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SBP School Certification Season Is Here

For most students another school year will soon be coming to an end. Child annuitants between the ages of 18 and 22, attending school on a full-time basis, will start receiving their annual school certification packets.
Whether they are attending high school or another full-time course of study, Survivor Benefit Plan child annuitants, between age 18 and 22 must annually certify they were enrolled in either high school or a full-time course of education to be entitled to an annuity. In addition to certifying current enrollment, they will also need to declare their intent for future attendance.
The annual school certification packets will contain a cover letter of instruction, DD Form 2788 School Certification and a Child Annuitant’s Certification for Previous Attendance Letter.

The DD Form 2788 School Certification is used to provide the child annuitant’s future intent to attend school on a full-time basis for the upcoming school year. The Previous Attendance Letter will provide prepopulated enrollment information for the current school year. If the information is correct, they will simply need to sign and date the letter and return with a copy of the completed DD 2788 School Certification form. If the information is incorrect, they will need to notify DFAS immediately to avoid an overpayment. Please see the instructions on the letter.
In order to remain eligible to receive an annuity, DFAS must receive both a completed DD 2788 School Certification form AND a copy of the Child Annuitant’s Certification for Previous Attendance Letter signed and dated. If both are not received by first day of the last month of the school year, the annuity will be suspended.
Once both documents are received, the child annuitant will be set for the next upcoming school year. If at any time the child annuitant’s school attendance or marital status changes, the child annuitant needs to contact DFAS immediately, so they do not incur a debt due to overpayment.
Child annuitants are encouraged to use the DD Form 2788 Form Wizard. Doing so will make completing the form a snap by ‘taking the form out of the form’ and make it easy for child annuitants to fill it in correctly. The Form Wizard asks a series of questions and fills in the answers in the appropriate areas of the form.
Once all the questions have been answered, the child annuitant can even choose to electronically sign the form and submit it online using our online upload tool! Or click a button to generate a ready-to-print-and-sign PDF with their answers.
The DD Form 2788 Form Wizard can be found on our school certifications webpage at: https://www.dfas.mil/schoolcerts.
Compatible PDF software, such as the free Adobe Acrobat DC software, available at adobe.com, will be necessary. The DD Form 2788 Form Wizard can be downloaded to a Windows or MAC computer only. No mobile devices at this time. We do not recommend saving the Form Wizard to a shared computer, because it contains personally identifiable information. 
Please note: If using the DD Form 2788 Form Wizard and using the direct askDFAS upload button, a copy of the Previous Attendance Letter with signature and date must be submitted also. The Previous Attendance Letter can be scanned and included as an additional attachment with the completed DD Form 2788. For additional information please refer to the school certification webpage provided earlier in this article.
Also, located on the school certification webpage is a How-To Checklist along with some additional information that can aid in the school certification process.
Submission of the child annuitant’s school certification (DD Form 2788 and Previous Attendance Letter) can be done using an online upload tool through askDFAS, available on the DFAS.mil website, which is also accessible on a mobile browser. 
The askDFAS online upload tool can be found at: https://www.dfas.mil/askdfas
To use the online upload tool to submit a school certification form, the child annuitant will just need to fill in the required information in the online screen, and then upload a PDF of their completed and signed DD Form 2788 and signed Child Annuitant’s Certification for Previous Attendance Letter. 
When submitting forms or any other supporting documentation, please ensure that the retiree’s SSN is included on all the documents submitted.
When using the askDFAS online upload tool, DFAS also provides a digital status notification for the submission of DD Form 2788 School Certification. What is a digital status notification? It is a three-step process that will update the child annuitant when their DD Form 2788 is received, when it is assigned, and whether it was able to be completed or not. 
The notification will be sent via the email address provided during the askDFAS submission. It will help to alleviate any doubt or concern as to whether the form was received or not.


Page updated Apr 24 2024