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Military Retiree Casualty DOs and DON'Ts

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Upon the death of a uniformed service retiree, the next of kin should call the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). DFAS will close the retiree's pay account and send a survivor benefits package. Typically, forms will be included that instruct the next of kin on how to recoup the retiree's unpaid pay. You must fill these out promptly and return them with a copy of the death certificate.

Survivors should report retiree deaths using the Fast Form as follows:

1 .  Complete a Notification of Death Fast Form. Upon notification, DFAS will stop monthly payments to prevent overpayment. If you need help completing the form, please read the form instructions.

If you cannot complete the Notification of Death form, call DFAS at 800-321-1080. Please have the decedent's Social Security Number and the date of death when you call. 

2. Within 7-10 business days after reporting the death to DFAS, you should receive a letter containing the following documents:

  • SF1174 Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service
  • Annuity account forms and instructions (if the decedent was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan or the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan)

3.  Complete the forms you received with your letter and return them with a copy of the retiree's Death Certificate that includes cause of death to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200
Fax: 800-469-6559

If you need assistance completing your claim forms, please call 800-321-1080.

Retiree Casualty DOs:

  • Have retiree's full name.
  • Have retiree's Social Security Number.
  • Have retiree's date of death.
  • Have beneficiary name and relationship to deceased.
  • Retiree's current address.
  • Notify Social Security Administration.
    • Return and cancel any payments received after the date of death.
    • Have a list of benefits to which beneficiaries are entitled.
  • Notify the Local County Veteran's Service Office and request their assistance.

Retiree Casualty DON'Ts:

  • Don't use any retired payments received after date of retiree's death.
  • Don't return any retired payments that have been directly deposited to a bank account; DFAS will automatically reclaim the money that needs to be returned when you notify DFAS of the retiree's death.
  • Don't use any VA or Social Security payments issued after the date of death. A beneficiary can be required to pay any money back that was used after the date of death.

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