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Frequently Asked Questions

Making Forms Easier to Fill Out and Submit

This year, we began rolling out a series of new tools to help retirees and annuitants fill out and submit forms easily and correctly. The tools include helpful PDF Form Wizards, how-to checklists, how-to videos, and AskDFAS online upload tools.

And next year, we have more coming.

DFAS receives a high percentage of forms we are unable to process, often because a form is missing information or a signature. We know it is frustrating for you when we are unable to fulfill your request because of missing information or signatures. We hope these tools will make the processes easier by reducing the number of incorrect documents that cause delays and by allowing digital submissions.

Right now, here are the helpful form tools that are available:

SF 1174 - for claiming a retiree’s Arrears of Pay

In late September, we launched a package of form tools for the SF 1174, for claiming a retiree’s Arrears of Pay. The package includes a Form Wizard, an AskDFAS online upload tool, and a how-to checklist and video. Find out more:

DD 2656-7 - for starting an SBP annuity

In late October, we launched a package of form tools for the DD 2656-7, for starting an SBP annuity. The package includes a Form Wizard, an AskDFAS online upload tool, and a how-to checklist and video. Find out more:

DD 2788 - School Certifications

We launched the first customer-facing AskDFAS online upload tool in late July, for the DD Form 2788 (Child Annuitant's School Certificate) for SBP child annuitants 18 years and over who need to certify they are in school full-time to continue to receive annuity payments. In September, we added a how-to checklist, and in October, we began sending monthly emailed SmartDoc reminders to those student SBP annuitants who have a valid email in myPay and an upcoming deadline to submit a School Certification form. Find out more:

Forms Page

All of the form tools are available from the Forms page on our website. We  are also working on redesigning the Forms page. The new Forms page will make it easier for you to find the form you need based on the request you are making, instead of needing to know the form number. It will also include links to the helpful form tools, instructions, and links to webpages for additional information.

PDF Form Wizards

The Form Wizards “take the form out of the form” by having the customer answer a series of questions. Once they have answered the questions, the wizard automatically places their answers in the correct areas of the form and generates a ready-to-print PDF of the completed form. Customers can also save a PDF of the generated form to their own computer.

The wizards are designed to generate a printable version of the filled-out forms, since these forms require a “wet” signature and in some cases, witnesses or notaries.

The PDF Form Wizards can only be used on a Windows or MAC computer with compatible PDF software, such as the free Adobe Acrobat DC.

How-to checklists and videos

The new how-to checklists provide a different kind of help, by explaining the information that needs to be included on a form, and additional documentation that may be needed. The videos complement the checklists with visual instructions. Both also have a reminder to sign the form, which is one of the major omissions that prevent us from processing a form.

AskDFAS online upload tools

The new AskDFAS online upload tools allow some forms and the required documentation to be uploaded and submitted through AskDFAS on the website, which is also accessible on a mobile browser.

To use the new online tool to submit a form, customers just need to fill in the required information in the online screen, and then upload a PDF of their completed and signed form and documentation.

Please note the AskDFAS online upload tools can only accept the specific form and documentation noted on the upload tool. Other requests or documents cannot be processed through the online upload tools.

We have more helpful tools coming in 2020. Watch the Latest News area of our website for news:

Page last updated on Dec 18, 2019