Losing a Loved One in the Military
Your service member has died, but that doesn't mean you have lost your ties to your military community. As a family member, you qualify for beneficial services that can help you cope, steer you through the legal and financial maze of probate, and support you in rebuilding your life and finding your new normal. Your military network provides immediate and long-term assistance with everything from understanding your benefits and connecting with a grief counselor to planning your financial future. You're not alone.
While no actions can erase the pain you feel after losing a family member or loved one, getting your financial and legal affairs in order can be a small step in the right direction and can provide some peace of mind during this difficult time.
After the death of a loved one, the last things you want to think about are taxes. However, your loved one may be entitled to certain benefits, including tax forgiveness. Here are answers to some common questions about tax liability and forgiveness.
One way of taking the first step to your new normal is by following your own educational dreams. If you or your children are interested in pursuing higher education, there are several scholarship opportunities available from both private organizations and federal programs providing financial assistance.
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.
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.
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.
The National Defense Authorization Act 2014, Section 633, requires each secretary of a military department to designate a specific member to assist spouses and other dependents of service members, including Reserve Components, who die on active duty.
Grief is a natural response when a loved one dies. How you grieve depends on your personality, your life experiences, the nature of your loss and your coping style.
Grieving can be a lonely experience. Being with others who are grieving can reassure you that what you're feeling is perfectly normal. Bereavement camps, seminars and retreats offer opportunities for you to connect with people who understand how to help you move forward in your grief journey.
Joining the workforce after the death or disability of a loved one can ease financial strain and provide a way to find your new normal. When seeking employment with the federal government, military family members may be eligible for special preference programs. While these programs don’t guarantee a job, they provide a qualified candidate entry into the applicant pool.
Your casualty assistance officer, or CAO, or mortuary officer is there to assist you with making funeral and burial arrangements in honor of your loved one's service and sacrifice.
The Survivor Benefit Plan, or SRB, allows retired service members to allocate a portion of their retired pay to a spouse or other eligible beneficiary after their death. Every retiring service member with an eligible spouse or child receives automatic enrollment in the Survivor Benefit Plan at the maximum level
Whether you are hesitant or ready to move after the death of you loved one, it is helpful to understand the housing options and moving benefits available to survivors – as well as some practical steps to take – that may assist your move when the day comes.
The Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program makes sure that military families have support in their time of need, including understanding all benefits and other forms of assistance. Although the term "casualty" is usually associated with death, casualty support to eligible family members also means support after injury and illness, and when a service member is missing.
The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs ensure that service members who die on active duty receive recognition and dignified burial services. Furthermore, survivors are offered care and help.