RE: Department of Defense determinations of dependency for health care benefits for children born out-of-wedlock
On January 28, 2008, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. David S. C. Chu, issued a memorandum (copy attached) expanding the eligibility criteria to qualify for dependent child status for children of members of the Uniformed Services. The result of this policy change will have an immediate and positive impact on thousands of children of Uniformed Services members nationwide.
Under the previous DoD policy, out-of-wedlock children were considered dependents for health care coverage only pursuant to a judicial determination of paternity and/or if the child was a part of a service member’s household that was contributing more than half the cost of the child’s support. The new criteria authorize a determination of dependency for military benefits, including health care for dependent children, upon the submission of a notarized State-authorized voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form and a birth certificate. A child may be enrolled at any time prior to his or her 21st birthday.
The new protocol will allow the sponsor or custodial parent of a child born out of wedlock to go to the nearest military installation with an ID card issuance site (a specific service branch affiliation is not required) to determine dependent child status. Once the installation military technician validates the voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form, the documents are then scanned into the DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) database and the child(ren) is enrolled to receive coverage.