School Certification Process Now Easier for Military Survivor Benefit Plan Student Recipients
DFAS HEADQUARTERS, Mar. 16, 2020 – Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) recipients between 18 and 22 years old who must certify their status as a full-time student will now find it easier and more convenient. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) expanded the certification options, extended the submission window, and provided an online upload tool for completed forms.
The Survivor Benefit Plan provides an ongoing monthly annuity payment to military spouses and/or children when a military member dies while on active duty, on inactive duty or after retirement (if the retiree chooses to purchase coverage).
The plan’s payments to child annuitants typically end when they reach age 18. However, if the child annuitant attends school full-time - in high school or at an accredited trade school, technical or vocational institute, college or university - they are eligible to continue receiving payments until the end of the school year during which they turn 22, as long as they remain unmarried.
To continue the annuity payments, a child annuitant over 18 must submit a school certification form to certify they are a full-time student.
Submitting a school certification form just got easier:
- Students can now submit a copy of an unofficial transcript or official transcript from their school or a verification from the National Student Clearinghouse with their certification form, instead of having a school official fill out and sign the form.
- College students can now submit the school certification form any time after the 45th day of the term (instead of only within 30 days of the end of the term). The form is still due by the end of the term.
- Students can upload a PDF of their signed and dated school certification form online on the DFAS website, which is mobile-friendly. The online upload tool is at: https://go.usa.gov/xymaH
- DFAS created a how-to checklist to help students fill out their school certification form correctly.
- If students provide an email address in myPay, the DFAS pay management portal, DFAS will send an email reminder when they have a school certification coming due.
Student SBP recipients can find out more about these new, easier options at: www.dfas.mil/schoolcerts.
Page updated March 16, 2020