Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One
(From MOAA's pamphlet “Auxillary Checklist”
When a family member dies, the last thing on your mind is taxes and notifying pension plan administrators. But even as you grieve, it's essential that you begin taking steps to tie up the affairs of your loved one. Keep this checklist on hand to refer to when dealing with the death in the family. While not exhaustive, this list is intended as reminder for family members and surviving spouses about the many subjects that need attention at the time of death of a MOAA member. Some associations offer spouse assistance to their members and will notify many of the places listed on this checklist, including:
Military Officers Association of America
Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association:
1-800-336-4538 or 703-522-3060
Navy Mutual Aid Association:
1-800-628-6011 or 703-614-1638
Contact these organizations if you need help during this time of need.
If you live in close proximity to a military installation and would like assistance with military administrative matters, see if the location has a Casualty Assistance Officer, Retirement Service Officer or Retired Affairs Office for additional
Who to Contact
These are the important calls you need to make first. Check off each call as you go and make any notes of your
conversations, including the date on which you called.
To stop the monthly SBP annuity, notify the appropriate service office of the death of the surviving spouse.
Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force:
U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA:
U.S. Public Health Service:
If the widow was awarded Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or received other income from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), contact the nearest VA Regional Office to stop those payments by calling 1-800-827-1000.
Contact your lawyer, trust administrator, or the executor of the estate
Notify the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (Social Security survivor benefits and death benefit).
If the deceased had current life insurance, contact the company or companies. Be prepared to provide policy numbers and copy of a death certificate.
If the deceased was an annuitant of the Civil Service or Federal Employee Retirement System (CSRS or FERS),
notify the Office of Personnel Management at 724-794-2005 (Civil Service SBP, Casualty and Federal Group Life Insurance inquiries), or call toll-free 1-888-767 -6738.
Thrift Savings Plan
If the deceased was a CSRS or FERS retiree and participated in the Thrift Savings Plancontact
the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board at 1-877-968-3778.
Any fraternal or professional organizations such as AARP, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans,
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Gold Star Wives, etc.
American Association of Retired Persons:
Disabled American Veterans:
Veterans of Foreign Wars:
Gold Star Wives:
Automobile leasing agent
Items in this section are not as time sensitive as those above.
Credit card companies or other charge accounts Have account numbers available, if known.
Accountant/CPA or tax payer
Other insurance companies, (health, property, automobile, mortgage, Medigap, TRICARE, insurance supplement, etc.) have policy numbers on hand, if known.
State Department of Motor Vehicles
City, County, and State property offices.
If the decease is also qualified for a retirement plan or pension from a private sector employer, notify that employer or pention plan administer.
Notify any financial institution including banks, brokerage houses and investment firms that have an individual or joint account in the name of the deceased. Remember to locate all stocks, bonds and securities. Have account numbers available, if known.
For more information go to: http://explore.va.gov/memorial-benefits
Also go to http://www1.moaa.org/main_article.aspx?id=812 for a copy of MOAA’s “Help Your Survivor’s guide.
Manage your SBP Annuity
As the beneficiary of a deceased military retiree's Survivor Benefit Plan, you can
expect a payment every month. The benefit, also known as an annuity, is usually
paid for the rest of your life or until you become ineligible.
Annual Certification of Eligibility
Effective Aug. 1, 2013, most Survivor Benefit Plan annuitants over the age of 55 are no longer
required to complete and submit an annual Certificate of Eligibility to the Defense Finance
and Accounting Service. Annuitants should no longer expect to receive the annual COE once
they reach age 55. Their eligibility to receive annuity payments will continue without
submitting the COE.
The following annuitants will continue to receive annual COEs and must submit their
completed forms to DFAS to continue annuity payment eligibility: •Annuitants under 55 years of age
•Annuitants who are receiving hard copy checks in a foreign country (regardless of age)
•Annuitants who have a permanent disability (regardless of age) If you are in any of these categories, send your annual COE to:
U. S. Military Annuitant Pay
P.O. Box 7131
London, KY 40742-7131