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Hardship Discharge Requests
Personnelman 3 & 2 - Military manual for government personnel administration
Counseling Members Concerning Hardship Discharges - 14214_76
These are the conditions under which a member may request and possibly receive a separation from service based on hardship. If a member’s reasons for requesting a hardship discharge do not fall within these criteria,  the  request  will  likely  be  denied.  Other conditions,  such  as  the  ones  we  will  discuss  in  the following paragraphs, will also cause the request to be denied. REASONS UNDER WHICH A MEMBER MAY NOT BE SEPARATED Except  under  extraordinary  circumstances  as determined  by  the  SPCMCA,  separation  according  to the MILPERSMAN, Article 3620210, is not authorized when  the  member  is  under  charges  or  confined. Additionally,  separation  is  not  authorized  solely  for  the following  reasons: Financial or business reasons (including the operation of a family business unless the business is the sole income of the family and there are no other family members capable or willing to operate it). Indebtedness. Personal  convience. The member’s physical or mental health. Moral support to an immediate family member whose life expectancy is estimated by the attending physician to be less than 6 months. (In this situation, a request for humanitarian reassignment should be sent following guidelines contained in chapter 18 of the ENLTRANSMAN, NAVPERS 15909.) Custody battles or divorce proceedings. When the member’s request is based on any of these conditions, the request for hardship separation will likely  be  denied. In each case, the SPCMCA is charged with closely examining  the  reasons  for  which  members  request separation based on hardship. The SPCMCA is not allowed to use the following two conditions as the sole reasons to deny a member’s request for separation based on  hardship: 1. The member is required in his or her assigned duties. 2.  The  member  is  indebted  either  to  the government or to an individual. Neither of these two conditions can be used by an SPCMCA as the sole reason to deny a member’s request for a hardship separation. Although SPCMCAs are charged with closely monitoring special entitlement programs  such  as  the  selective  reenlistment  bonus (SRB),  an  SPCMCA  cannot  deny  a  member’s  request for a hardship separation based solely on the fact that the  government  would  fail  to  recoup  entitlement monies. Other conditions, such as the ones described in   the   following   section,   also   warrant   special consideration  by  the  SPCMCA. CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WARRANT SPECIAL  CONSIDERATION Extraordinary circumstances involving members of the   applicant’s   family   normally   warrant   special consideration  when  it  is  proved  that  the  member’s presence   is   essential   to   ease   the   hardship.   The following  list  contains  some  examples  of  special circumstances: The death of, or final divorce from, a spouse where the member is left as sole parent of a minor child or children, and other arrangements cannot be made for their continued care, and the member cannot continue at present duties and properly care for them. (To be eligible for separation in this situation, the member must be a single parent serving on [or under orders to] sea duty or be in a deployable status and have a final divorce  decree  with  permanent  physical  custody  of children  awarded). The long-term physical or mental illness of the spouse that does not allow the member to perform duties as assigned and the member’s continued presence is required. (Whether the mental illness of the member’s spouse is severe enough to warrant a hardship discharge is a decision within the discretion of the appropriate SPCMCA.) As a result of the disability or death of a parent, and the separation of the member from the Navy is essential for the financial and physical support of a member or members of the family. (Undue hardship does not necessarily exist solely because of altered present  or  anticipated  income.  Consideration  must  be given  to  social  security,  disability  payments,  other federal  and  state  assistance  programs,  and  any  other income  or  assets  of  the  member  or  other  family members.) As a PN, you should be aware of the conditions that will  be  considered  when  a  member  is  planning  to request a separation based on hardship. In your career, you   will   likely   counsel   members   on   the   proper 3-15

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