New bill would reimburse military spouses for costs to transfer job licenses, certificates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On average, military families must move every 2.5 years, and that can often mean military spouses are faced with fees needed to transfer job licenses or certificates.


“It can really create this constant restart for families and create these gaps in employment if they go through a recertification process,” said Shannon Razsadin, President and Executive Director of the Military Family Advisory Network. “We see a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that military families go through every time they move and many of those are not reimbursed.”

Now, there is a push in Congress to help military families keep up with those expenses.

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The bipartisan “Military Spouse Job Continuity Act” was introduced by Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO).

The bill would provide reimbursement up to $1,000 to active-duty service members’ spouses for relicensing and business costs.

“This is one of the top concerns that I hear about from military families,” Ossoff told our Washington News Bureau. “If for a family military service is prohibitively expensive, inconvenient, if it disrupts the ability to earn an income necessary to support kids, we can’t retain families. We can’t retain service members in the Armed Forces and that’s a national security issue.”

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“Service members have dedicated their lives to our country – we should continue to find ways to make their lives easier,” said Schmitt. “Military spouses should not be required to shoulder the cost of fees and other charges related to professional licensing or certification when moving between duty stations.”

Advocates say the proposal would go a long way in helping military families keep up with rising costs.

“It would make a huge difference and it would continue to make life a little bit easier for families,” said Razsadin. “We know Americans today require two incomes to sustain their household and so we need to make sure that military spouses can contribute to their families’ finances.”

According to the bill’s sponsors, the Defense Department says almost 40 percent of military spouses require a professional license for their jobs.

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