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Did You Know?

We recognize that the laws and regulations governing military annuity pay are complex and can be difficult to understand. In each issue of the DFAS Survivor SBP Newsletter, we will share a few helpful tips and tidbits for survivors.

Survivor Benefit Plan Coverage

•  Did You Know: There is only one SBP annuity. It is paid either to the spouse or to the child/children. If paid to the children, the annuity is split into equal shares.
•  Did You Know: The Optional Child Annuity is not an additional annuity payment. It is the option to pay the SBP annuity to the child/children instead of to the surviving spouse.
•  Did You Know: Spouse and child coverage means the spouse receives the annuity unless the spouse passes away or marries prior to age 55. Only then does the eligible child (or children) receive the annuity payment.
•  Did You Know: If the surviving spouse becomes ineligible, we need a new SBP application package for the child or children, including a new DD 2656-7 - Verification for Survivor Annuity.

Multiple Child Annuitants

•  Did You Know: When there is more than one eligible child annuitant, the annuity payment is split into equal shares. If one of the children becomes ineligible (due to marriage or not attending school full-time), their share is redistributed to the other children, but only if the child’s ineligibility is documented with DFAS. If we do not received documentation of the child’s ineligibility, their share will be held until the child is proven eligible or ineligible.

School Certifications

  • Did You Know: High school and college students 18 and over do not need to maintain a minimum grade point average to remain annuity-eligible. The only criteria is that they remain unmarried and enrolled in school full-time.
  • Did You Know: For high school and college students turning 18 and over 18, we now use your completed, annual DD 2788 School Certification form as your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) instead of sending you a separate COE to submit each year.
Direct Deposit

•  Did You Know: If you are currently receiving a paper check, you can easily start having your pay conveniently direct deposited by using myPay, sending us a completed direct deposit form, or calling our Customer Care Center.

Third Party Representation
  • Did You Know: DFAS recognizes various types of third party representation for those annuitants needing help in managing their account. A detailed explanation of third party representation can be found at:
    However, one type of representation DFAS does not recognize for annuitants is a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA). Currently DFAS is authorized by law to accept a DPOA only for retiree accounts. We will keep you up to date if the situation changes.
Don’t Delay Applying for an SBP Annuity
  • Did you know: Eligible survivors have six years from the death of the military member to apply for an annuity. After the six-year period, the annuity is barred. For service members who were receiving retired pay, the beneficiary should contact DFAS. However, if the service member was a reservist/guard in the gray area (i.e., not yet receiving retired pay), the beneficiary should initially contact the service member’s Branch of Service (BOS). The BOS will then compile all the necessary information for the annuity and forward it to DFAS. Thereafter the gray area beneficiary’s point of contact should be DFAS, not the BOS.

DFAS.mil Forms Page

•  Did You Know: The Forms page on our website is a one-stop spot for forms, form tools, how-to-checklists, and other helpful tools: https://www.dfas.mil/raforms

Did You Know? DFAS Webpages for Survivors

•    Manage your SBP annuity: https://www.dfas.mil/managesbp
•    Understanding SBP, DIC, SSIA: https://www.dfas.mil/sbpdicssia
•    SBP-DIC offset phased elimination: https://www.dfas.mil/sbpdicnews
•    SBP 2023 Active Duty/Line of Duty child option reversion: https://www.dfas.mil/sbp2023childoptrev
•    School Certifications: https://www.dfas.mil/schoolcerts
•    Claim retiree Arrears of Pay: https://www.dfas.mil/retireeaop
•    Start an SBP annuity: https://www.dfas.mil/startsbp
•    AskDFAS: https://www.dfas.mil/AskDFAS
•    DFAS YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/DFAS
•    myPay: https://mypay.dfas.mil


Page updated: Dec 9, 2021