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Dependency or Hardship Discharge


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MILPERSMAN Section 1910-110 (29 Dec 2020) (184 KB)

Comments:  To view or download the complete regulation, click on the the link to it in the box above these comments.

1. Policy

a. Members on active duty, with hardships meeting the criteria below, may request separation from the Naval Service from the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority (SPCMCA), per MILPERSMAN 1910-704, within their chain-of-command (members must be in either a For Duty (ACC 100) or Temporary Duty (TEMDU) status, not Temporarily Additional Duty (TEMADD)).

b. No member has an absolute right to discharge from Navy due to hardship.

c. A hardship discharge is intended to be used as an instrument to alleviate personal hardship encountered by an enlisted member's immediate family when discharge is the only solution. It will not be used as a means to rid the service of a burden to the command.

2. Separation Authority. It is at the discretion of the SPCMCA whethera hardship should be granted.

3. Characterization of Service. Characterization of service or description of separation will be "honorable,""general,"or "entry level separation"under the guidance provided in MILPERSMAN 1910-300.

4. Hardship Status Criteria.

The Service member’s request must show that the hardship meets the following criteria:

a. A severe hardship exists that is not normally encountered and resolved by other members of the Navy.

b. The hardship affects the Service member’s immediate family. Immediate family is defined as a spouse, son, daughter, stepchild, parent, brother, sister, or other person, including a stepparent acting in loco parentis for a period of 5 years before the member became 21 years of age, or any bona fide dependent of the Service member. In-laws and grandparents are not considered members of the immediate family solely by virtue of their relationship as in-laws or grandparents.

c. The hardship is not of a temporary nature and cannot reasonably be expected to be resolved within the near time frame by using leave (including emergency leave) if overseas or a period of TEMDU for humanitarian reasons to better the situation.

d. The hardship has occurred or has been severely aggravated since entry into the Service.

e. The member and family have made every reasonable effort to alleviate the hardship.

f. There are no other family members or relatives nearby who are capable of providing the necessary assistance.

g. The discharge or release of the member will result in the elimination or material alleviation of the hardship.

5. Reasons for Not Disapproving Separation. A separation will not be disapproved for the sole reason that the Service member is:

a. Required in assigned duties or

b. Indebted to the Government or to an individual. Although SPCMCAs are responsible for closely monitoring special entitlement programs (e.g., selective reenlistment bonus), disapproval is not authorized solely based on failure of the Government to recoup monies for a hardship discharge.

6. Extraordinary Circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances involving members of the applicant’s family normally warrant special consideration when it is proved that the Service member’s presence is essential to alleviate the hardship and, in addition to other requirements, includes, but is not limited to the following:

a. The death of, or final divorce from a spouse where the Service member is left as sole parent of a minor child or children, other arrangements cannot be made for their continued care, and the Service member cannot continue at present duties and properly care for them. To be eligible for separation under this subparagraph, the member must be a single parent serving on, or under orders to, sea duty, or be in a deployable status and have a final divorce decree with permanent physical custody awarded to the member.\

b. The long-term physical or mental illness of the spouse that does not allow the Service member to perform duties as assigned and the member’s continued presence is required. Note: Whether the mental illness of the Service member’s spouse is severe enough to warrant a hardship discharge, is a determination within the discretion of the appropriate SPCMCA.

c. As a result of the disability or death of a parent, the separation of the Service member from the Navy is essential for the financial and physical support of a member(s)of the family. Undue hardship does not necessarily exist solely due to altered present or anticipated income. Consideration must be given to Social Security, disability payments, other Federal and State assistance programs, and any other income or assets of the member or other family members.

7. Reasons for Not Authorizing Separation. Except under extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the appropriate SPCMCA, separation under this article will not be authorized when the Service member is under charges or confined, nor will it be authorized solely for the reasons listed below:

a. Financial or business reasons, including the operation of a family business, unless the business is the sole income of the family and there are no other family members capable or willing to operate it,

b. Indebtedness,

c. Personal convenience,

d. The member’s physical or mental health,

e. Moral support to an immediate family member whoselife expectancy is,estimated by the attending physician,less than 6 months. Thissituation should be handled through the submission of a humanitarian reassignment request per MILPERSMAN 1300-500, orf. Custody battles or divorce proceedings.


10. Application Procedure

a. A written request for separation for hardship must be addressed to the appropriate SPCMCA, see exhibit 1.


Exhibit 1 (Use proper letter format)

To: (Special Court-Martial Convening Authority)

Via:(if applicable)


Ref: (a) MILPERSMAN 1910-110

(b) 5 U.S.C. §301Encl:

(1) Current NAVPERS 1070/602 DependencyApplication/Record of Emergency Data

(2) NAVPERS 1070/605 History of Assignments

(3) Latest Orders

(4) Letter from person(s) experiencing hardship

(5) Letter(s) from prospective employer(s)

(6) Member’s financial statement, including the latestleave andEarningsstatement(LES)

(7) List all additional letters as individual enclosures1. I request a hardship discharge, per reference (a) and (b), for the following reasons:

a. Description of hardship: (A complete and specific description of hardship in Service member’s own words, using names, dates, and places. Include history of problem, if any.)

b. Description of action taken: (Indicate what the Service member has done to solve problem(be specific.))

c. How applicant expects to alleviate or resolve the hardship if the request is approved(bespecific).

2. Necessary information to facilitate decision:

a. Names, addresses, and ages of Service member and family.

b. Names, addresses, ages of other immediatefamily members.

c. Dates of previous requests, if any, for humanitarianreassignments or hardship discharges.

d. Location and weight of household effects:

e. Location of records:



The authority to request this information is per reference (b) and departmental regulations. The purpose of this request is to request discharge due to hardship reasons. The information is used to determine approval or disapproval for the requested status. The application is voluntary; however, failure to provide the required information will result in an inability to process the request and the Service member would not be able to receive the requested status.

[Service Member's Signature]


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