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Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA)

stack of one dollar bills

Since October 2008 surviving spouses whose Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments have been offset (partially or totally) as a result of receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), including surviving spouses of members who died while serving on active duty, are eligible for the SSIA. Monthly payments are taxable and will be paid as follows:

  • FY 2015 - $200
  • FY 2016 - $275
  • FY 2017 - $310

SSIA payments terminate after FY2017.

Examples:

Example 1 

In the following example, the base amount selected for SBP coverage is $2,500 which would provide an annuity of $1,375 (55 percent of the base amount) and the 2014-2015 SSIA rate.  It assumes that a claim for DIC was filed by the surviving spouse within one year after the member's death and DIC was approved by the VA. 

SBP entitlement $1,375
Minus DIC entitlement $1,254
Net SBP payable $   121
SSIA payable (FY2015) $   200
Total payable after DIC $   321

Note:
 
The total of SBP and DIC is still equal to what SBP would have paid alone ($121 + $1,254 = $1,375); however, the DIC portion of the payment is not taxable as income.  The spouse received a refund of SBP premiums deducted from retired pay except the cost that would have been paid to provide an SBP benefit of $121, unless the member died on active duty. 

Example 2 
In the following example, the base amount selected for SBP coverage is $1,500 which would provide an annuity of $825 (55 percent of the base amount) and the 2009-2010 SSIA rate.  It assumes that a claim for DIC was filed by the surviving spouse within one year after the member's death and DIC was approved by the VA. 
SBP entitlement $     825
Minus DIC entitlement $  1,254
Net SBP payable $          0
SSIA payable (FY2010) $      200
Total payable after DIC $      200


Note:
The DIC entitlement is greater than the SBP payment.  In this case, all spouse costs deducted from retired pay for SBP would be refunded to the surviving spouse, unless the member died on active duty.

Learn more about the Survivor Benefit Plan:

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