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Information and support for service members and their families. About the Call Center.
Survivor Contacts for Questions and Requests5 minute read • Jan. 3, 2023
The Defense Department is committed to taking care of survivors. There are many places you can turn to for help as you navigate the days ahead without your service member.
Your casualty assistance officer, also referred to as a casualty assistance calls officer or casualty assistance representative, depending on the service branch, will reach out to you and is your first point of contact following your loved one’s death.
They are there to answer your questions, make arrangements and address any concerns you might have in the days, weeks and months ahead, and will be your primary connection to your military service department.
Learn more about casualty assistance:
About six months after a service member’s death, the primary next of kin, and parents if the primary next of kin is the spouse, will receive an initial letter giving them the chance to participate in a 20- to 30-minute phone survey regarding their experience with the Casualty Assistance program.
The survey is voluntary and anonymous and is designed to measure the effectiveness of the Casualty Assistance program and the degree of satisfaction with the assistance and services provided.
This is an opportunity for you to make your concerns known or give positive feedback about the help you received. Survivors can also access MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and reach out to the local commander if they want to praise, give thanks or offer any other feedback about their casualty assistance experience.
Surviving Family Member Inquiry Form
You also have access to the Surviving Family Member Inquiry Form, which is another place for survivors of active-duty service members to submit their questions and/or concerns and offer praise for their casualty assistance officer regarding the help they receive.
A Casualty Assistance program manager will contact you within five business days confirming that your information was received.
The Survivor Connection
The Survivor Connection links to enduring support for survivors whose loved ones died while on active duty. It includes up-to-date information for survivors and provides answers to questions.
Published three times a year, this eNewsletter features resources, tools, education and information about where survivors can turn for support. Visit the archives to view past newsletters and sign up to receive The Survivor Connection.
Long-term case manager
Once your casualty assistance officer completes the benefits and entitlements, you will be warmly handed over to your service’s long-term case management program, which has expert case managers and counselors available to assist you in the years to come. In the Department of the Air Force, a casualty assistance representative also serves as a long-term case manager.
To find your service’s long-term case management program, contact:
- Army’s Survivor Outreach Services
- Navy Casualty’s Long Term Assistance Program
- Navy Gold Star Program
- Marine Corps Long Term Assistance Program
Phone: 866-210-3421, Ext. 2
- Air Force Families Forever program (also for Space Force)
- Coast Guard’s Office of Casualty Matters
Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representative
If you are not receiving the assistance you need or the military survivor benefits authorized by law that you feel you are entitled to receive, do not hesitate to contact the Gold Star Surviving Family Member Representative for your service branch.
Veterans Affairs issues
Survivors or dependents of deceased veterans can visit the Office of Survivors Assistance, which serves as a resource regarding all benefits and services furnished by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The death of your loved one does not end your rights to certain service benefits and privileges. Among other things, you are eligible to continue to receive TRICARE benefits under TRICARE Prime at the active-duty rate for three years at no cost — and afterward at the retiree family member rate, which will require you to pay a premium.
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service provides professional finance and accounting services for members of the armed services and their dependents. Here you will find a wealth of information about military pay and survivor benefits.
Military OneSource — an official DOD resource that includes a 24/7 connection to information, answers and support — can assist you as you find your way following your loved one’s death.
Learn more about your benefits by visiting: