Thursday, June 17, 2010

DEERS Enrollment - Can I enroll without my Spouse/Sponsor?

I was able to discuss from my previous post about enrolling as my spouse’s dependent and getting the DEERS ID card at the US Embassy, Manila after we got married. 

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is a computerized database of military sponsors, families and others worldwide who are entitled under the US law to receive TRICARE benefits. So it is really important to register each family member as soon as possible to receive such benefits in a timely manner, even if the sponsor has already retired!

Active-duty and retired service members are automatically registered in DEERS, but they must take action to register their family members and ensure they're correctly entered into the database. In my case, since we got married, this was the first thing we did. Good thing, enrollment and ID capture facilities are readily available at the US Embassy, Manila.

I got a question that came from my formspring account and a fellow newlywed, with almost the same situation as I am, asked me this:

“hi..pede magtanong? im married to US army last May 28 and now he's in okinawa japan. sabi nya sken dalhin ko daw sa US embassy yung papers namen para mailagay ako sa DEERS at makakuha ng Military ID. Okay lang ba nawala sya at ako lang ang mag process nun?”

The sender was just asking if it’s okay for her to do the DEERS/Rapids ID enrollment even if the spouse is unable to accompany her. I was only able to cover previously how I was able to do it with my husband. 

The only reason why I had my spouse with me was because we both knew that there would be additional requirements, which I will discuss in a few. Aside from that, being with your spouse can make you avoid the VERY LONG LINE for Filipino applicants because there’s a separate lane for the US citizens, which is typically "just a few”. D and I were already 3rd in line when I would have been the 20th if we queued up on the other.

Now if you don’t have your spouse to accompany you to the embassy, there‘s no problem. You can still enter the embassy premises, but will have to be really early to get in line with the rest of the other people applying for visa as you CANNOT queue up to the American Citizen's lane, unless, of course, you’re an American Citizen. Falling in line early will give you peace of mind since you are required to be there before your scheduled appointment, and besides, you would only have to do this once!

Okay, enough with queuing up, on to more important things.

Yes, I just recently found out that an APPOINTMENT must be made via this website: You must arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment. One appointment is good for one family. Available slots would ONLY be 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month.

Here are the OTHER requirements if spouse or sponsors are unavailable:

The dependent (YOU) must bring along a DOD Form 1172 signed by the sponsor (your husband) and notarized from a DEERS/RAPIDS workstation validating you as a dependent, along with a valid national ID (such as a Philippine/U.S. Passport, driver's license, NBI report, voter's card, etc.)

- OR -

The dependent must bring along a valid Power of Attorney notarized by a US notary which gives her the power to act on the sponsor’s behalf, along with a valid national ID as stated above.

- OR -

If the sponsor is deceased, the un-remarried spouse or unmarried former spouse may act on their own behalf.

But to be more clear with the LATEST procedure, call Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) at 301-2000 Ext 6340.

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