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Report a Retiree's Death


We are sorry for your loss, and we are here to help you. Although it’s a difficult time, it’s important to report the death of a military retiree promptly. Please follow the steps below to report the death of a military retiree.

The steps and documents needed to claim a retiree’s final pay and claim Survivor Benefit Plan payments (if the retiree was enrolled) are also outlined below. 

We also have a helpful "When a Military Retiree Dies" Checklist you can download and follow as you complete the steps below. 

Information Needed to Report a Retiree Death to DFAS


You may report the death of a military retiree online 24/7 using our askDFAS online Notification of Death form.

Before using the tool, you will need to have the following information available for the retiree:

  • Full Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Death
  • Cause of Death (Natural, Homicide, Pending, or Other)
  • Marital Status
Additionally, if you are the retiree’s spouse you will also need to provide your date of marriage.


Anyone using the tool must also complete all additional fields with a name, relationship, and contact information for the notification of death to be processed.

You may also call our Customer Care Center during business hours to inform DFAS of the death of a military retiree. When you call, please be prepared to provide:

  • Retiree’s Full Name
  • Retiree’s Social Security Number
  • Date of Death


How to Report a Retiree’s Death


To report a retiree’s death:

  1. Fill out the online askDFAS Notification of Death form (available 24/7)

    OR

     

  2. Call our Customer Care Center at 1-800-321-1080

    OR

     

  3. Fax or Mail information to DFAS using the contact information listed later on this page.

DFAS strongly encourages you to use Option A or Option B above to notify us promptly of a retiree’s death. If you have any difficulty using the askDFAS online form, please call our Customer Care Center.

Prompt reporting of a death is important to avoid overpayment. Retired pay ends on the date of death of the retiree.

Upon notification of death, we will send a condolence letter with instructions for claiming the retiree’s final pay. If the retiree was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), we will send a package that includes forms for claiming SBP annuity payments.

DFAS will stop monthly payments upon notification of death to prevent overpayment. If a payment was made after the date of the retiree’s death, we are required to notify the bank to reclaim the entire payment. Once we receive the paperwork outlined below, we can calculate and pay the retiree’s final pro-rated payment to the entitled Arrears of Pay (AOP) beneficiary.  

 

After Reporting the Death to DFAS 


When the death of a retiree is reported, we mail a condolence letter to the beneficiary or beneficiaries listed in the retiree’s account as the Arrears of Pay (AOP) beneficiary. If there is no beneficiary listed in the retiree’s account, we will send the letter to the retiree’s legal representative, if known, or to the retiree’s last known address.

The condolence letter is generally sent within a week of the report of death. The mailing will include the Arrears of Pay (AOP) claim form—SF 1174 Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service. This form, along with the retiree’s death certificate indicating the cause and/or manner of death is required for us to calculate and pay the retiree’s final pay.

You can also download this form from our Forms Library webpage and submit it without waiting for the packet in the mail.

If the retiree enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), we also mail a letter to the SBP beneficiary/beneficiaries with the following documents:

  • Survivor Benefit Plan application form (DD 2656-7 Verification for Survivor Annuity)

You can also download this form from our Forms Library webpage and submit it without waiting for the packet in the mail.
 

What You Need to Do: Promptly Complete and Submit the SF 1174 Form and Supporting Documents


Fill out, sign, and return the SF 1174 form and the supporting documents. Please note that the SF 1174 must be signed by two witnesses in addition to the claimant.

Please see the How to Claim a Retiree’s Arrears of Pay (AOP) Using the SF 1174 webpage for how-to information and helpful tools for filling out and submitting these documents, including our helpful Form Wizard. The Form Wizard guides you through completing the form correctly and easily.

We are required to have a copy of the retiree’s death certificate that states the cause or manner of death prior to making any AOP payments. If you have not yet provided this, please include a copy with your documents.
Include a completed Direct Deposit Authorization (DFAS-CL Form 1059) with your SF 1174 to have an AOP payment direct deposited to your bank account. You can download this form from our Forms Library webpage. Please avoid using a joint account that was shared with a deceased retiree for this deposit. Banks return those payments to DFAS.  

To submit your documents:

  1. Upload a PDF of your completed/signed/witnessed SF 1174 form and supporting documents via the askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil. Please make sure the retiree’s name and Social Security Number are on each document you upload.

OR

  1. Mail to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200

OR

  1. Fax to: 1-800-469-6559


Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Application - What You Need to Do: Promptly Complete and Submit the DD 2656-7 and Supporting Documents


If the deceased retiree was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) or the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP), promptly complete and submit the DD 2656-7 Verification for Survivor Annuity and supporting documents.

Please see the Start an SBP Annuity webpage for how-to information and helpful tools for filling out and submitting these documents, including our helpful Form Wizard. The Form Wizard guides you through completing the form correctly and easily.
If you have not yet provided a death certificate that includes the cause or manner of death, please include a copy of this with your documents.
To submit your documents:

  1. Upload a PDF of your completed/signed DD 2656-7 form and supporting documents via the askDFAS online upload tool on DFAS.mil. Please make sure the retiree’s name and Social Security Number are on each document you upload.

OR

  1. Mail to :

Indianapolis IN 46249-1300
8899 E 56th Street
U.S. Military Retired Pay
Defense Finance and Accounting Service

OR

  1. Fax to: 1-800-982-8459

 

The Retiree’s Final Tax Document (1099-R)


The retiree’s final tax document (IRS 1099-R) is typically issued at the same time as the Arrears of Pay payment to the AOP beneficiary. If a retiree’s legal representative who is not the AOP beneficiary needs a copy of the 1099-R, they should send a signed and dated letter that includes the retiree’s full name, Social Security Number, the 1099-R request, and the full name and relationship of the requestor, along with a copy of the Certificate of Death (if not already on file). The Certificate of Death is required in order for the 1099-R to be issued.

 

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Page Updated Oct 31 2023