GI Rights Hotline

Military Discharges and Military Counseling

Call 1-877-447-4487

Some Facts About Applying for a Dependency or Hardship Discharge

Hardship vs Dependency. Terminology can get confusing because "hardship" and "dependency" discharges are often both loosely labeled  "hardship." Specifically, a hardship discharge is when the financial needs of family member(s) require more than the military member can provide while remaining in the military. Dependency discharges are when the obligation of being a caretaker or caregiver to a family member are incompatible with the obligations of military service. Criteria for the two discharges are specific and a person can consult with a GI Rights Counselor to explore whether their situation falls under hardship/dependency categories. 

Because the military has strict standards for hardship and dependency discharges, the chances of getting a discharge are greatly increased if the claim is carefully thought out and thoroughly documented.  GI Rights Counselors can help applicants decide what kinds of documentation are helpful.

A discharge application cannot be denied because of debt to the military, or government, or because the applicants services are needed by the military.

Persons applying for a either category must show that discharge will remedy the situation.   Applications based on financial considerations,  must confirm how getting out will enable the person to earn more money, or save enough money to meet the need.Applications for dependency discharge must show how the person's presence will improve the situation or keep it from getting worse.

In either case it must also be shown that there is no other family member who can provide sufficient help to remedy the need and that the contributions of other family members doing all they can are still not enough without the military member being released from service.