Survivor Outreach

Housing Benefits

Continued Housing Benefits (for Survivors)

Eligible family members occupying government housing on the date the member dies may continue to occupy such housing without charge for a period of 365 days provided member's death was in the line-of-duty. If they vacate the government housing before the 365 days are up, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is paid for the remaining unused days. If the family members are not occupying government housing, they may receive BAH or an overseas housing allowance for 365 days after the member's death. Your Casualty Assistance Officer will explain this entitlement to you and help you complete the required claim form.

For More Information please visit the following links:

 

Homeowners Assistance Program(HAP)

There are two types of Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP): Conventional and Expanded. HAP is subject to the availability of funds as appropriated by Congress to the Department of Defense (DoD) for the program; HAP will cease when all funds are expended. The U.S. Army is the DoD Executive Agent for administering the HAP. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) implements the program.

  • The Conventional HAP was established by the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 to provide financial relief to eligible civilian Federal employees employed at and service members of the Armed Forces stationed at or near an installation announced for closure or realignment due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), when the announcement causes the residential real estate market to decline and they are not able to sell their homes under reasonable terms or conditions.  
  • The Expanded HAP was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and temporarily expands HAP to provide financial assistance to certain service members of the Armed Forces when they suffer home value losses due to relocating during the home mortgage crisis for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) purposes (PCSing Soldiers), or for medical treatment and rehab of Wounds, Injuries or Illnesses from deployment (Wounded Soldiers), or for relocating their surviving spouses (Surviving Spouses). It also temporarily expands HAP to provide financial assistance to BRAC 2005 civilian Federal employees and service members of the Armed Forces relocating during the home mortgage crisis (BRAC 2005 Soldiers).

If eligible, both Conventional HAP and Expanded HAP entail providing a financial assistance benefit under any of the following three home scenarios: Private Sale, Government Acquisition, or Foreclosure.

  • Private Sale: pays difference between a percentage of the home's prior fair market value (PFMV) and the sold price of home  
  • Government Acquisition: pays the greater of mortgage(s) payoff OR a percentage of the home's PFMV.   
  • Foreclosure: pays legally enforceable liabilities.

If found ineligible, the applicant may appeal the USACE's decision ultimately to the Deputy Under Secretary of Department of Defense for Installations & Environment (DUSD(I&E)). DUSD(I&E) will not waive any HAP law or regulatory criteria but is evaluating the appeal for data errors that reflect the applicant meets HAP law or regulatory criteria. DUSD(I&E)'s decision shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to judicial review.

For More Information please visit the following link:

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) oversees the operation of a worldwide chain of military commissaries. DeCA commissaries provide groceries for cost plus 5% surcharge. Purchasing goods from the commissary saves a family an average of more than 30% compared to shopping at civilian grocery stores. Commissary use is available to Regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers, to Retirees, and to qualified dependents. Authorized shoppers are required to possess and show a Uniformed Services' Identification Card (ID). 

Eligibility:

Authorized commissary patrons as defined by Department of Defense Instruction 1330.17, Armed Services Commissary Operations, include active duty, Guard and Reserve members, military retirees, Medal of Honor recipients, 100 percent disabled veterans, and their authorized family members. Please refer to this instruction for a complete list of authorized commissary patrons, including organizations and activities, along with qualifications and any exceptions such as access to U.S. commissaries overseas.

The Defense Commissary Agency has no authority to determine whether a person is authorized to shop in the commissary. If you believe you may be entitled to commissary privileges, visit your local installation Pass and ID office for information about military benefits and to obtain an ID card consistent with your entitlements.

Benefit Highlights:

Commissaries are grocery stores, usually located on military installations, which sell food products and assorted goods. Authorized patrons purchase goods at cost plus 5% surcharge. The surcharge covers the costs of building new commissaries and renovating existing ones. This benefit saves a family an average of more than 30% on groceries as compared to commercial market prices - savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. For a current savings figures for various groups - single member up to a family of seven - visit http://www.commissaries.com and click on the "See Your Savings" tab in the upper right corner of the page.

Overseas Commissaries

In overseas areas, Status of Forces Agreements (or other international agreements between the host country and the United States) determine access to commissaries and to the purchase of duty-free goods sold in these commissaries. Overseas military commands publish regulations of commissary access based on the terms of these agreements. These regulations differ by country. Contact the particular installation Pass and ID office in the country of interest to determine commissary privileges.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please visit the following link:

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Website

https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/legal

Death Gratuity

A lump sum gratuitous payment made by the Army to designated beneficiaries of a Soldier who dies on active duty including full-time active guard/reserve personnel; USAR personnel traveling directly en route to or from or participating in annual training (AT), active duty training (ADT), initial active duty training (IADT), active duty for special work (ADSW), special active duty training (SADT) or inactive duty training (IDT) and ARNG personnel traveling directly en route to or from or participating in AT, ADT, full time national guard duty (FTNGD), temporary tour of active duty (TTAD), IADT or IDT. The Soldier can designate up to ten individuals, without regard to relationship, and allocate amounts in ten-percent increments to each designated individual listed on the Soldier's DD Form 93.Its purpose is to help the survivors in their readjustment and to aid them in meeting immediate expenses incurred. At the present time, the amount of Death Gratuity is $100,000.00.

This amount is excludable from gross income for tax purposes. This change is retroactive to October 7, 2001. If the Soldier did not designate any beneficiaries for the Death Gratuity on the DD Form 93, then the death gratuity amount is made payable to survivors of the deceased in this order:

  • To the lawful, surviving spouse of the service member, if any.
  • If there is no surviving spouse, to any surviving children of the service member.
  • If there is none of the above, to the surviving parents of the service member.
  • If there is none of the above, to the duty appointed executor or administrator of the estate of the service member.
  • If there is none of the above, to the other next of kin of the person entitled under the laws of domicile of the person at the time of the person's death.

If a designated beneficiary dies before receiving the amount to which entitled, such amount is then paid to the living survivor(s) first listed above.

If a Soldier dies from a Service-connected injury/illness, a claim should be made to the VA for their Death Gratuity determination.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please visit the following links:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service Arrears of Pay Website

Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center (Death Gratuity)

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Servicemembers who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Eligibility (Surviving Spouse)

To qualify for DIC, a surviving spouse must meet the requirements below.

The surviving spouse was:

  • Married to a Servicemember who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
  • Validly married the Veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
  • Married the Veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the Veteran's death began or was aggravated, OR
  • Was married to the Veteran for at least one year, OR
  • Had a child with the Veteran, AND
  • Cohabited with the Veteran continuously until the Veteran's death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
  • Is not currently remarried

Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.

Eligibility (Surviving Child)

  • Not included on the surviving spouse's DIC, AND
  • Unmarried, AND
  • Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

For additional information please visit:

VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Information 

MyArmyBenefits Dependency and Indemnity Compensation 

Military.com Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Information 

 

Insurance Benefits

Federal Long-term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance to help pay for costs of care when enrollees need help with activities they perform every day, or have a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Most Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants; active and retired members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives; are eligible to apply for insurance coverage under the FLTCIP.

Eligibility:

All Soldiers regardless of status are eligible for FLTCIP.

Benefit Highlights:

Long Term Care: Long Term Care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks (activities of daily living) by yourself. due to a chronic illness, injury, disability, or the aging process. Long term care includes the supervision you might need due to a severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease).

Long Term Care is not intended to cure you. You may need chronic care for the rest of your life. This care can span years and can be expensive depending on the type of care you need and location where that care is received. Long Term Care insurance is one way of helping to pay for these expenses.

Care can be received in multiple settings, including home, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day care centers, or hospice facilities. The FLTCIP also covers home care from informal providers such as friends, neighbors and family members, who did not normally live with the beneficiary at the time they became eligible for benefits.

Long Term Care is not the type of care received in the hospital or doctor's office or the type of medical care you need to get well from a sickness or an injury. In addition, it is also not short-term rehabilitation from an accident or recuperation from surgery.

Benefit Factors: The following factors need to be considered when choosing a plan. Each of these factors will affect the coverage and the premium:

Daily Benefit Amount (DBA): The maximum amount the insurance will pay in any single day. FLTCIP offers daily benefit amounts from $100 to $450 in $50 increments Benefit Period: The length of time the insurance will last if care is received every day at a cost equal to or more than your DBA. The Four Benefit Periods offered are 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, and Unlimited. Waiting Period: The waiting period under the FLTCIP is 90 days. The waiting period is the number of calendar days during which you must be eligible for benefits before benefits can be paid. Inflation Protection Option: An option of FLTCIP that increases the value of benefits over time to keep pace with increasing costs of care. FLTCIP offers a choice of two inflation protection options - an Automatic Compound Inflation Option (ACIO), which increases your benefits automatically by 4% or 5% compounded annually with no increase in premium; and a Future Purchase Option (FPO), which increases benefits every other year with an increase in premiums.

  • Benefit Plans: This benefit is available through both pre-packaged and customized plans. There are four pre-packaged plans, based on most-used options. Or, plans can be customized by selecting the desired DBA, Benefit Period, Waiting Period, and Inflation Protection.
  • Calculating Premiums and Costs: The FLTCIP website (https://www.ltcfeds.com) provides tools to calculate the premium for both Pre-Packaged and Customized plans. It also provides tools to estimate Long Term Care costs throughout the country. Click here for the FLTCIP Premiums Calculator.
  • Applying for the Plan: The FLTCIP website (https://www.ltcfeds.com) also provides the capability to apply on-line or download applications.

Family members who qualify to apply for this benefit include:

  • Current Spouses of employees and annuitants (including surviving spouses of members and retired members of the uniformed services who are receiving a survivor annuity).
  • Adult children (at least 18 years old, including natural children, adopted children, and stepchildren) of living employees and annuitants. Foster children are not eligible.
  • Surviving Spouses of active and retired Soldiers who are receiving a Federal survivor annuity.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please visit the following link:

Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program webpage maintained by the Office of Personnel Management

Insurance Benefits

Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

The Veterans' Opportunities Act of 2001 extends life insurance coverage to the spouse and children of Soldiers insured under the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) provisions of Title 38, United States Code (USC), effective 1 Nov 2001.



The new family coverage is automatic, Soldiers do not have to apply for the insurance. The insurance is available for the spouses and children of all active duty Soldiers and applicable members of the Ready Reserve (Reservist currently eligible for full-time SGLI). The coverage is available only for Soldier's insured under SGLI. Soldiers who are in the Married Army Couples Program (MACP) are eligible for the insurance.

Maximum Insurance Coverage

The maximum insurance coverage will be $100,000 for spouse and $10,000 for children, however Soldiers will not be permitted to purchase more insurance on their spouse than they have on themselves. Soldiers may elect in writing to reduce the amount of spouse coverage in $10,000 increments. Each dependent child will automatically be insured for the maximum $10,000 as long as the Soldier is insured under SGLI. Coverage for spouse will end 120 days after any of the following events:

  • Date Soldier elects in writing to terminate spouse's coverage.
  • Date Soldier elects in writing to terminate his or her own SGLI coverage.
  • Date of Soldier's death.
  • Date of divorce.

Coverage for Eligible Children

The coverage for eligible children is FREE and therefore cannot be declined or reduced. Any dependent child under age 18 is automatically covered. This includes natural born children, legally adopted children and stepchildren who are members of a Soldier's household. In addition, children between the ages of 18 and 23 who are full-time students and those who become permanently incapable of self-support before the age of 18 are covered. Coverage for children ends 120 days after any of the following events:

  • Date Soldier elects in writing to terminate SGLI coverage.
  • Date Soldier separates from Army.
  • Date of Soldier's death.
  • Date child is no longer a dependent.

The cost of the FSGLI will be based on the age of the spouse and the amount of insurance selected if the Soldier elects to reduce the automatic coverage amount of $100,000. The premium for FMSGLI will automatically be deducted from Soldier's pay account until they separate or decline coverage.

The FSGLI is not available for those insured under the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) program.

For additional information, please visit the following links:

CMAOC FSGLI Webpage

Veterans Affairs FSGLI Information

 

If none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the member's estate.

  • If none of the above, to other next of kin.
  • The claim form required to apply for this benefit is SGLV Form 8283 - Claim for Death Benefits.
  • Send the VA Form SGLV 8283 (Claim for Death Benefits) to

    Servicemember's Group Life Insurance

    80 Livingston Avenue

    Roseland, NJ 07068
  • Contact the SGLI Office Toll-Free at 1-800-419-1473

Additional Information:

For additional information, please visit the following links:

CMAOC SGLI Webpage

Veterans Affairs SGLI Information

Insurance Benefits

Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

Benefits outlined on this page are dependent on the status of the decedent.

Active Duty

The SGLI payment is $400,000 unless the member elected a lesser amount or declined coverage in writing. Monthly premium payments for the level of coverage selected by the member are automatically deducted from the member's pay at DFAS. Determination and payment of proceeds are made by the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Payment of proceeds to a beneficiary is exempt from taxation. The insured member may have designated as principal or contingent beneficiary any person, firm, corporation or legal entity, including their estate, individually or as a trustee.

Claims are filed using SGLV Form 8283 - Claim for Death Benefits. Settlement is normally made within 60 days. Payment is made to the principal beneficiary (ies) listed on the SGLV Form 8286 - Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Election & Certificate.

Send the VA Form SGLV 8283 (Claim for Death Benefits) to:

Servicemember's Group Life Insurance

80 Livingston Avenue

Roseland, NJ 07068

Contact the SGLI Office Toll-Free at 1-800-419-1473

 The beneficiary will receive the following in the mail:

  • A certificate of account confirmation
  • A personalized checkbook
  • A guide to features and benefits
  • An information request form asking for signature verification and internal review W9 certification

The beneficiary can maintain a balance for as long as desired. Also, the account earns an attractive interest rate. The beneficiary may write checks as often as desired, in any amount of $250 or more. Each month, the beneficiary will receive a statement detailing the account balance, interest earned, current interest rate and any other account activity.

Retiree

Retirees are covered for 120 days following retirement with no additional premium during the 120-day period. Retirees rated totally disabled on the date of retirement retain SGLI coverage up to 2 years or until the disability ceased to be total in degree, but not for more than 2 years. Determination and payment of proceeds are made by the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Payment of proceeds to a beneficiary is exempt from taxation. The insured member may have designated as principal or contingent beneficiary any person, firm, corporation or legal entity, including their estate, individually or as a trustee. If the member designated a trust, they indicated the name and date of the trust in the beneficiary block. If the member designated a trust through a Will, they annotated "Last Will and Testament" in the beneficiary block. If the member chose not to designate a specific beneficiary but preferred the proceeds be paid in the order of precedence, the member selected the "By Law" designation. When the "By Law" designation is used, the proceeds are automatically paid in the following order of precedence:

  • The member's lawful surviving spouse.
  • If there is no spouse, to the child or children of the member in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child to bedistributed among the descendants of that childInsurance Benefits
  • Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI)

    Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) helps severely injured Soldiers through their time of need with a one-time payment. The amount varies depending on the injury, but it could be the difference that allows their family to be with them during recovery; helps them with unforeseen expenses; or gives them a financial head start on life after recovery.TSGLI is an insurance program. It is bundled with Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and an additional $1 has been added to the Soldier's SGLI premium to cover TSGLI.TSGLI is not meant to serve as an ongoing income replacement like some types of insurance-it's there to help the Soldier through the tough times that occur as the result of a traumatic injury.

     

    Social Security: Lump Sum Death Benefit

    A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse of a deceased Soldier if he or she was living with the deceased, or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased Soldier's record. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to children who are eligible for benefits on the deceased's record in the month of death. If no spouse or child meeting these requirements exists, the lump-sum death payment will not be paid.

    Eligibility:

    The deceased Soldier must have been either fully insured or currently insured under the Social Security system. Generally, the benefit is paid only to eligible survivors who were already receiving or are eligible to receive immediate monthly benefits derived from the earnings record of the deceased. Former spouses are not eligible for this benefit. The benefit may not be paid directly to a funeral home. Military duty status at time of death is not a factor in determining eligibility.

    Benefit Highlights:

    Only one beneficiary may receive the Lump Sum Death Benefit. If more than one beneficiary is eligible, such as in the case of multiple eligible children, the children would split the $255 lump sum. The current amount of $255 has not changed since its inception and is not indexed for inflation. Application is made by calling 1-800-772-1213. (TTY 1-800-325-0778)

    Additional Information:

    For additional information, please visit the following link:

    Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefit Webpage

    Social Security: Survivor Benefits

    When a Soldier who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, certain members of the Family may be eligible for monthly benefits.

    Eligibility:

    Generally, the Soldier must be either Fully Insured (up to ten years of work credit is needed to be eligible for benefits, depending on the person's age) or, Currently Insured (earned at least six work credits in the preceding 13 calendar quarters). Under a special rule, if a Soldier worked for only one and one-half years in the three years before the death, including civilian covered wages, benefits can be paid to minor children and/or the spouse who is caring for the children. Former spouses may qualify for survivor benefits if certain conditions are met.

    In cases where the Soldier does not meet any of the above criteria, and the death was on active duty or active duty for training and is determined to be service-connected, a special gratuitous allowance is paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under Title 38 U.S.C. 1312(a). The Social Security Administration certifies the benefit entitlement, eligible beneficiaries, and amounts payable.

    Benefit Highlights:

    Death benefits are provided for:

    1.) the surviving spouse caring for the Soldier's dependent children who are under age 16;

    2.) the surviving spouse age 60 or older, or the surviving spouse as early as age 50 if the surviving spouse is disabled;

     3.) for eligible minor children age 18 or under of an insured Soldier, or children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled, and

    4.) dependent parents age 62 or older. Benefits depend on the Family status of the deceased. The amount depends on the total work experience of the deceased and the amount of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax contributions made during that period.

    Permanently reduced amounts are payable to a surviving spouse as early as age 60. The combined surviving spouse and children's benefit is subject to a monthly Family Maximum.

    Additional Information:

    For additional information, please visit the following link:

    Social Security Survivor Benefits Webpage