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Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity payments typically stop for child annuitants covered under SBP when they reach age 18 unless they are incapacitated.
However, if you attend school full-time (in high school or at an accredited college or university), the SBP annuity payments can continue until you reach age 22 or otherwise become ineligible.
School certifications for child annuitants over age 18 attending college/university full-time
Each semester, we mail a Child Annuitant's School Certification form (DD Form 2788) to verify you are still enrolled. If we don’t receive the form by the end of your school term, we will suspend payments until we receive a properly completed form.
School certifications for child annuitants turning age 18 while attending high school or college
Child annuitants over age 18 (and not incapacitated) must be full-time students to continue receiving SBP annuity payments. A school certification form is sent before the annuitant reaches age 18 to verify the child annuitant’s eligibility to continue to receive SBP payments.
We will mail a school certification form to the child annuitant 60-90 days prior to their 18th birthday. The certification form must be filled out and signed by a parent or guardian, and then signed by a school official, and returned to DFAS prior to the first day of the month of the child annuitant’s birth.
When the school certification form is received for a child annuitant that turns 18 years of age while attending college, we will certify the child annuitant's eligibility as future intent to continue payment. However, a separate school certification will also be needed within 30 days prior to the end of the semester for validation of their eligibility as a full-time student. School certification forms will also be needed at the end of each of the following semesters to certify that the child annuitant is a full-time student.
When the school certification form is received for a child annuitant that turns 18 years of age while in high school, we will certify the child annuitant’s eligibility until their high school graduation date or for one year, whichever period is shorter.
If the school certification form is not returned before the first day of the month of the child annuitant’s 18th birthday, the annuity payment is suspended until a properly completed form is received.
If a child annuitant over age 18 does not plan to attend college full-time, their annuity eligibility ends on the date of high school graduation.
If the child annuitant over age 18 plans to attend college full-time within 150 days of the date of their high school graduation, they should submit an additional school certification form to notify DFAS of their plan to attend college on a full-time basis, which will continue their annuity eligibility. A school certification form will also be needed within 30 days prior to the end of the first semester for validation of their eligibility as a full-time student. School certification forms will also be needed at the end of each of the following semesters to certify that the child annuitant is a full-time student.
Questions about the school certification form or process?
We have frequently asked questions and answers on the “Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Arrears of Pay Frequently Asked Questions” website page.
Page last updated on March 30, 2019