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Frequently Asked Questions

Manage Your SBP Annuity

The Survivor Benefit Plan provides an ongoing monthly annuity payment to military spouses or children when a military member dies while on active duty, on inactive duty, or after retirement (if the retiree chooses to purchase coverage).*

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Annuitants and Guardians/Legal Representatives of Annuitants: We are working to simplify the process of verifying continuing eligibility for Survivor Benefit Plan annuitants. The newest change reduces the number of annuitants who need to submit a Report of Existence (ROE). Now, the only annuitants who need to submit an ROE are those who receive a paper check to a foreign address. Previously, the legal representatives for all incapacitated annuitants were required to submit an ROE twice each year.  
There is a new overview of the eligibility verification requirements for annuitants below. Or download the new SBP Annuitant Eligibility Verification Requirements Fact Sheet

Please see our SBP-DIC News webpage for news on the SBP-DIC Offset Phased Elimination. 

Please see our School Certification page for news on the school certification process.

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Services for Annuitants

As long as you maintain your eligibility, you can expect to receive the following services from DFAS Retired and Annuitant (R&A) Pay:
  • Monthly payment of benefit
  • Implementing changes of address
  • Implementing changes in Federal Income Tax Withholding
  • Providing 1099Rs
  • Establishing direct deposit orders
  • Establishing international direct deposit orders
  • Confirmation of annuity income 

Manage Your Account with myPay

The quickest and most convenient way to manage your annuity pay is with myPay. This online account management system puts you in control of your own account. You can use myPay to view your SBP annuity account detail, including your Annuitant Account Statement, change Direct Deposit information, change your mailing address, and print and view IRS forms, such as the 1099R.

How to Get Started with myPay

If you've never used myPay, it's easy to get started. Go to https://mypay.dfas.mil using the internet from your computer or your mobile device browser and click "Forgot or Need a Password" to have a temporary password mailed to you. The password will be mailed via regular mail to the address you have on file with DFAS and you will receive it in about 10 business days. Once you have received a password, return to the myPay home page and click "Create your myPay Profile" to get started. Enter your SSN and temporary password.

Here's our handy downloadable "Get Started with myPay" guide. Or watch the "Get Started with myPay" how-to video on our YouTube channel. 


Annuitant Account Statement

The Annuitant Account Statement (AAS) is available through myPay. For those annuitants who have a hardcopy mail request in their account, it is mailed when changes are made to the account that affect net pay. Use it to verify payment, tax information, and to keep informed about your account.


Taxes

When you fill out a W4P and mail or fax it to DFAS Military Annuitant Pay, we will withhold federal income taxes from your annuity payment. Every January, we will issue a 1099-R statement that you will need to complete your tax return. 

1099-R Reissues
We have easy, convenient options to get a copy of your 1099-R tax document without having to call and wait on hold to speak to someone:

myPay: Your 1099-R is available much earlier and more securely in myPay than those sent to customers who choose delivery by mail. If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to get started. 

AskDFAS online request: Even if you are not a myPay user, you can get a copy of your 1099-R sent to your mailing address on record or to a one-time, temporary mailing address by submitting your request online.

If you prefer traditional mail, you can send us a written request by mail (or fax), but please make sure you leave ample time for processing and for the mail:

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

Annuitant fax: 800-982-8459

R&A Pay cannot withhold state taxes for annuitants.


Continued Eligibility for SBP Annuity Payments

SBP annuitants need to verify their continued eligibility regularly to receive SBP annuity payments. 

There are several types of verification. The requirements depend on the SBP annuitant’s relationship to the military service member. 

*Download the new SBP Annuitant Eligibility Verification Requirements Fact Sheet
(Download the SBP Annuitant Eligibility Verification Requirements Fact Sheet PDF to read, print or share: right click on the link above and choose "Save As" to save to your computer)

Below are the eligibility verification requirements for Survivor Benefit Plan annuitants. They are split into separate sections based on the annuitant's relationship to the military service member. 
Click on the category title below to jump to a specific section or scroll down the page to see the requirements for all annuitants:
If you are a Spouse or Former Spouse SBP Annuitant – click here
Requirements for Spouse and Former Spouse SBP Annuitants Documented as Incapacitated – click here
Requirements for Child SBP Annuitants Under 18 – click here
If you are a Student Child SBP Annuitant 18-22 - click here
Requirements for Child Annuitants Documented as Incapacitated – click here


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Spouse and Former Spouse SBP Annuitants 

(Not documented as incapacitated) 

Eligibility Verification Requirements
 

Summary

  • Spouse and former spouse annuitants under the age of 55 = COE annually
  • Spouse and former spouse annuitants who receive a paper check to a foreign address = ROE twice each year

Details

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Spouse and former spouse annuitants under the age of 55 are required to verify annually they are not married, using the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). 

We will mail a COE approximately 60 days prior to the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed COE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday. 

Spouse SBP Annuitants can also submit a COE through their myPay account. Former Spouse SBP Annuitants cannot submit a COE via myPay at this time.  If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Report of Existence (ROE)
Spouse and former spouse annuitants of any age who receive a paper check to a foreign address are required to verify twice each year that they are not deceased, using the Report of Existence/ROE. This is required for any annuitant who receives a paper check to a foreign address. 

For those spouse and former spouse annuitants who must submit an annual COE, DFAS accepts the COE in place of one of the ROEs. 

The ROE is mailed six months after the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the ninth month after the annuitant’s birthday. 

For those annuitants who are required to submit a second ROE, the ROE is mailed approximately 60 days prior to their birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday. 

Spouse SBP Annuitants can also submit an ROE through their myPay account. Former Spouse SBP Annuitants cannot submit an ROE via myPay at this time.  If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Additional Information
If you do not receive a COE or ROE in the mail and you fit the criteria above, you still need to submit the document. If we don’t receive the completed COE or ROE when due, we will suspend payment until we receive the properly completed document.

Please ensure that your mailing address is always up-to-date with DFAS so you can receive important communications. You can also download the COE or ROE from our Forms webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/raforms

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Spouse and Former Spouse SBP Annuitants Documented as Incapacitated

Eligibility Verification Requirements
 

Summary

  • Spouse and former spouse annuitants documented as incapacitated under the age of 55 = COE annually
  • Spouse and former spouse annuitants documented as incapacitated who receive a paper check to a foreign address = ROE twice each year

Details

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Spouse and former spouse annuitants under the age of 55 are required to verify annually they are not married, using the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If documented as incapacitated, the legal representative must submit the verification. 

We will mail the COE approximately 60 days prior to the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed COE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday.

Legal representatives for Spouse SBP Annuitants documented as incapacitated can use a myPay account created for the annuitant to submit a COE IF the legal representative’s documentation is already on file in the annuitant’s SBP payment account. If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Report of Existence (ROE)
Spouse and former spouse annuitants of any age who receive a paper check to a foreign address are required to verify twice each year that they are not deceased, using the Report of Existence (ROE). This is required for any annuitant who receives a paper check to a foreign address. If documented as incapacitated, the legal representative must submit the verification.

Prior to April 5, 2021, all incapacitated annuitants were required to verify twice each year that they were not deceased using the ROE. That requirement is now eliminated, except for those who receive a paper check to a foreign address.

For those spouse and former spouse annuitants who must submit an annual COE, DFAS accepts the COE in place of one of the ROEs. 

The ROE is mailed six months after the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the ninth month after the annuitant’s birthday. 

For those annuitants who are required to submit a second ROE, the ROE is mailed approximately 60 days prior to their birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday. 

Legal representatives for Spouse SBP Annuitants documented as incapacitated can use a myPay account created for the annuitant to submit an ROE IF the legal representative’s documentation is already on file in the annuitant’s SBP payment account.  If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Additional Information
If you do not receive a COE or ROE in the mail and you fit the criteria above, you still need to submit the document. If we don’t receive the completed COE or ROE when due, we will suspend payment until we receive the properly completed document.

Please ensure that your mailing address is always up-to-date with DFAS so you can receive important communications. You can also download the COE or ROE from our Forms webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/raforms

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Child SBP Annuitants Under 18

(Not Documented as Incapacitated)

Eligibility Verification Requirements
 

Summary

  • Child SBP Annuitants Under 18 and over 14 = COE annually
  • Child SBP Annuitants Under 18 receiving a paper check to a foreign address = ROE twice each year

Details

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Child annuitants over 14 years of age are required to verify annually they are not married, using the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If under the age of majority, the legal representative must submit the verification. 

We will mail a COE approximately 60 days prior to the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed COE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday. 

Legal representatives for Child SBP Annuitants Under 18 can use a myPay account created for the annuitant to submit a COE IF the legal representative’s documentation is already on file in the annuitant’s SBP payment account. If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Report of Existence (ROE)
Child annuitants of any age receiving a paper check to a foreign address are required to verify twice each year that they are not deceased, using the Report of Existence (ROE). This is required for any annuitant who receives a paper check to a foreign address. If under the age of majority, the legal representative must submit the verification. 

For those child annuitants who must submit an annual COE, DFAS accepts the COE in place of one of the ROEs. 

The ROE is mailed six months after the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the ninth month after the annuitant’s birthday. 

For those annuitants who are required to submit a second ROE, the ROE is mailed approximately 60 days prior to their birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday. 

Legal representatives for Child SBP Annuitants Under 18 can use a myPay account created for the annuitant to submit an ROE IF the legal representative’s documentation is already on file in the annuitant’s SBP payment account. If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Additional Information
If you do not receive a COE or ROE in the mail and the child annuitant fits the criteria above, you still need to submit the document. If we don’t receive the completed COE or ROE when due, we will suspend payment until we receive the properly completed document.

Please ensure that your mailing address is always up-to-date with DFAS so you can receive important communications. You can also download the COE or ROE from our Forms webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/raforms

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Student Child SBP Annuitants 18-22

(Not Documented as Incapacitated)

Eligibility Verification Requirements
 

Summary

  • Student Child SBP Annuitants turning 18 = School Certification
  • Student Child SBP Annuitants 18-22 = School Certification annually
  • Student Child SBP Annuitants 18-22 receiving a paper check to a foreign address = ROE twice each year

Details

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Student Child Annuitants 18-22 and in school full-time are required to verify annually they are not married. When a student child annuitant age 18-22 submits a DD 2788 School Certification form, DFAS accepts that in place of the annual Certificate of Eligibility (COE). 

School Certifications
Student child annuitants ages 18-22 and not documented as incapacitated are required to verify annually that they are attending school full-time using the School Certification package. 

When a child annuitant turns 18, the DD 2788 School Certification form is mailed approximately 60 days prior to their 18th birthday. Please return the completed School Certification form by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s 18th birthday. The School Certification is good for the full upcoming school year unless the student graduates prior to the end of the school year. 

For student child annuitants 18 through 22 (or still in the eligibility window if the student turned 22 during the school year) and in college full-time, the School Certification package is mailed approximately 60 days prior to end of their school year. Please return the completed, signed School Certification package by the first day of the month your attendance for the school year ends (the date you previously indicated as the end date of the last semester you planned to attend for the school year). 

Report of Existence (ROE)
Student Child Annuitants 18-22 and in school full-time receiving a paper check to a foreign address are required to verify twice each year they are not deceased, using a combination of the School Certification and the Report of Existence (ROE). This is required for any annuitant who receives a paper check to a foreign address. For those student child annuitants who submit an annual School Certification, DFAS accepts the School Certification in place of one of the ROEs. 

The ROE is mailed approximately 60 days prior to their birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday.

Student Child Annuitants can also submit an ROE through their myPay account. If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Additional Information

If you do not receive a School Certification or ROE in the mail and you fit the criteria above, you still need to submit the document. If we don’t receive the completed School Certification or ROE when due, we will suspend payment until we receive the properly completed document.

Please ensure that your mailing address is always up-to-date with DFAS so you can receive important communications. You can also download the DD 2788 School Certification form or ROE from our Forms webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/raforms

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Child Annuitants Documented as Incapacitated

Eligibility Verification Requirements
 

Summary

  • Child Annuitants Documented as Incapacitated over 14 = COE annually
  • Child Annuitants Documented as Incapacitated receiving a paper check to a foreign address = ROE twice each year

Details

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Child annuitants over 14 years of age and documented as incapacitated are required to verify annually they are not married, using the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If documented as incapacitated, the legal representative must submit the verification. 

We will mail a COE approximately 60 days prior to the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed COE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday. 

Legal representatives for Child SBP Annuitants documented as incapacitated can use a myPay account created for the annuitant to submit a COE IF the legal representative’s documentation is already on file in the annuitant’s SBP payment account. 

Report of Existence (ROE)
Child annuitants of any age receiving a paper check to a foreign address are required to verify twice each year that they are not deceased, using the Report of Existence (ROE). This is required for any annuitant who receives a paper check to a foreign address. If documented as incapacitated, the legal representative must submit the verification. 

Prior to April 5, 2021, all incapacitated annuitants were required to verify twice each year that they were not deceased using the ROE (or a combination of ROE and COE). That requirement is now eliminated, except for those who receive a paper check to a foreign address.

For those annuitants who must submit an annual COE, DFAS accepts the COE in place of one of the ROEs. 

The ROE is mailed six months after the annuitant’s birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the ninth month after the annuitant’s birthday. 

For those annuitants who are required to submit a second ROE, the ROE is mailed approximately 60 days prior to their birthday. Please return the completed, signed ROE by the first day of the month of the annuitant’s birthday.

Legal representatives for Child SBP Annuitants documented as incapacitated and receiving a paper check to a foreign address can use a myPay account created for the annuitant to submit an ROE IF the legal representative’s documentation is already on file in the annuitant’s SBP payment account.  If you're not using myPay, now is the time to get started. See the myPay section above for how to's.

Additional Information
If you do not receive a COE or ROE in the mail and the child annuitant fits the criteria above, you still need to submit the document. If we don’t receive the completed COE or ROE when due, we will suspend payment until we receive the properly completed document.

Please ensure that your mailing address is always up-to-date with DFAS so you can receive important communications. You can also download the COE or ROE from our Forms webpage: https://www.dfas.mil/raforms




*Note: The information on this website is provided to explain typical situations regarding retiree and annuitant benefits. For details and exceptions, please see applicable laws, financial management regulations, and instructions.

Page updated May 3, 2021