Navy: Help with Secondary Dependency Claims


DD Form 137-3: Parents, parents-in-law and In Loco Parentis (in place of parent) claims

  • Ensure the parent information shows any change in financial circumstances.  In block 3-a (8) of the DD137-3, the parent’s information portion must state the date and reason the parent is unemployed, and whether the parent is expected to resume employment. 
  • If the reason for dependency is other than a loss of employment such as the death of a parent’s spouse where the deceased spouse was the sole means of support to the dependent parent, and no adequate life insurance, or no retirement benefits are available it should be indicated in  block 3-e.  If the dependent parent’s spouse no longer provides support due to divorce or separation, the reason for the loss of support should be indicated as well.

DD Form 137-5: Incapacitated Children Over 21

  • Include a medical statement signed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist (1) that the claimed dependent is incapable of self-support due to his/her condition; (2) age at which condition was first diagnosed or began; and, (3) whether or not condition and incapability of self-support is permanent. (Note: Letters from psychologists are not sufficient to meet the requirements set forth in the JFTR Chapter 10).
  • Medical Sufficiency Letter Example: You can provide this sample letter to caregivers to explain what information is needed in the letter they write on behalf of your incapacitated child.

DD Form 137-7: Legal Custody Wards

  • You must be awarded permanent legal custody of the ward by a court order.  Temporary custody orders must state a time period of at least 12 months.  The ward must live in your household unless there are exigencies of service. 
  • If ward is a full-time student, supporting documentation must include a letter from an accredited college or university verifying the ward's full-time enrollment, documentation of expenses, and any educational assistance the ward may receive.

Avoid Common Mistakes: 

  • The most common problem with Navy Secondary Dependency Claims is packages do not include a copy of NAVPERS Form 1070/602. This document is required for all active duty secondary dependency claims.
  • It is important for you to notify DFAS of a change in your secondary dependent’s status immediately. Send an updated NAVPERS 1070/602 to the DFAS-Cleveland Dependency Claims office.  The date of the dependency status change should be the effective date on the NAVPERS 1070/602. Status changes include:
    • Death of a secondary dependent.
    • Legal custody expires or is terminated.
    • Income of secondary dependent increases to the extent the dependent is longer relying on you for support.
  • Make sure forms (such as DD Form 137-7) that require notarized signatures have a notary seal.
  • Make sure you submit your secondary dependency claim package to the correct office.
    • Claims for parents, parents-in-law, In Loco Parentis and legal custody wards should be sent to:


      DFAS Cleveland (Attn: Dependency Claims)

      1240 East 9th Street

      Cleveland, OH 44199

      Toll Free Number: 1-888-332-7411

      Commercial Fax: 216-367-3527



    • Claims for incapacitated children should be sent to:


      PERS 31-D

      Benefits and Eligibility Section

      5720 Integrity Drive

      Millington, TN 38055-3120

      Toll Free Number - 1-866-827-5672

      DSN: 822-3360

      Fax: 901-874-2766



    • Claims for children aged 21 to 22 (full-time students) should be sent to your local Personnel Support Detachment.


Updated Nov. 25, 2014