Applying for Survivor Benefit Plan Annuity
By David A Anderson
If you are the designated beneficiary of a deceased military retiree's Survivor Benefit Plan, complete and submit the following documents to begin your SBP annuity account (All forms can be completed online and downloaded at the websites given):
Verification for Survivors Annuity (DD2656-7) at www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd2656-7.pdf. Section by section instructions are available at www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/survivors/Retiree-death/sbp.html. If you have questions or need assistance completing this form, contact Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) at 1-800-321-1080.
Form DD2656-7 requires the following accompanying documentation as applicable for processing:
- Certificate of Death: Required within 60 days of establishing the Annuity. Submit a legible copy vice the original Certificate of Death (including cause and manner of death). DFAS is unable to return original documents.
- IRS Form W-4P at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4p.pdf to have taxes for U.S. citizens withheld from annuity; or
- IRS Form W-8BEN at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf to have taxes for non U.S. citizens withheld from annuity.
- FMS 2231 Fast Start Direct Deposit Form at http://www.fms.treas.gov/eft/2231.pdf to have money directly deposited to your bank account rather than a hard copy check being mailed; or
- Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (SF 1199A) available at http://fms.treas.gov/eft/SF-1199A-2012.pdf if annuitant has no SSN assigned; or
- International Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (SF 1199-I) for overseas financial institution available at www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/of1199i.pdf.
Additional documentation may be needed, depending on the claimant:
- Citizenship Affidavit – Include if the claimant does not live in the US and is anyone other than the member’s child.
- Custodianship - if the claimant is a minor this form must be signed by the parent/guardian.
- POA or Guardianship – if someone else signs on behalf of the claimant supporting documentation is needed.
- Child Annuitant's School Certification (DD2788), for minors or incapacitated annuitants only at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd2788.pdf.
Mail or fax completed documents to: DFAS - U.S. Military Annuitant Pay, P.O. Box 7131, London, KY 40742-7131 or Fax: 800-982-8459
Note: If you have elected to cover your spouse or loved ones under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), you should be aware of recent change to the process for application for benefits. Effective April 1, 2013, all applications for annuities under the SBP plan will require a photocopy submission of the annuitant’s Social Security Card. If annuitant has no SSN assigned include a note in your application package stating so and provide their ITIN number if one has been assigned. If your designated beneficiary does not submit a Social Security card photocopy with the application, the annuity will still be established and the annuitant will be allotted 90 days to submit the photocopy to DFAS. If it is not received after 90 days, the account will be suspended and no further payments will be made until their card’s photocopy is received. It will apply to all annuities established after April 1, 2013, but will have no effect on annuitants in receipt of SBP payments prior to April 1, 2013. Military retirees should make the necessary preparations for their beneficiaries. Keep your files up to date so both you and your beneficiary can be prepared for unexpected events. For more guidelines on preparing beneficiaries for your death refer to http://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/newsevents/newsletter/benfyshknow.html.
As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and as always have a great week.