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Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Arrears of Pay Frequently Asked Questions

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Please check our new SBP-DIC News webpage for news on the SBP-DIC Offset Phased Elimination

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SBP Student Child Annuitants: Big News About School Certifications! – May 2020
College students will now certify annually instead of each term, students will no longer need a school official signature or school documentation when they certify, and the school certification form is shorter and simpler. The changes will significantly reduce the paperwork burden and make the process easier and more convenient for full-time student child annuitants. We will have new FAQs posted here soon. Find out more on the School Certifications webpage.


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Spouses (widows/widowesr), eligible former spouses, or children of a deceased military member/retiree:
If you need to submit a DD Form 2656-7 to start an SBP annuity, please see the Start an SBP Annuity page for helpful tools and a new, online option for submitting the form and documents. 

Spouses (widows/widowers) or child(ren) of a deceased retiree: If you need to submit an SF 1174 for the retiree’s Arrears of Pay, please see the How to Claim Arrears of Pay Using the 1174 page for helpful tools and a new, online option for submitting the form and documents.

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Initial Annuity Packet and SF 1174
(Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service)

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be very difficult.  Therefore, DFAS created this guide to assist you with claiming the Survivor Benefit Plan and/or any unpaid compensation. Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Annuity Packet and the SF 1174 (Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service).


SF 1174
(Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service)

If you are submitting the SF 1174 to claim a deceased retiree’s Arrears of Pay, please see the How to Claim a Retiree’s Arrears of Pay Using the SF 1174 page for helpful tools and information.

If you are submitting the SF 1174 to claim a deceased SBP annuitant’s Arrears of Annuity, please see the Apply for Arrears of Annuity page for helpful information.

Q: Who is the claimant?

A: The person (or persons) who are entitled to the funds.

Q: Whose information is required in parts A7 through A10?

A: The deceased military member or deceased Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuitant’s information should appear under A7 through A10, as applicable.

Q: What is the Decedent’s domicile (A10)?

A: The state in which the military member or annuitant resided prior to passing away.

Q: Is Part C required?

A: If you are the widow(er) or the designated beneficiary and your information is in Part A, do not fill out Part C. If you are NOT the widow(er) and you are unsure if you are the designated beneficiary or you are not the designated beneficiary, fill out Part C with all requested information. Every claimant must complete an SF 1174. If there are more than two people claiming arrears, additional SF 1174 forms must be submitted.

Q: What if I am the executor and the decedent’s child?

A: If you are the executor and the decedent’s child, complete Part C and Part D. The executor must be court-ordered and provide the EIN tax ID number. Appointment of an executor through the will is not the same. Include a copy of the court documents appointing the executor (Letters of Testamentary, Letters Appointing Representative of Estate of Executor) when you submit the SF 1174.

Q: Do I need to fil out Part E?

A: Do not fill out Part E. Part E is no longer used.

Q: Do I need to sign the form?

A: The claimant or claimant(s) claiming arrears must complete the signature block(s) in full. If there are two claimants on one form, both must sign on the same date in front of the two witnesses. If there are more than two people claiming arrears, additional SF 1174 forms must be submitted.

Q: Do the witnesses have to be Notaries or Public Officials?

A: No, the witnesses can be anyone who is a disinterested party. There must be two witness signatures, even if there is only one applicant completing the form.

Please see the How to Claim Arrears of Pay Using the 1174 page for helpful tools and more information.

 

DD 2656-7 
(Verification for Survivor Annuity)

Q: What type of benefit am I claiming under 2g?

A: Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

Q: Part 3c asks if I am receiving an annuity from any other deceased military retiree. Does that refer to my current spouse?

A: No.  If you are currently receiving any payment from another retired military member, then you should fill out this section.

Q: On the top of the second page it is asking for the Deceased Member’s name and social security number. Do I have to fill this out again?

A: Yes, to ensure proper identification of all pages of the document.

Q: Do I need to fill out Part 6?

 A: If you are a spouse applicant and you have applied for, or intend to apply for benefits though the VA, you must fill out Part 6.

Please see the Start an SBP Annuity page for helpful tools and more information.

 

FMS 2231 

(Fast Start Direct Deposit)

Q: What is the Employee Payroll Identification Number?

A: The annuitant’s social security number.

Q: Whose name do I put for employee name?

A: The annuitant’s name (Last name, first name, middle initial/s).

Q: What type of account do I choose?

A: If the account information in Part 3 is a checking account, choose checking. If the account information in Part 3 is a savings account, choose savings.

Q: What type of payment do I choose?

A: It is net pay.

Q: What is the account title?

A: The annuitant’s name or, in the case of a child or incapacitated person, the representative payee’s name.

Q: What is an allotment, and what do I put for Part 4?

A: Do not fill out Part 4. We no longer process allotments for annuitants.

Q: Part 5 requests the employee’s signature. Who should sign?

A: The annuitant or the representative payee should sign and date.


IRS W-4P
(IRS Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments)

Please contact the IRS or a certified tax preparer for information or assistance with completing this form. If an IRS Form W4-P is not received, the default tax status that will be entered is married with 3 allowances.


There are additional forms required for a child account or an incapacitated child account:

  1. If the child is a minor, a DD Form 2790 (Custodianship of a Minor Child) is required. Please see the Start an SBP Annuity page for helpful tools and more information.
  2. A DD Form 2828 (Physician Certificate for Child Annuitant) is required for an incapacitated child account.
  3. If the child is over the age of 18, court-ordered guardianship paperwork is required for an incapacitated child account.

All of the forms described in this guide can be found on the Retired & Annuitant Pay Forms page.

Page last modified on May 5, 2020