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SBP School Certifications: Now Easier and More Convenient!


There is now a new form and new process for Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) School Certifications!
Now, students don’t need a school official signature or school documentation when they certify, and college students will certify annually instead of each term. The changes will significantly reduce the paperwork and make the process easier and more convenient for full-time student child annuitants.
Survivor Benefit Plan child annuitants who are between age 18 and 22 must regularly certify they are enrolled in a full-time course of education to be entitled to an annuity.
In March, we told you that as part of our initiatives to make processes and paperwork easier, we tackled the school certification process. At the time, we shared new options for easier certification.
Now we have even bigger changes to share: 

  • The school certification form (DD Form 2788) is shorter and simpler, focusing on the student annuitant’s future schooling plans. For certifying past attendance, DFAS will also mail student annuitants a letter with pre-filled information for them to sign.
  • College student annuitants over 18 only need to certify their full-time attendance once a year during the summer, instead of each term, significantly cutting the paperwork burden.
  • Student annuitants over 18 will self-certify their attendance without the need for a school official signature or documentation from the school, making it quicker and easier for students. 
  • If students provide an email address in myPay, we will send an email reminder when they have a school certification coming due.

We sent a special mailing to student child annuitants who need to send us the new form, either because they haven’t yet submitted their certification, or because we need their full year plans for the upcoming school year. This will take the place of the summer term certification they would have otherwise needed to send under the old process.
Also, if there is an old DD 2788 form on its way to DFAS or that we have already received, we will use that information to certify past attendance for the most recent term. But we will need a new DD 2788 from every student child annuitant so we have their plans for the upcoming school year. Once we have that, they’ll be set until next summer.
A copy of that special mailing packet is posted on the School Certifications webpage at:
Reminder: DFAS has an, online option for submitting school certification forms.
DFAS created an online upload tool where students can upload a school certification form through AskDFAS on the DFAS.mil website, which is also accessible on a mobile browser.
The online upload tool is at: https://go.usa.gov/xymaH
To use the new, online upload tool to submit a school certification form, students just need to fill in the required information in the online screen, and then upload a PDF of their completed and signed form/previous attendance letter.
Now that we have a new form, we are also working on a PDF Form Wizard for the DD 2788. The Form Wizard ‘takes the form out of the form’ and makes it easy for a student to fill it in correctly. We plan to have that ready for use starting this fall.
We are also working on a process to use the new School Certification form as proof of the student annuitant’s annual eligibility so they won’t need to send us a separate form for that.
The details of the changes are available on our school certifications webpage at:

Page last updated on June 17, 2020