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Who can qualify as a military dependent?

Certain family members, such as a spouse or child under 21, are automatically entitled to dependency status; a Servicemember need only complete 1172 and provide the necessary proof.

Other family members, such as parents, siblings, and adult children who are full-time students or incapacitated require an initial dependency determination by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) prior to registration in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) as a family member or dependent.

How can I make my minor sister, nephew, cousin, or foster child a dependent?

To seek dependent status for a minor child for whom you have legal custody or guardianship, you must submit the child’s birth certificate, DD Forms 137-7 and 1172, and the original or certified copies of the guardianship or other relevant court documents to DFAS.

How can I make my adult incapacitated or full-time student child a dependent?

To seek dependent status of an incapacitated child over the age of 21, the Servicemember must submit a qualifying medical sufficiency statement and DD Forms 137-5 and 1172.

To seek dependent status for a full time student aged 21 or 22, the Servicemember must submit DD Forms 137-6 and 1172. How can I make my parent a dependent?

To seek dependent status for an adult family member, such as a father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, stepparent, or someone in loco parentis, DFAS will apply a financial test to determine whether the family member receives over half of his/her income from the Servicemember.

You must submit the Servicemember’s or spouse’s birth certificate and proof of the relationship, DD Forms 137-3 and 1172 to show financial dependency, and proof of the family member’s identity to DFAS.

For someone loco parentis, this will include affidavits that that person stood in a parental capacity for at least five years prior to the Servicemember (or spouse’s) 21st birthday.

If I have other questions, what should I do?

For additional information and points of contact, you may visit the DFAS website at

For appointments concerning dependents and other personal legal matters, call the Legal Assistance Branch of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate located at Building 358, Buffalo Soldier Trail, Defense Language Institute, Presidion of Monterey (815-242-5084 or DSN 768- 5085).

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