may be changed or dropped) up to ten days prior to the start date of a course. At that point, the Plan will be approved and locked for billing purposes to guarantee the spouse a seat in the class. Courses may be added up until 7 days past course start dates.
- Data in the Career and Training Plan is used to validate school bills for payment purposes. Approved courses may be billed by the school at or below stated costs. Schools may charge penalty fees, partial or full course costs for dropped courses according to their published Drop/Add policies. Spouses need to be familiar with these school policies.
How to Get Started: Eligible spouses can establish a MyCAA Account by calling 1-800-342-9647. Setting up an account is an easy, self-help process. Once spouse profile information is provided, MyCAA will verify spouse eligibility. Spouses should check their eligibility and account status regularly as well as their MyCAA account message board for alerts from their account managers and guidance on next steps.
Who Can Help Spouses?
Military spouses can help themselves by:
- By calling 1-800-342-9647 and establishing an account.
- Developing a Career and Training Plan and validating information with school officials prior to submitting a Financial Assistance (FA) Request to prevent billing problems.
- Email [email protected] for MyCAA website technical support.