DoD is easing the student certification process for military children who receive monthly annuity payments via the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP).
SBP recipients who are between 18 and 22 years old and are enrolled as full-time students now have more flexibility to certify their status. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has expanded certification options, extended the window for submissions, and provided an online upload tool for completed forms.
The SBP provides an ongoing monthly annuity payment to military spouses and children after a servicemember dies on active duty, inactive duty, or after retirement.
The plan’s payments to child annuitants typically ends when the dependent reaches age 18, but continues to age 22 if the child is enrolled in school full time, as long as the dependent is unmarried.
Under the changes:
- Students can submit a copy of an unofficial transcript or official transcript from the school or a verification from the National Student Clearinghouse with the certification form. This replaces the need for the school official to fill out and sign the form.
- College students can submit the school certification form any time after the 45th day of the term. This replaces the time window of within 30 days of the end of the term.
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- Students can upload a PDF of the signed and dated school certification form online on the mobile-friendly DFAS website.
- DFAS has created a how-to checklist to help students fill out school certification forms correctly.
- If the student provides an email address in myPay – the DFAS pay management portal – DFAS will send an email reminder when the school certification is due.
More information is available through the DFAS website.