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Dependency or Hardship Discharge

Coast Guard

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COMDTINST M1000.4 Military Separations (APRIL 2017) Hardship and Dependency

COMDTINST M1000.4 Military Separations (APRIL 2017) (17.5 MB)

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


1.D. Dependency or Hardship Discharges
1.D.1. Discussion

Commander (CG PSC-EPM-1) or (CG PSC-OPM-1) may authorize or direct enlisted members’ and officers’ discharge for dependency or hardship. Commanding officers will inform members who desire to request a discharge for dependency or hardship reasons of this information, which explains policies and procedures. Commanding officers should clearly explain to each member submitting a request is not assurance the Commandant will approve the discharge. Each request of this nature is carefully and sympathetically considered and decided on its individual merits.

1.D.2. Policies Governing Discharge

a. In general, the following circumstances or reasons do not qualify for discharge:

(1) Purely financial or business reasons.

(2) Personal convenience.

(3) The member is under charges or in confinement.

(4) The member requires in-patient medical treatment.

(5) A member’s wife’s pregnancy is not in itself a circumstance for which the Commandant will authorize discharge.

b. Commander (CG PSC-EPM-1) or (CG PSC-OPM-1) will not disapprove a discharge under this Article solely because:

(1) The member’s services are needed in assigned duties, unless certain circumstances prevail, such as war, in which Service needs would override a bona
fide hardship.

(2) The member is indebted to the Government, a non-appropriated fund activity, or an individual.

c. Commander (CG PSC-EPM-1) or (CG PSC-OPM-1) may direct discharge when an undue or genuine dependency or hardship exists, the dependency or hardship is not of a temporary nature, and the conditions have arisen or been aggravated excessively since the member entered the Service. The member must have made every reasonable effort to alleviate the hardship by applying for basic allowance for quarters and voluntary contributions which have proved inadequate. Examples of meritorious cases are those in which the evidence shows either: (1) Due to the death or disability of a member of an individual’s family, the Service member must support or care for a family member(s); or

(2) The member’s family is undergoing hardship more severe than the normal hardships dependents or families of Coast Guard members encounter.

(3) The hardship is long-term or permanent and discharge will eliminate or materially alleviate the condition.

(4) No means of alleviation other than discharge are readily available.

d. Undue hardship does not necessarily exist solely because of altered present or expected income or because the member is separated from his or her family and must suffer the inconveniences normally incident to a sea-going military service.

1.D.3. Applying For Discharge

After reviewing this Article’s contents (commanding officers must assist enlisted personnel by explaining the Commandant’s policy), a member may apply in writing for discharge for dependency or hardship to Commander (CG PSC-EPM) or (CG PSC-OPM) through the commanding officer. Commanding officers should give sympathetic consideration and assistance in preparing this request. At least two affidavits substantiating the dependency or hardship claim and establishing the dependency or hardship occurred after entry into the Service must accompany such requests. When practical the dependent concerned should provide one such affidavit. The request should contain the following additional information:

a. Reason in full for request.

b. Dependent’s complete home address and occupation.

c. Names and addresses of persons familiar with the situation.

d. Statement of marital status and date of marriage.

e. Detailed amounts of financial and any other means of contribution to dependent(s).

f. Names, ages, occupations, and monthly income of the individual’s family members, if any; the reasons why they cannot care for or support the individual’s family; and a statement no family members have been omitted.

g. If dependency results from the death of an individual’s family member that occurred after the Service member entered the Coast Guard, the member must furnish a death certificate or other valid proof of death. If dependency or hardship results from the disability of an individual’s family member occurring after entry into the Service, the member shall furnish a physician’s certificate showing specifically when such disability occurred and its nature.

1.D.9.    Release to Reserve
          Members separated for hardship or dependency will not be released to the Reserve.