Survivor Benefits Archive

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SBP Child Coverage Cost and Benefits

(Photo: U.S. Army/ Pfc. Lee Hyokang)

SBP was designed to give income protection not only to your spouse, but also to your children until they become self-supporting (i.e., until they are no longer dependents). Child coverage may be elected with or without spouse (former spouse) coverage. Eligible Children Children are eligible for SBP payments as long as they are unmarried, under age 18, or under age 22 if still in school. A child who is disabled and incapable of self-support r... more

SBP Former Spouse Coverage

Passing on money

The Survivor Benefits Plan allows selection of coverage for former spouses. Costs and benefits under this option are identical to those for spouse coverage. This web page highlights key aspects of former spouse coverage. When former spouse coverage is elected, the current spouse must be informed. Only one SBP election may be made. If there is more than one former spouse, the member must specify which one will be covered. Procedures When ele... more

SBP Open Season FAQs


Only a decision by Congress to initiate a free period of enrollment called an “Open Season” would allow a retiree to begin a new election after retirement.  Such periods are rare. The most recent Open Season was in 2005.  During this period, everyone who took advantage was required to “buy-in” to the program, meaning they paid an amount equal to the total of all premiums they would have paid if they had enrolled when they first became eligible. more

SBP Spouse and Children Coverage


Child coverage may be added to spouse or former spouse coverage. In this case, SBP payments will be made to the children only if your surviving spouse or former spouse remarries before age 55 or dies. Eligible children equally divide benefits equal to 55 percent of the base amount. When you include child coverage with former spouse coverage, only your children of that former spouse are covered. Any other children will not be paid benefits und... more

SBP Spouse Cost and Benefits

Passing on money

SPB Spouse Coverage One of two formulas may be used when computing spouse premiums for members who were on active duty on or before Feb. 28, 1990, and members who are retiring for disability (regardless of the date of entry on active duty) The SBP premium for spouse coverage is the lower of either: 6.5 percent of the designated base amount Example of spouse coverage with base amount of $1,700 :  Enter Base Amo... more

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