Family Housing. Eligible family members occupying government housing on the date the member dies may continue to occupy such housing without charge for a period of 365 days provided member’s death was in the line-of-duty. If they vacate the government housing before the 180 days are up, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), is paid for the remaining unused days. If the family members are not occupying government housing, they may receive BAH or an overseas housing allowance for 180 days after the member’s death. Your CAR will explain this entitlement to you and help you complete the required claim form.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). The SGLI payment is $400,000 unless the member elected a lesser amount or declined coverage in writing. Monthly premium payments for the level of coverage selected by the member are automatically deducted from the member’s pay. Determination and payment of proceeds are made by the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance under the jurisdiction of the Department of VA.
Payment of proceeds to a beneficiary are exempt from taxation. The insured member may have designated as principal or contingent beneficiary any person, firm, corporation or legal entity, including their estate, individually or as a trustee. If the member designated a trust, they indicated the name and date of the trust in the beneficiary block. If the member designated a trust through a Will, they annotated “Last Will and Testament” in the beneficiary block.
If the member chose not to designate a specific beneficiary but preferred the proceeds be paid in the order of precedence, the member selected the “By Law” designation. When the “By Law” designation is used, the proceeds are automatically paid in the following order of precedence:
- The member’s lawful surviving spouse.
- If there is no spouse, to the child or children of the member in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child to be distributed among the descendants of that child.
- If none of the above, to the parents of the member in equal shares or to the surviving parent.
- If none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the member’s estate.
- If none of the above, to other next of kin.
The claim form required to apply for this benefit is VA Form SGLV 8283, Claim for Death Benefits.
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). SBP is a monthly annuity paid by the military to the surviving spouse or, in some cases, eligible children, of a member who dies on active duty. The initial annuity paid to a surviving spouse is equal to 55 percent of the retired pay to which the member would have been entitled based upon years of active service if retired on the date of death (if the member was retirement-eligible).
The annuity is reduced by the amount of the monthly DIC payment awarded and paid to the surviving spouse by the Department of VA. When the surviving spouse reaches age 62, the annuity is reduced to 35 percent. The annuity is paid until the spouse dies, but is suspended upon remarriage before age 55. The annuity to a surviving spouse may be reinstated if the subsequent marriage ends in death or divorce. The annuitant must send a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate to DFAS-DE to reinstate the annuity. If a second SBP benefit resulted from the remarriage, the surviving spouse must elect which of the two SBP benefits to receive. Should the surviving spouse remarry at age 55 or older, the annuitant will continue to receive the monthly annuity. The surviving spouse must
notify DFAS-DE/FRB, 6760 E. Irvington Place, Denver CO 80279-6000, of any changes in marital status. Detailed information will be provided by your CAR and the DFAS-DE Center.
Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP). This is a monthly annuity paid by the military to the surviving spouse or, in some cases, eligible children, of a Reserve Component member who dies and has completed the satisfactory years of service that qualified the member for retired pay at age 60. The member must have made an election within 90 days of notification of eligibility to participate in the program. Members on an Active Guard/Reserve 10211 (officer) or 12310 (enlisted) tour, are eligible to participate in the plan. Coverage is not automatic unless the member dies before the 90 day period established by law. The initial annuity paid to a surviving spouse is equal to 55 percent of the retired pay to which the member would have been entitled at age 60, reduced by the Reserve Portion Cost.