Remarriage and Co-Habitation

Rules for Remarriage

Surviving Spouses may remarry at any time but depending on the age one remarries, military survivor benefits may end. It is important to know the regulations and possible consequences of remarriage before walking down the aisle a second time. 

If a surviving spouse is in receipt of SBP, the Survivor Benefit Plan, she may remarry after age 55 and retain SBP.  Unless the new spouse is either active duty or a military retiree, he/she forfeits the military ID card and loses Commissary, Exchange and MWR privileges. Healthcare will change from Tricare to CHAMPVA.

If he/she remarries before age 55, then SBP stops. He/she loses Tricare, and the military ID card, Commissary, Exchange and MWR privileges.  If that marriage ends in death or divorce, he/she may apply to get SBP reinstated. When SBP is reinstated, she loses Tricare and her healthcare changes to CHAMPVA. Unless he/she remarries an active duty or military retiree, he/she also loses his/her military ID card, Commissary, Exchange and MWR privileges. 

If a surviving spouse is receiving DIC, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, he/she may remarry after age 57 and if the remarriage occurred after 2004. With re-marriage before age 57, DIC benefits cease, as well as commissary, exchange, healthcare and MWR privileges unless the new spouse is either active duty or a retired servicemember. But if that marriage ends in divorce or death, he/she may re-apply to start receiving DIC again. Healthcare changes to CHAMPVA and he/she can obtain a new military ID card. 

If a surviving spouse is eligible for both SBP and DIC, if he/she remarries after age 57 and after 2004, she will receive both benefits with no offset.  Unremarried surviving spouses over age 57 remain offset. Any SBP premium refund will be refunded back to DOD with remarriage. Unless the new spouse is either active duty or a military retiree, the military ID card is forfeited with a loss of commissary, exchange and MWR privileges. Healthcare changes from Tricare to CHAMPVA.

If a third or subsequent remarriage occurs, there will be no further SBP premium refund required.

For further information, go to www.dfas.gov.

MOAA's Remarriage Guide

Co-Habitation

If you are living with someone who is publicly recognized as your spouse, the above remarriage rules apply.  If you cease living with the other person, you can regain your eligibility.  Dependent children do not lose eligibility.