You may know that military retirees can choose to have their family members continue to draw a portion of their retirement pay after the retiree's death. This program is known as the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). Retirees can choose from many options when enrolling in the SBP.
Typically, the retiree's spouse is automatically enrolled in the program unless the retiree and spouse both choose otherwise. However, a military member can also choose to have their children receive the payments instead of the spouse. This may make more financial sense in many situations.
Children are normally eligible only if they are under the age of 18, or under age 22 and attending school full time. Children with disabilities who are unable to care for themselves are always eligible for SBP payments.
Children aged 18 to 22 who are attending school must complete a form, have it signed by the school, and mail it to the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) to keep receiving their monthly SBP payments. This process must be repeated every school term. If not, the SBP payments stop until DFAS gets the necessary paperwork.
To make things a bit easier on these students, DFAS has now started accepting online submissions of the school verification form.
To use the new, online submission process to submit a school certification form, students must upload a PDF copy of their completed DD 2788 -- Child Annuitant's School Certification form.
The DD Form 2788 and instructions are available on the DFAS website. Once the form is completed, students can submit it to DFAS online via a computer or mobile device. DFAS will also send students a reminder to submit the necessary forms via email as necessary.
This should make it easier for students to keep getting their payments on time with no delays.
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