A collection of MyCAA frequently asked questions about eligibility, applying, benefits and more. MyCAA is a workforce development program that provides up to $4,000 in financial assistance for military spouses. These funds pay for degree programs, licensure, or credentials leading to employment.
Who Is Eligible For MyCAA?
Spouses of active-duty military National Guard, and Reserve under Title 10 orders are eligible for MyCAA, and a 2020 expansion extended eligibility to spouses of Coast Guard members. Spouses of the severely injured, ill, wounded or killed in action are also eligible for this benefit.
Note: spouses must have completed high school or obtained a GED.
Spouses of service members in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2 are eligible for the MyCAA program. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 expanded eligibility to military spouses with service members promoted above the paygrade, so long as their individual career plan enrollment was already within place.
When Are Guard/Reserve Spouses Eligible?
Eligibility for spouses of Guard and Reserve members begins with the date of the Alert or Warning Order for Military Recall or Mobilization. The eligibility period lasts through activation and deployment until 180 days following demobilization.
Which Spouses Are Not Eligible For MyCAA?
Military spouses with marital status described as “legally separated” (by state law or court order) are ineligible. Spouses who are themselves active duty members, Guard, or Reserve on Title 10 orders are ineligible.
Spouses married to service members in pay grades E-6 and above; W-3 and above; and O-3 and above. If the service member is promoted after the spouse has been accepted into the MyCAA program, then the ineligibility is waived.
Note: pending activation orders and financial assistance can affect program eligibility. Consult the Employment Readiness staff or career coach regarding your situation. Bottom line: it never hurts to ask when it comes to benefits.
What Is The MyCAA Hardship Waiver?
MyCAA features a hardship waiver MyCAA spouses can use in certain circumstances such as unexpected health problems, military re-assignments, emergency leave, etc. Hardship waivers must be signed by the military member’s supervisor, support staff, First Sergeant, etc. This waiver must be requested by the spouse through the My Career Advancement Account Spouse Portal.
Note: if a course is failed twice, regardless of the first waiver, the spouse’s MyCAA account will be locked and funding will be terminated. For specific family situations, please contact your designated Employment Readiness staff or career coach.
Is There A Time Limit To Use MyCAA Once I Sign Up?
In general, an associate degree program cannot be longer than 12 months, and a license/certification program cannot be longer than 18 months. There are no exceptions to these time frames. Due to school payment schedules and failed courses, spouses may contact their career coach or Employment Readiness staff to discuss waiver options.
Can I Use MyCAA Twice?
MyCAA offers qualifying military spouses a maximum of $4,000 but there is an annual cap of $2000, which means you can apply for funds twice (assuming the full $2000 is used each time). A scenario where this makes sense, is for certificate programs where you are advancing your portable career such as flight instruction or hair stylist techniques.
Do I Have To Pay Back MyCAA?
MyCAA is considered a scholarship, not a loan or other type of repayable financial aid. Those using MyCAA are responsible for any remaining expenses above and beyond MyCAA assistance.
What Does MyCAA Pay For?
MyCAA pays for tuition expenses covering classes, training, examinations, and other areas that lead to a license, certificate, certification, or associate degree in any career field or occupation. The institution must be MyCAA-approved.
What Does MyCAA NOT Pay For?
Books, supplies, gear, clothing, computers, laptops, or other devices. Courses and/or exams not included in the applicant’s Education and Training Plan, and courses already started or completed. MyCAA will not reimburse any expenses or past courses. Student activity fees, event fees, and entertainment fees are also not covered under MyCAA. Non-accredited or audited courses, internships, apprenticeships, and clinical supervision or orientation programs are not eligible for funding.
Where do I go for additional financial assistance?
Contact your career coach through your MyCAA message inbox to request their help finding additional funding.
Contact your school’s financial aid office.
Some GI Bill benefits are transferrable to spouses so check VA eligibility. Note: this is not a given and certain requirements must be met for benefits to be transferred .
Fill out and apply for the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for government and private school loans.
What is the Education Training Plan and do I need to complete one?
The Education Training Plan (ETP) is the detailed summary of the program you are signed up for and the courses that are needed to complete it. The document is mandatory and is developed between the spouses and Employment Readiness staff or career coach. Discuss all options that you are interested in before completing and signing the ETP as it is a binding document. Examples and templates can be found on the MyCAA Quick Reference Guide.
Can Military Spouses Use MyCAA To Pursue A Graduate Degree?
MyCAA is for undergraduate work, licenses, certification, etc. Spouses may apply to take “any program of study from an accredited school or institution” leading to a license, certification, certificate, or associate degree. The program does permit the applicant to take advanced courses needed to satisfy Continuing Education Units (CEU) requirements in an approved program. There may be other options depending on the program. Please consult with your Employment Readiness staff or career coach for specific situations. It is always important to remember that your chosen program must stick to the approved Education Training Plan (ETP).
Does MyCAA Offer A Free Laptop?
Some individual programs may offer MyCAA applicants a free laptop as an incentive, but MyCAA itself does not offer or fund free laptops, tablets, or other technology for qualified military spouses who use MyCAA.
Why isn’t the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship website displaying properly?
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship website, along with DoD and VA websites are designed to be compatible with all browsers. If you are having technical difficulties try different browsers before contacting customer service.
The MyCAA website says I need a DS logon. What is that and how do I get it?
The DoD Self-Service Logon (DS logon) is a secure ID that allows DoD and VA staff and beneficiaries to access several different government websites using a single username and password. The DS Logon is the same ID you use to access other online services such as TRICARE or MySECO.
Do I Have To Pay Back MyCAA Funds If I Do Not Finish The Program?
Those participating in the MyCAA program are required to complete the coursework, and spouses who sign up are required to certify in writing that they agree to the following terms:
“I understand if I fail or withdraw from a course, my MyCAA Account will be locked and no financial assistance documents can be created until I contact a MyCAA Career and Education Consultant.”
Those who fail a second time (without a satisfactory grade within six months of the course’s end) will have their MyCAA account locked and no subsequent funds will be offered until the course is completed.
Is MyCAA Taxable?
MyCAA is considered a scholarship. It is not counted as income for tax purposes at the time of this writing.
Does MyCAA Pay For Remedial Coursework?
MyCAA offers a maximum of nine paid credit hours for the remedial course (for credit) or three hours of non-credit remedial work.
Where Can Military Spouses Direct Complaints About MyCAA?
Military spouses who need to discuss “service delivery” issues should talk to a MyCAA Service Delivery Manager at 1-800-342-9647.
Am I eligible if my spouse is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability?
You may be eligible for education benefits if your spouse is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability that arose from active duty service in the Armed Forces. You will need to complete the Application for Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance Form, VA form 22-5490, and send it to the VA regional office in your area. If you have already started a MyCAA program prior to service-connected disability, ask the school you are attending to complete VA Form 22-1999 and send both to Veterans Affairs.
Note: benefits and services for injured active duty vs. veterans with a service-connected disability can differ, and in some cases overlap. Service members, Veterans and spouses should consult the VA, their base contact, or Employment Readiness staff for specific questions.
I do not see my school on the approved list for my state. How do I apply for MyCAA financial assistance for this school?
Schools must be enrolled in the MyCAA program in order to be eligible. Spouses can and are encouraged to have their schools apply but ultimately only the school can complete this process. It can take up to 60 days to complete this process and approval is not guaranteed. An example of a denied program would be an online-only yoga instructor training. For this career path, MyCAA requires that courses must be completed in-person. Lastly, MyCAA will not pay or refund tuition costs for courses you are already enrolled in or have completed. If this school is the best fit for you, give them the link to the MyCAA “Come on Board” program, for application details.
MyCAA applicants/users may also email feedback to: