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Frequently Asked Questions

Start a Survivor Benefit Plan Annuity

If you are the designated beneficiary of a deceased military service member's Survivor Benefit Plan, there are several documents we need to begin your SBP annuity account:

Use the DD 2656-7 Form Wizard to fill in your form

The DD 2656-7 Form Wizard will help you fill out the DD 2656-7 - Verification for Survivor Annuity form. The form wizard will ask you a series of questions and fill in your answers in the appropriate areas of the form. When you have finished answering the questions, you can click a button to generate a ready-to-print PDF with your answers.

Please remember you will need to sign and date this form, and then submit it to DFAS, along with the appropriate supporting documentation.

How to use the Form Wizard

You can download the entire DD 2656-7 Form Wizard (right click and choose "Save As") to your Windows or MAC computer. You will need compatible PDF software, such as the free Adobe Acrobat DC software, available at We do not recommend saving the Form Wizard to a shared computer, because it contains personally-identifiable information. When using Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari to access an Adobe form wizard, the user may initially receive a pop-up attached message.  The user must download the pdf (by clicking the download icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page), then double-click on downloaded file.  It is suggested to use the form wizard on a personal device.  Using the form wizard on a DFAS computer may not have the same functionality a personal device.

Alternatively, you can complete and send the following documents:

  • Verification for Survivors Annuity
  • Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity (IRS W-4P) - To have federal taxes withheld from the annuity 
  • Fast Start Direct Deposit Form (FMS 2231) - To have payments directly deposited to your bank account, OR Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (SF 1199A), OR International Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (SF 1199-I)

If any of the following circumstances apply to you, please also send the relevant document(s):

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New helpful tools for spouses, former spouses, and children of a deceased military member/retiree.

If you are the spouse (widow/widower), eligible former spouse, or child of a deceased military member/retiree, we have new, helpful tools to help you fill out the DD Form 2656-7 correctly and easily.

Use the DD Form 2656-7 How-To Checklist to fill out your form

The How-To Checklist for the DD Form 2656-7 provides quick tips and a walk-through of the form to help you fill out the 2656-7 correctly and easily. You can download and print the checklist, or use it on your computer or tablet to assist you in filling out the form.

Watch the DD Form 2656-7 How-To Video on YouTube

 The DD Form 2656-7 how-to video provides a walk-through of the form to help you fill out the 2656-7 correctly and easily.

Submit your completed DD Form 2656-7 and supporting documentation online using our new AskDFAS online upload tool on

You can now upload a PDF of your completed/signed form and supporting documents via the AskDFAS online upload tool on

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Submitting the DD Form 2656-7 and supporting documentation

Send the completed DD Form 2656-7 to start your SBP annuity with supporting documentation to:

A-Upload a PDF of your completed/signed form and supporting documents via the AskDFAS online upload tool on

B-OR, mail to: :

DFAS - U.S. Military Annuitant Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-1300

C-OR, Fax to:  800-982-8459

If you have additional questions about starting your SBP annuity, please contact your Branch of Service Retiree Service Organization or call the DFAS Customer Care Center at 800-321-1080.

Related Links:

Managing Your SBP Annuity
Information for Beneficiaries
How to Claim Arrears of Pay Using the SF 1174
School Certifications
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Arrears of Pay Frequently Asked Questions


Page updated Jan 24, 2022