Those leaving the military will have more time to use free resources such as income tax help, nonmedical counseling, spouse employment assistance and other resources via Military OneSource, thanks to a provision in the defense authorization bill signed into law Monday by President Trump.

Much of the information on is available to the general public, on topics ranging from relocation to finances to deployment. But there are additional resources available for free exclusively to active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members and their immediate family members, survivors of deceased service members, and certain others. Those resources now will be available to retiring or separating service members (and their immediate family members) for 365 days after they leave service, up from 180 days.

Among those services:

  • Nonmedical counseling: In person or via phone, secure chat or secure video session.
  • Financial counseling, including tax preparation and filing help.
  • Spouse employment and education services.
  • Language translation services for documents or via telephone.
  • Health and wellness coaching.
  • Child/youth behavioral counseling, and family life counseling. 

The extension was one of several new benefits for military families introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Eligible beneficiaries can find more information at Information and assistance is also available via phone, toll-free, at 800-342-9647 or via international calling options. To use the resources through the online portal, those eligible are asked to create an account and log in.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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