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My boyfriend has been in the Army for 18 years and is a an…

My boyfriend has been in...
My boyfriend has been in the Army for 18 years and is a an E-7. He recently gained emergency custody of his 16 year old daughter who has severe disabilities and he is now the sole parent/provider for her. He is unable to bring her to his current duty station (Colorado) as he has zero family or back up in the area for assistance. He requested a transfer to be back home (Ft Hamilton NY) but was told he would have to do a dependency hardship discharge instead. He is so close to retirement and is quite upset but is proceeding as it is necessary. He was just told yesterday that if discharged under the hardship discharge (voluntary) he wouldn't receive severance. Is this true? Even if it is a situation where there are no other options that command seemed willing to consider? He is overwhelmed and stress now at facing the possibility of no retirement and no severance along with his new sole parent responsibilities. Please advise.
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
10/12/2017
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,947
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

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I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Are you asking if he requests separation for this, if he would be eligible for severance?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
also are there any other options that you are aware of? Also, will he be able to retain veteran benefits if this dependency hardship discharge is processed? I just want a better understand of his options.

Sure

He would be entitled to ALL VA benefits if he requests discharge. The hardship discharge will not impact VA benefits.

But the law is clear, you can NOT get severance for a voluntary separation. The law prohibits this.

If the goal is to get out now, the hardship discharge is the way to go.
But if the goal is to get 20 year retirement?
He will need 2 more years of service...there is no way around this.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that he can get out and keep his pension, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I understand. He actually has 18 years of active duty and 2 years of reserves as well. There is an extreme amount of urgency because of his necessity to be home with his daughter. I'm just amazed that because of this traumatic life situation he won't be able to receive any compensation after that many years of honorable service. Is there a possibility to change from active duty to reserve and retain some of the pension?

Well...if he has 2 years reserve and 18 years active? Then he has a reserve pension already...you need 20 "good years" and he has this (if he has 2 and 18)...he can not draw the reserve pension till age 60...but he will have that to fall back on.

AND he can also request to go back into the reserves to continue to build up that pension.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,947
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.

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