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Does incapable of self support simply means unable to work, or does it means not able to care for themselves because of a disability?

I'm so confused for my daughter's disability. She was awarded Social Security disability since she had Autism and deafness. I retired in the Army and wanted to get her dependent ID Card. I was able to fill out DD-137-5. However, it said that she must be incapable of self support because of a disability. I don't know for sure what that really mean. Does it means simply unable to work or does it means not able to care for herself, like unable to feed herself, or bathe herself? She can bathe and feed herself, but not able to work. I'm so confused and I hope someone can help me on this case. Thank you for your input.

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Incapable of self support has different levels and that is partial and total. If she's unable to support herself such as driving, feeding or bathing, then she is totally incapacitated. However, if she's only unable to manage her own financial affair, then she's partially incapacitated. But I do see a problem when DFAS require Medical Sufficiency Statement asking doctors to determine whether she is incapable of self support. It wouldn't be right for DFAS to ask for that and I would ask DFAS to change that form and remove asking doctors about whether he or she is incapable of self support. Because only the Judge can make that decision and she would have to be legally declared incapable of self support and be denied making her own decision about herself. The doctor can only state his or her own opinion about your daughter and would have the Judge make that decision, not DFAS or any doctors. However, I would not have a problem if DFAS ask for a copy of the Judge's ruling whether he or she is incapacitated. And even if you get approved, they would have to do a re determination every two to four years and would be the same you're trying to apply for her.

    Getting an ID Card can get her on Base for privileges such as Commissary and Base Exchange, but it won't save her a lot of money. And if she has Medicare and Medicaid, then Tricare would be completely worthless. And unless you have elected into the Survivor Benefit Plan and pay premiums every months for your daughter so she can get annuity after you die, it would be a waste of time to even try applying for incapacitated child over 21 to begin with. I hope this help answer your question.

  • 2 months ago

    This is what the form instructions say: Unmarried child over age 21 incapable of self-support because of mental or physical incapacity that occurred while the child was considered a dependent of yours as a member or retired member, or is considered the dependent of a deceased member (while under age 21 or under age 23 and a full-time student).

    To qualify as a secondary dependent, the individual’s income, not including your contribution, must be less than one-half of the actual living expenses. The law requires the individual to be ‘in fact’ dependent on you, the service member. Your contribution must be more than one-half of the dependent’s actual monthly living expenses. Documentation to prove living expenses and your contribution must ALWAYS be provided.

    SSDI is not included income as it is not earned income by her, it is a benefit of your retirement as so is your contribution. 

    It essentially doesn't matter if she is employable or can manage her own self-care as long as her income is less than 50% of what she needs to live.

  • 2 months ago

    try asking in a military section....but i would think if she cannot live independently (including financially), she is not 'able to care for herself' as she needs supervision.

  • 2 months ago

    i think it means if she cant support herself

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