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askDFAS Refresh: Detailed Tour for SBP Annuitants

Please note: this article focuses on the online tools available to SBP annuitants and survivors as part of the askDFAS Refresh. If you would like more information on retiree online tools, please see the article in this edition of the newsletter entitled “askDFAS Refresh: Detailed Tour for Retirees. 
We are excited for you to explore and use all the functionality now available online via askDFAS! We expanded the online tools for you to use with our askDFAS Refresh in mid-May.
The askDFAS module for Retired & Annuitant Pay is called “Ask Retired Pay.” The module is full of online tools that let SBP annuitants submit documents, ask questions, or complete specific self-service requests or death reports. 
Before we talk about what is different, let’s talk about what is the same: the core askDFAS functionality has not changed! We’ve just added more options!
Also, the “Ask Retired Pay” module on askDFAS uses the same web address (URL) as before. Find it here: https://corpweb1.dfas.mil/askDFAS/custMain.action?mid=12   
Once you arrive, you will also find a mixture of online tools available to you, although they are reorganized and the names and descriptions are clearer. 
You will be able to: 

  • Use form upload tools (to submit your forms/documents to DFAS for processing).

  • Ask a question (with a response from the DFAS Cleveland Customer Care Center to follow). 

  • Complete specific self-service requests

  • Report the death of a retiree or SBP annuitant

Finding the Right Tool to Complete Your Request

The layout of askDFAS consists of categories and subcategories.
A category provides a higher-level of organization and indicates the type of request: upload a form/document, ask a question, complete a self-service request, or report a death. 
Within each category, there are numerous subcategories. The subcategories pertain to the specific type of request you are submitting (e.g. the particular form/document, the nature of your question, or type of account update you need). 
Once you find the best subcategory for your submission, the process will be familiar if you used one of our askDFAS online tools before.
The most important separation to keep in mind when choosing which online tool to use is to make sure you choose a “Retiree” category/subcategory for retiree requests and an “SBP Annuitant” category/subcategory for annuitant requests.  
If there isn’t a specific online tool for your request, please look for subcategories that are for general use. For form upload tools, this would be the “General SBP Annuitant Documents - Upload” tool.
For the ask a question tools, this would be the “General / Form / Document – Questions” (for general questions not requiring account details) or the “Payment Inquiry – Questions” (for account-specific questions) under “SBP Annuitant – Ask A Question.”

askDFAS Online Form Upload Tools for SBP Annuitants (and Survivors) 

 Our online form upload tools may be familiar to you if you’ve submitted a form or document to DFAS in the past. The options available to you as part of the askDFAS Refresh were expanded and names have been clarified to include related requests.
For the category, you will select the “SBP Annuitant/Survivor – Form Upload Tools” and select the best subcategory to match your request. 
If you’re not sure which subcategory is best for your request, we’ve added instructional language on the ticket that explains what documentation is expected.
If your request doesn’t fit well in any of the subcategories, please use the “General SBP Annuitant Documents – Upload” subcategory. 
In addition, the expansion of the online upload tools for SBP annuitants means that you can now upload online any form, document, or request you need to send to DFAS.
The main difference for the form upload tools is the “I confirm…” button that must be checked after you read the “Important Requirements to Ensure a Successful Submission” section. 
Please read these requirements carefully and ensure submissions are PDF files only (no Word, Excel, Text, Image, PDF Portfolio, or any other non-PDF file types). Also, the member SSN (or in some cases, the SBP annuitant SSN) should be prominently written on each document. 
The upload and submission process remains the same. Once users hit the “Submit” button, the documents will be submitted to DFAS and the user will get a confirmation email with the askDFAS ticket number. 
Keep in mind, many askDFAS subcategories will also email a three-part set of status notifications to keep them informed of the processing status of the request. 

New Options For SBP Annuitants or Survivors to Ask Account Questions via askDFAS 

Now SBP annuitants and survivors won’t have to always make a phone call to get the answer to a question! 
The category for SBP annuitants to use for their questions is “SBP Annuitant – Ask A Question.”
Following the report of a death, survivors also can ask procedural questions under the “Report a Death/Survivor - Ask a Question” category.
Users must then choose the proper subcategory based on the nature of the request. These Q&A categories/subcategories present several options to customers. Some are intended for general questions, others anticipate account-specific questions. 
It is important for users to select the subcategory that best meets their need. The helper language on each ticket is designed to assist with the type of question and whether the subcategory is for general or account-specific questions. Account-specific questions will require more validation questions for customers to answer on the ticket. These questions must be answered correctly for DFAS to provide a response. 
Remember, the ability to ask a question on askDFAS is a convenient alternative to calling the DFAS Cleveland Customer Care Center. But team members from our care center will only be able to respond if you explain the question clearly and answer the validation questions - just like when you call on the phone. For questions that require account-specific details, an incorrect answer to a validation question will lead to a 24-hour security hold on the account. Answer these questions with care! 

When using these helpful Q&A tools, watch your email for a notification when the ticket has been updated. You will need to log back in to the ticket from the link in the email and enter the password to view the response.
If you forget the password it can be reset using the email you originally used to make the request. 

Self-Service Account Changes for SBP Annuitants 

 In the category entitled “Self-Service Account Changes,” there is a subcategory tool available for SBP annuitants to request the mailing address on file to be updated on their account. This request requires correct answers to the validation questions presented on the ticket.
The option for SBP annuitants to update their mailing address using this online tool is new and we know this will be popular among our annuitants!
Self-Service Account Changes” also offers SBP annuitants a way to request a Verification of Pay letter be mailed to the current address on file. Verification of Pay letters provide basic confirmation of what entitlements DFAS is paying. Banks often need such documentation to process requests for loans and other transactions.  
This tool can only be used to mail a Verification of Pay letter to the current address on record. SBP annuitants who need a letter sent to an alternate address cannot use this tool. However, they can contact the DFAS Cleveland Customer Care Center for more options. 

Report a Death/Survivor Ask a Question 

The final category you need to know about is the “Report a Death/Survivor – Ask a Question.” This category currently offers the ability for someone to report the death of an SBP Annuitant*. 
*Important note: The online tool to Report the Death of a Retiree will soon be moved into this category as well. For now, it will remain under the “Retired Pay” category until it can be moved to its new location. 
This online tool will be especially convenient for customers who live overseas and may find it challenging to call during our typical business hours. There are also two subcategories that allow for questions to be asked by survivors or SBP annuitants about the processes that follow the report of a death. 

Resources Available and Call to Action

 We are very excited to provide these new options to customers as part of the askDFAS Refresh! As you speak to other SBP annuitants or survivors, please help us spread the word about these convenient online options! 
We will be doing our part to communicate these changes in upcoming articles and speaking engagements. We have more information and direct pathways to the online tools on our Quick Tools webpage (https://www.dfas.mil/raquicktools)and our askDFAS webpage (https://www.dfas.mil/askDFAS/). 
Visit the new SBP Annuitant askDFAS Online Tools webpage to see all of the tools available, along with along with direct links to the tools and simple instructions for using them: https://www.dfas.mil/sbpannonlinetools
In addition, we created a comprehensive guide to using the askDFAS online tools to assist. The document can be found here: https://www.dfas.mil/raguideonlinetools
Please use these resources and pass them along to others who could benefit from the information! 

List of askDFAS Online Tools for Annuitants and Survivors 

 Below you will find a complete overview of askDFAS Online Tools available following the askDFAS Refresh.

Category Name: Report a Death/Survivor-Ask a Question 

 Tool: Retiree Notification of Death  
Reminder: At this time, the “Report the Death of a Retiree” online tool is still housed in the “Retired Pay” category. It will be moved to this category soon.  
New Tool: SBP Annuitant Notification of Death  
New Tool: Final Pay of a Deceased Retiree – Questions 
New Tool: Starting SBP Annuity Pay – Questions 

Self-Service Account Tools for SBP Annuitants 

Category Name: Self-Service Account Changes 

New Tool: Mailing Address Update – SBP Annuitants 
New Tool: Request Verification of Pay Letter 

Online Form Upload Tools for SBP Annuitants 

Category Name: SBP Annuitant/Survivor-Form Upload Tools 

Tool: SBP Annuitant Documents – Upload 
(Use this tool if the document does not fit one of the specific tools below) 
Tool: DD 2656-7 – Claim SBP Annuity – Upload 
Tool: DD 2788 – Child Ann School Cert -Upload 
Tool: DD 2828 – Child Ann Phys Cert – Upload 
Tool: DFAS 9415 – Ann Rep Payee Cert – Upload 
Tool: Power of Attorney/3rd Party Doc – Upload 
Tool: SBP Annuitant DOHA Appeal – Upload 
Tool: SBP-Marital Status Update – Upload 
Tool: SF 1174 – Arrears of Pay (AOP) – Upload 
Tool: Tax Withholding Changes – Upload 

All New: Ask a Question Options for SBP Annuitants 

Ask a Question Options for SBP Annuitants 
Category Name: SBP Annuitant-Ask a Question 

Tool: Annual Eligibility/School Cert-Questions 
Tool: General / Form / Document – Questions 
Tool: Payment Inquiry – Questions 
Tool: Starting SBP Annuity Pay – Questions 


Page Updated June 26 2024