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Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance

Stretching a budget. Getty Images
Stretching a budget. Getty Images

A provision of the National Defense Authorization Act Fiscal Year 2008 established a Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) for surviving spouses who are the beneficiary of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity and their SBP annuity is partially or fully offset by the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). SSIA also applies to the surviving spouses of members who died on active duty whose SBP annuity is partially or fully offset by their DIC. For more information see our SSIA page.

Surviving spouses whose SBP annuity is suspended due to remarriage prior to age 55 are not eligible for SSIA during the suspension. If the surviving spouse regains eligibility for SBP and DIC, they will also regain eligibility for SSIA.  The SBP annuity for children is not offset by DIC, so child SBP beneficiaries are not authorized SSIA. 

Surviving spouses whose SBP annuity is fully or partially offset by DIC are not required to apply for SSIA.  The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will automatically pay SSIA to surviving spouses whose SBP accounts show a DIC offset of their spouse SBP annuity for months starting in October.  However, if you never applied for the SBP annuity, DFAS will not have an account to identify you as an SBP beneficiary eligible for payment of SSIA.  If you need to apply for SBP, contact your Retirement Services Office:

Army Retirement Services Office
Air Force Retirement Services Office
Coast Guard Retirement Services Office
Marine Corps Retirement Services Office
Navy Retired Activities Office

Surviving spouses, whose SBP annuity is completely offset by DIC, need to ensure DFAS has valid direct deposit account information or mailing address.  Without valid account information or check address, DFAS won't be able to pay the SSIA.  You can update your account information or check address by contacting DFAS at 800-321-1080.

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