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Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens When You Die

It is extremely important for someone to notify DFAS as soon as possible after you die.  Late notification of your death could result in burdensome consequences for your survivors, including delays in finalizing your account, paying your Arrears of Pay (AOP) and establishing a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity. 

Because your entitlement to retired pay ends on the date of your death, delayed reporting also could result in an overpayment that would be collected from your bank, your estate or one of your survivors, if that survivor receives any of your retired pay funds.

Instructions for Your Beneficiary

Please read our instructions for reporting the death of a military retiree. Print them out and give a copy to your SBP beneficiary.

Once your death has been reported, your beneficiary will receive a Verification for Survivor Annuity form (DD 2656-7) at the address we have on record. Your beneficiary must complete the form and return it to us.  When we receive the completed form, we will begin the SBP annuity.

Please review our Applying for SBP instructions, print them out and give a copy to your SBP beneficiary.

More information for your SBP beneficiary and other loved ones is available on our Survivors and Beneficiaries pages.

Learn more about SBP

  • Advantages & disadvantages - Things to consider before enrolling
  • Enroll - How to set up your SBP account
  • Eligible beneficiaries - Find out who can be covered
  • Cost - What SBP costs at the different coverage levels
  • Paying for SBP - How you can pay
  • Update beneficiary - How to update beneficiaries or update contact information
  • Change or stop coverage - When you can change coverage or beneficiary 
  • Educate your beneficiaries - What your beneficiary needs to know 

Read about these topics at SBP overview

Page updated March 20, 2015