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Frequently Asked Questions


Special Separation Benefit

If you received Special Separation Benefit (SSB) and later qualify for retired or retainer pay, you will be required to repay the full gross SSB paid to date. For more information on how the full gross amount of your VSI will be recouped from your retired pay please click on the “VSI/SSB Recoupment” link at the bottom of this page.

If after receiving SSB you spend enough time in the reserves to qualify for retirement pay, you reenlist, or you are recalled to active duty and qualify for retirement pay, you may choose to retire. However, you will be required to repay the full gross amount of SSB you received.

This repayment will be made via a recoupment from your monthly retired paycheck.

What is SSB?

Special Separation Benefit (SSB) was offered as an incentive for military members in certain career fields to leave active duty. This incentive was designed to drawdown or reduce the active duty force. The use of SSB was discontinued December 31, 2001.

You must have met all of the following requirements to be eligible to receive SSB:

  • six years of active duty as of December 1991
  • had served on active duty for less than 20 years
  • five years of continuous active service at separation
  • be in a rate or rank that has more people in it than are needed to maintain force readiness

Calculation and Payment

SSB was a one-time lump sum payment made on a member’s last day in the military. The amount of the SSB lump sum payment was calculated by multiplying basic pay from your last year of service by 15%. That number was then multiplied by your years of active duty.

Related Link:

VSI/SSB Recoupment

Page updated Sept 21, 2021.