Prepare Your Loved Ones: Reclaiming Overpaid Funds After the Death of a Retiree 

 

A military retiree’s entitlement to retired pay ends on the date of death of the member.

When DFAS is notified of a retiree’s death, DFAS makes every effort to ensure that any disbursements that follow include only funds the member was entitled to at the time of his/her death.

However, there are instances when a retiree dies near the end of the month (and it is too late to adjust the payment) or DFAS is not notified of the death in a timely manner. This results in a deposit into a retiree’s bank account, made after the retiree’s death, which consists of both (a) funds the retiree was entitled to at the time of his/her death and (b) funds paid corresponding to days after the retiree’s death (payment that could not be prevented due to timing).

DFAS will stop monthly payments upon notification of death to prevent overpayment. If a payment was made after the date of the retiree’s death, we are required to notify the bank to reclaim the entire payment.

If the retiree had a joint bank account, it is especially important to be aware that the entire payment will be reclaimed.

The retiree's final pro-rated payment will be issued as Arrears of Pay (AOP) to the entitled beneficiary upon receipt of a valid claim. Please note that all payments issued after the member's death must be returned to DFAS before AOP can be paid.

In addition, financial institutions are obligated to return any federal benefit payments made after they are notified of the death of an account holder. In some cases, a member’s bank may return the retired pay payment made after the date of the retiree’s death before DFAS reclaims the payment.

We are communicating this information so you can prepare your loved ones, especially if they are a joint holder on your account. We realize this can be a difficult time both emotionally and financially and want to provide you with information to ease any undue burdens placed on your loved ones.

Therefore, it is important that, upon death, DFAS is promptly notified so that your monthly payment can be suspended and to prevent any overpayments.  
 
To report a retiree’s death: 

  1. Fill out the online askDFAS Notification of Death form (available online 24/7) 

Before using the tool, you will need to have the following information available for the retiree: 

  • Full Name 

  • Social Security Number 

  • Date of Death 

  • Cause of Death (Natural, Homicide, Pending, or Other) 

  • Marital Status 

Additionally, if you are the retiree’s spouse you will also need to provide your date of marriage. 
Anyone using the tool must also complete all additional fields with a name, relationship, and contact information for the notification of death to be processed.

OR 

  1. Call our Customer Care Center at 1-800-321-1080 

When you call, please be prepared to provide: 

  • Retiree’s Full Name 

  • Retiree’s Social Security Number 

  • Date of Death 

OR  

  1. Fax or Mail information to DFAS 

Mail to: 
Defense Finance and Accounting Service 
U.S. Military Retired Pay 
8899 E 56th Street 
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200 
Fax to: 1-800-469-6559 

DFAS strongly encourages you to use Option A or Option B above to notify us promptly of a retiree’s death. If you have any difficulty using the askDFAS online form, please call our Customer Care Center.

 




 

March 27, 2024