Gold star families – spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved one died in service to our nation – are a vital part of the nation’s military community and history.
Gold Star & Surviving Family Members
Your service member has died, but that doesn't mean you have lost your ties to your military community. As a surviving family member of an active duty service member, you may be eligible for beneficial services that can help you cope, and support you in rebuilding your life and finding your new normal. The Department of Defense provides immediate and long-term assistance to help you with understanding your benefits, connecting you with grief counseling, finding a financial counselor so you may plan your financial future and more. You're not alone.
After the death of a loved one, you may experience a wide range of emotions. That is natural. Finding your new normal after the death of a loved one is not the same for everyone.
In its effort to ensure that military families have support in their time of need when a service member is declared deceased, whereabouts unknown or missing, the Department of Defense’s Casualty Assistance Program assigns a dedicated casualty assistance officer to advise and assist the primary next of kin.
If you’re a survivor of a service member who has died on active duty, you may have the option of taking extra time to file your tax return.
The certification process has gotten easier for students age 18 and older covered as a child annuitant under the military Survivor Benefit Plan. SBP students now have more time to file their certifications each semester and can file school certification forms online.