TN 41 (10-23)

RS 01702.199 Military Survivor Benefits


1. Veteran Retired

The military pays survivor benefits if the veteran was retired and if:

  1. a. 

    the veteran elected a reduced retirement benefit to provide for survivor benefits under either the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP, prior to 9/21/72), or the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP, effective 9/21/72); and

  2. b. 

    death occurs after 10/31/53 under the RSFPP, or after 9/20/72 under the SBP.

2. Veteran Not Retired

The military pays survivor benefits under the SBP if the veteran dies after 9/20/72 while on active duty and was eligible for retirement by virtue of 20 or more years of MS. A maximum SBP election is deemed to have been made in such situations.

3. Wage Credit Determination

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death, survivor benefits flow from the veteran's retirement pay. An SSA-654-U4 must be sent to the proper service department to determine the basis for the retirement that was being paid or that would have been paid. However, if the survivor states that they definitely know the type of retirement that the deceased was receiving, and if such retirement will preclude wage credits, no development is required. Explain to the survivor that wage credits are not being granted based solely on their statement.

4. VA Coordination: Survivor Benefits

If the military cannot pay a survivor benefit, a VA survivor benefit may be payable, but the VA survivor benefits do not bar SS wage credits. Coordination will be required with the VA if the provisions of section 412 of 38 USC apply. (See RS 01702.540 ff. for a full discussion of these provisions.)

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RS 01702.199 - Military Survivor Benefits - 10/10/2023
Batch run: 10/10/2023