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Frequently Asked Questions


Paying for SBP

There are four methods of paying for your SBP coverage if you elect it:

  • Deductions from your retired pay
  • Deductions from your CRSC Pay
  • Deductions from your VA pay
  • Direct remittance
  • Paid Up Status

Deductions from your Retired Pay (Normal Payment Method)

The normal method of paying for SBP coverage is by an automatic deduction from your retirement pay. The vast majority of retired members with SBP coverage pay through this means. It is implemented automatically if you elect SBP coverage at the time you retire.

Deductions from your CRSC Pay 

Beginning with the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) monthly premiums due in April of 2018, DFAS started deducting SBP recurring monthly premiums from Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) when retired pay is not sufficient to cover the full amount of the monthly premiums. This new deduction is due to a change in the law which requires DFAS to deduct SBP recurring monthly premiums from CRSC.

The change in the law only affects SBP recurring monthly premiums, beginning with the monthly premium due in April of 2018. It does not affect past due SBP premium amounts. DFAS is not deducting past due premiums from CRSC pay. Retirees who have past due SBP premiums are still responsible for paying the past due SBP premium amount and any interest accrued through direct remittance.

This change affects retirees who receive CRSC and previously paid SBP monthly premiums via direct remittance.

Retirees who currently have SBP premiums deducted from their Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) pay will not be affected.

This change will benefit retirees and their survivors by preventing a debt when a retiree forgets to pay the SBP premiums directly. When SBP premiums are not paid during a retiree’s lifetime, it creates a debt which must be repaid from the SBP annuity a survivor receives.

DFAS is now deducting SBP recurring monthly premiums from CRSC pay. This deduction began with the April 2018 CRSC entitlement (paid on May 1, 2018) for SBP monthly premiums due in the month of April 2018 for all retirees with CRSC who were previously sending in their premium payments (through direct remittance).

If you receive CRSC and previously paid your monthly premiums directly, you will not receive a direct remittance bill for your SBP monthly premium due in or after April of 2018, and should not pay your monthly premium via direct remittance. If you have set up automatic payments for SBP monthly premiums through your financial institution, you will need to stop that monthly premium payment prior to the April 2018 payment date.

Special note: the SBP recurring monthly premium deduction will show under the garnishments category on your CRSC statement. Beginning with the April 2018 CRSC entitlement (paid on May 1, 2018), there will be a note (“Garnishment amount of $XX is for SBP Deduction") on your CRSC monthly statement with the amount of your SBP recurring monthly premium deduction that appears in the garnishments category on your statement. This note does NOT mean that past due SBP premiums are deducted from CRSC. It is only to identify the recurring monthly premium deduction.

Deductions from your VA Pay

If you have been ruled severely disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and your VA compensation exceeds your retired pay, you don't receive retired pay from DFAS. As a result, we cannot automatically deduct SBP premiums from your monthly pay. (See Disability Entitlements for information about the Branch of Service/VA offset).

In this case, the best way to pay for your SBP coverage is to have your payments deducted from your VA compensation and forwarded to DFAS Retired and Annuitant Pay by the VA. Thousands of retirees take advantage of this process. If you are interested in taking part, please have the VA help you complete an Authorization for SBP Cost Deduction (DD 2891) and mail or fax it to the Direct Remittance address listed below.

Direct Remittance

Direct remittance is only for those retired members who do not receive retired pay from DFAS or who do not receive sufficient retired pay and/or CRSC to satisfy the monthly SBP premium. Direct remittance members who choose not to have their SBP payments deducted from their VA pay must remit SBP premium payments.

Please send your check or money order with the payment coupon to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DFAS-CL
SBP and RSFPP Remittance
P.O. Box 979013
St. Louis, MO  63197-9000

Many direct remitters receive their SBP recurring monthly premium bills from the Centralized Receivables Service (CRS), a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury. This bill will only show your current monthly premium amount due, even if you owe past due premiums. Payment in excess of your current monthly premium will be applied to any past due premiums. For your exact balance, please contact our customer care center.

You may not be able to receive a bill from CRS for a variety of reasons, including living outside the United States. If you do not receive a bill from CRS, you will continue to receive your bill from DFAS and make payments to the address above. 

If you do get a bill from CRS, this allows you to make your payments through several different options:

Pay.Gov eBilling: Make an on-line payment 24 hours a day/7 days a week using your checking/savings account or credit card at the Federal Government’s secure website at: Centralized Receivables Service Guest Pay ( Your access code will be on the bill you receive in the mail. If you need your Security Answer, please contact CRS at 1-888-618-3104.

Online Bill Pay: Use your financial institution’s Online Bill Pay by searching for biller DFAS R&A Pay – CRS. For proper processing of your payment, ensure the biller name entered appears exactly as underlined above. When prompted for the account number, enter the CRS Invoice number printed on your bill.

Payment by Phone:  Make a payment by calling 1-855-649-1182 between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm central time, Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays. Please have your checking/savings account or credit card information available before calling.

Payment by Check or Money Order: Make a payment by enclosing your check or money order with the payment coupon attached to the bill you received in the mail. To ensure proper processing of your payment, write your full name and the CRS invoice number on the front of your check or money order and send them to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DFAS-CL
SBP and RSFPP Remittance
P.O. Box 790145
St. Louis, MO  63197-0145

Please note that CRS has a different mailing address from DFAS and you must send your payment to the correct address. Do not send cash. Payments by check or money order must be mailed in time to be received by the payment due date. When you provide a check as payment, you authorize CRS either to use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction.

If you receive a bill from CRS and have any questions about the invoice or payment options, please contact CRS at 1-888-618-3104.

For all other questions about your SBP account, please contact DFAS at 1-800-321-1080 or 317-212-0551.

Payments sent to any other location other than those listed here, including Retired and Annuitant Pay offices at DFAS Cleveland, will not be received. Any delinquent amounts carried over into a new billing month will accrue with an interest fee.

Paid Up Status

Beginning Oct. 1, 2008, any retiree who has paid 360 months of SBP premiums and has reached the age of 70 is no longer be required to make monthly payments for their SBP coverage. If you meet these requirements, your SBP election and account will remain active, and benefits to annuitants will be uninterrupted, but there will be no further cost to you. To help you track your status, Retiree Account Statements (RAS) include a "premium counter" indicating the number of months of paid premiums credited to your account.

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Page last updated February 13, 2024