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Page Title: Counseling Members Concerning Hardship Discharges
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The  death  of,  or  final  divorce  from,  a  spouse where the member is left as sole parent of a minor child or children, 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  awarded  to  the member. 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.  (Note  that  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, 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. COUNSELING MEMBERS CONCERNING HARDSHIP DISCHARGES Enlisted  personnel  who  desire  to  request  separation for hardship reasons must be informed of the proper procedures  to  follow.  Explain  to  each  applicant  that  a request  should  be  submitted  via  official  channels  and that submission of the request is no assurance that the discharge or release to inactive duty will be authorized. Also explain that a decision for a member’s separation is   within   the   sole   discretion   of   the   appropriate SPCMCA. Each  request  is  carefully  and  sympathetically considered  and  the  final  decision  is  based  on  its individual  merits.  Also  explain  to  the  member  that  such a request for hardship discharge, once approved by the appropriate SPCMCA, is irrevocable except in the most unusual  circumstances. If the hardship discharge has been approved and the member later indicates that he or she wishes to have the SPCMCA  rescind  the  approval  of  the  hardship discharge,  explain  to  the  member  that  he  or  she  must submit  a  request  for  cancellation  of  discharge  authority to  the  appropriate  SPCMCA  via  official  channels.  The request must state how the hardship has been eliminated and must include affidavits attesting to this fact. ACTIVITY ASSISTING MEMBER WITH REQUEST A written request for separation for hardship must be addressed to the appropriate SPCMCA. In unusual circumstances, members in an authorized leave status may  submit  requests  for  dependency  of  hardship discharge. To speed the procedure, the nearest naval activity should submit a request to the SPCMCA with the  assisting  command’s  synopsis  included  in  its endorsement. All requests must be accompanied by affidavits verifying the hardship claim. When practical, the family member(s) concerned should submit one affidavit. The preparing  activity  should  immediately  inform  the member’s parent command of the pending request and ask for a leave extension, if warranted. Otherwise, the provision for no-cost TAD orders, as defined in the ENLTRANSMAN,  chapter  18,  maybe  used. Provide the member with all the administrative assistance he or she may need in completing his or her request. Make sure you, the member, and concerned individuals in the chain of command review the request and  all  applicable  enclosures  for  accuracy  and completeness  before  its  submission  to  the  appropriate SPCMCA. The MILPERSMAN, Article 3620210, displays the format for requesting a hardship discharge and identifies required documents that must be included as part of such request. Always review the MILPERSMAN, Article 3620210,  when  preparing  these  requests. NAVY’S ASSIGNMENT POLICY ACAs  adhere  to  the  following  policies  on  the assignment of enlisted personnel and neither race, creed, color, national origin, nor sex (except where stipulated in 10 U.S.C. 6015), based on Navy needs or as imposed by host countries are factors in the nomination and assignment  of  naval  personnel. POSSESSION OF REQUIRED SKILLS The  primary  consideration  in  assignment  of personnel to a billet is that the member possess the required skills necessary to fill that billet. 2-11

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