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askDFAS Refresh: Detailed Tour for Retirees

Please note: this article focuses on the online tools available to retirees as part of the askDFAS Refresh. If you would like more information on SBP annuitant or survivor online tools, please see the article in this edition of the newsletter titled “askDFAS Refresh: Detailed Tour for SBP Annuitants/Survivors.” 
We are excited for you to explore and use all the functionality now available in askDFAS! 
The “Ask Retired Pay” module is full of online tools that let you submit documents, ask questions, or complete certain self-service requests or death reports. 

What’s the Same? 

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 titles and descriptions are clearer.
You’ll be able to: 

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

  • Ask a question (and get a response from the DFAS Cleveland Customer Care Center via askDFAS). 

  • Complete specific self-service requests.

  • Report a death

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). 

What’s New? 

As we noted above, the main “Ask Retired Pay” module uses the same web address (URL) as before. 
However, if you bookmarked any tools prior to the mid-May Refresh, those bookmarks won’t work. 
You will need to visit the “Ask Retired Pay” main page and click “Submit A Ticket” to see the refreshed options. 
Or, visit the new Retiree askDFAS Online Tools webpage to see all of the tools available to retirees, along with links to the tools and simple instructions for using them: https://www.dfas.mil/retonlinetools
In addition to the above changes, we also: 

  • Clarified the names of some subcategories so it’s easier for you to know where to direct your documents.  

  • Added helpful reminders and more instructions on the tickets to ensure your submission is successful. 

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 upload 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 the subcategories that are for general use. For form upload tools, this would be the “General Retiree 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). 

askDFAS Online Form Upload Tools for Retirees 

askDFAS Online Form Upload Tools for Retirees

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 were expanded as part of the askDFAS Refresh, and names were clarified to include related requests. To upload a form or document as a retiree, you will select the “Retiree – 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 that explains what documentation is expected for that specific subcategory. If you request doesn’t fit any of the specific subcategories, please use the “General Retiree Document – Upload” subcategory. 
In addition, the expansion of the online upload tools means that you can upload any form, document, or request that you need to send to DFAS online. 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 your submissions are PDF files only (no Word, Excel, Text, Image, PDF Portfolio, or any other non-PDF file types). Also, the member SSN should be prominently written on each document. 
The upload and submission process remains the same for the askDFAS Refresh. Once you hit the “Submit” button, your documents will be submitted to DFAS and you will get a confirmation email with your askDFAS ticket number. 
Also, many askDFAS subcategories will also send you a three-part set of status notifications to keep you informed of processing status of your requests. 

New Options For Retirees to Ask Account Questions via askDFAS 

New Options For Retirees to Ask Account Questions via askDFAS

Now you won’t have to always make a phone call to get the answer to a question! The category for retirees to use for your questions is “Retiree – Ask A Question.” In that category, choose the proper subcategory based on the nature of your request. These Q&A categories/subcategories present several options. Some are intended for general questions, others anticipate account-specific questions. 
It is important for you to select the subcategory that best meets your need. The helper language on each ticket is designed to assist with the type of question and whether it is for general or account-specific questions. Account-specific questions will require more validation questions for you 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’ve articulated your question clearly and answered the validation questions—just like if you were 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 your account. This means no questions can be answered via askDFAS OR via telephone for that 24 hours. Please answer these questions with care! 
When using these helpful Q&A tools, please watch your email for a notification when your ticket has been updated. You will need to log back in to the ticket from the link in the email, and enter your password to view the response. If you forget the password, it can be reset using the email you originally input. 

Self-Service Account Changes for Retirees 

Self-Service Account Changes for Retirees

In the category titled “Self-Service Account Changes,” there is a subcategory tool available for retirees 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. 
Self-Service Account Changes” also offers retirees  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. Retirees who need a letter sent to an alternate address cannot use this tool. However, they can log into myPay or contact the DFAS Cleveland Customer Care Center for more options. 

Report a Death / Survivor Ask a Question  

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 family members 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 about the processes that follow the report of a death.
We realize that this category is not something that you will use as a military retiree. However, you should be aware of how death reporting and subsequent processes can be managed by your beneficiaries. Please consider putting this information with your important documents so your survivors are prepared after you pass away. 

Resources Available and Call to Action 

We are very excited to provide these expanded and clarified options to you as part of the askDFAS Refresh! As you speak to other retirees, SBP annuitants, and survivors, please help us spread the word about these convenient options to manage your pay account! 
We will be doing our part to communicate these changes in upcoming articles and speaking engagements, we also 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 Retiree askDFAS Online Tools webpage to see all of the tools available to retirees, along with direct links to each tool and simple instructions for using them: https://www.dfas.mil/retonlinetools
In addition, we created a comprehensive guide to using the askDFAS online tools to assist you. 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 Retirees

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

List of askDFAS Online Tools for Retirees
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: Final Pay of a Deceased Retiree – Questions 
New Tool: Starting SBP Annuity Pay – Questions 


Self-Service Account Change Tools for Retirees 

Self-Service Account Change Tools for Retirees - Tools for Retirees
Category Name: Self-Service Account Changes 

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

Online Form Upload Tools for Retirees 

Category Name: Retiree-Form Upload Tools 

Tool: General Retiree Documents – Upload 
(Use this tool if the document does not fit one of the specific tools below) 
Tool: Active Duty Retirement Ppwk – Upload 
Tool: DD 2558 – Allotment Updates – Upload 
Tool: DD 2894 – Desig of Beneficiary – Upload 
Tool: Power of Attorney/3rd Party Doc – Upload 
Tool: Reserve/Guard Retirement Ppwk – Upload 
Tool: Retiree DOHA Appeal – Upload 
Tool: SBP DD 2656-1 – Upload 
Tool: SBP DD 2656-2 – Upload 
Tool: SBP DD 2656-6 – Upload 
Tool: SBP DD 2656-8 – Upload 
Tool: SBP Open Season Discontinuation 
Tool: SBP Open Season Enrollments 
Tool: Tax Withholding Changes – Upload 

All New: Ask a Question Options for Retirees 

Category Name: Retiree – Ask a Question 

Tool: Disability Entitlements – Questions 
Tool: General / Form / Document – Questions 
Tool: General Disability Pay – Questions 
Tool: International Direct Deposit – Questions 
Tool: Payment Inquiry – Questions 
Tool: Survivor Benefit Plan – Questions 

Page Updated June 26 2024