New Survivor Casualty Assistance Form Offers Personalized, Timely Support

Young woman relaxing on sofa with laptop

The newly created Survivor Family Member Inquiry Form available on the Military OneSource website gives surviving family members of active-duty deaths an opportunity to submit an inquiry if they are not sure where to go for answers.

Form Connects Survivors to Helping Hands

Submit your questions or concerns through this Survivor Family Member Inquiry Form.

Every survivor has unique circumstances, concerns and challenges. By filling out this form, you’ll provide Department of Defense representatives with the information for them to answer important questions and connect your family with the appropriate resources.

You can expect a Casualty Assistance program manager to reach out to you within five days to confirm receipt of your information.

Military OneSource also provides direct access to information for the survivors of service members who died while on active duty. Survivors of veterans should go through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance.

Form Clarifies Next Steps for Survivors

By completing the Survivor Family Member Inquiry Form, assistance is right around the corner. This new form:

  • Includes 10 brief questions and a comment field for you to fill out and note your questions or concerns. The information you provide will enable you to receive a detailed response.
  • Assures you that a DOD Casualty Assistance program manager will contact you within five business days to confirm that your information was received.
  • Ensures that the information you provide will remain private. However, the use of personal emails is necessary as a means for managers to respond to requests, suggestions or concerns.

If for some reason a DOD Casualty Assistance program manager cannot answer your questions, they will direct you to a resource that can help you get the information you need.

Survivor Casualty Assistance Form Summary

The Survivor Family Member Inquiry Form is another tool for you to ask your individual questions or concerns.

Once DOD personnel receive your form, they will provide you with a response to your inquiry or answers to information you requested.

Survivors do not lose their connection to the military when their service member dies. The DOD is there to help you.

Military OneSource MilTax – Benefits

Military OneSource provides service members and their families with easy access to a suite of tax services, including easy-to-use tax preparation and e-filing software designed to address military-specific situations, and information and resources on a variety of tax-related topics. And it’s all free.

MilTax assistance includes providing answers to any questions about your economic impact payment or coronavirus disease 2019 tax implications, such as if you are a military spouse and experienced job or wage loss due to  COVID-19. With MilTax, there are no hidden surprises.

MilTax consultations

MilTax consultants have extensive knowledge of the tax benefits for military members, families and survivors, and can help you get all the tax credits and deductions you qualify for. MilTax consultants are specially trained to understand all kinds of military tax situations. Assistance includes:

  • Alerting you to tax requirements and deductions related to military life
  • Identifying important tax regulations that apply to service members
  • Answering your questions so you can confidently complete federal and state tax forms
  • Addressing any tax-related questions you have while preparing your federal and state tax returns
  • Connecting you to MilTax software for secure online preparation and free tax filing.

MilTax software is available mid-January through mid-October. Get virtual support anywhere, anytime. Call 800-342-9647, 24/7 to schedule an appointment to speak with a MilTax consultant. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

MilTax tax preparation and filing services

MilTax free preparation and e-filing software is made to be convenient for the military community. It was developed with the realities of military life in mind – scenarios that civilians rarely encounter – including deployments, combat pay, multiple moves and multi-state filing. This self-paced tax software allows you to:

  • Complete and electronically file your federal return and up to three state tax forms.
  • Check on your electronic filing status.
  • Rest easy knowing that a tax software provider is by your side if you get audited.
  • Get 100% accurate calculations, or the tax software provider will reimburse you up to $10,000. Terms and conditions apply.

MilTax e-filing software is easy to use, and free technical assistance is available if you need it. The system protects and safeguards the security and confidentiality of your personal information by using industry-recognized safeguards.

For technical assistance, such as login issues, using the software, printing returns, etc., call 855-897-8639 and follow the prompts.

Earned income tax credit

Understand whether you can obtain an Earned Income Tax Credit to put more money in your pocket. These are federal income tax credits for low- and moderate- income working individuals and families. Be aware that:

  • The credit can generate a refund if you do not have any taxes to pay.
  • Service members and families may have an easier time qualifying for the credit because some forms of military income – such as pay earned during service in a combat zone or basic allowances for housing – are non-taxable and aren’t included as part of your total income.

To find out more about the credit or tax help for military members and veterans, visit the IRS website.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

  • You can meet with a military tax consultant for face-to-face assistance via the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at no cost – for tax advice and preparation, return filing and other tax assistance.
  • This IRS program offers free tax preparation and e-filing at sites on and off base. It also has sites overseas to help military members and their families.

Find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance location near you.

Financial counseling

Should MilTax consultants help you get a tax refund, schedule a free financial counseling session with Military OneSource to figure out the best way to apply that refund to long-term savings goals.

According to the IRS, filers received on average $2,577 in direct deposit tax refunds in 2019. So if you are expecting to get a refund this year, file early and replenish your savings.

And you don’t have to wait for your refund in the mail. Through Military OneSource MilTax, you can sign up to get your refund sent straight to your bank account through direct deposit.

To take advantage of MilTax and other potential tax benefits, call 800-342-9647 or live chat to schedule a free consultation today.  CONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

For Children and Youth – Benefits

American flag

Getting the best education for your kids is easier and more affordable if you take advantage of all the benefits and programs available to you as a service member.

Military children and youth programs

Every branch of the military service has its own children and youth program, offering affordable instructional and educational programs as well as flexible child care. The programs provide age-appropriate activities in a structured setting either on or off the military installation.

Army children and youth programs

Visit MyArmyBenefits to review all of the programs available to Army families, such as:

  • Child development centers (ages 6 weeks-kindergarten): on-post child care centers that offer full-day, part-day and hourly care, where children can learn motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills through a special curriculum
  • Family child care homes (ages 4 weeks-10 years): on- and off-post child care from trained providers who provide full-day, part-day and hourly care and learning activities for children in a home environment
  • Instructional classes (all ages): a program designed to complement, expand, and support the academic, life skills, and athletic experiences children have within Army’s programs and at school
  • School-age services (ages 6-12 years): before- and after-school programs, weekend activities during the school year, summer care and camps during school vacations
  • Youth services (ages 11-18 years): programs designed specifically for middle school youth and teens to ensure that all of their physical, social and emotional needs are addressed

Marine Corps Community Services children and youth programs

  • The Marine Corps New Parent Support Program offers a wide range of support services to military families expecting a child or with a child up to age 5, including classes, home visits and referrals.
  • Child development programs, available for children 6 weeks through 12 years, include child development centers, school-age care and family child care, which offer full-day and part-time child care and, in some locations, hourly child care.
  • Youth programs, serving children ages 6 to 18, are available at many installation locations.
  • All programs are designed to enrich your child’s social, cognitive, emotional, physical and intellectual growth and development.

Navy children and youth programs

  • Navy child and youth programs offer developmental child care and youth recreational services for children and youth from infancy to 18 years.
  • Programs and services are designed to meet the needs of service members and their families.
  • Like other branches, the Navy provides child development centers, child development homes, school-age care, and youth and teen programs.

Air Force children and youth programs

Air Force child development and youth programs provide child care for children from 6 weeks to 12 years old in on-base child development centers and school-age programs in youth centers. Before- and after-school care and care on school holidays and during summer months is available for children 5 to 12 years old. The Air Force also has support for families outside of typical duty schedules and in geographically separated areas. It can include:

National Guard Family Program

Visit the National Guard Family Program to learn about youth programs available to National Guard families, such as:

  • Instructional programs that provide opportunities to learn new skills on a wide range of topics like photography, woodworking, science and technology, gardening, health and safety
  • Educational programs focused on citizenship, character building, public speaking and leadership
  • Community-based child care programs that provide care and nationally accredited programs for children ages 4 weeks to 12 years of age in community-based facilities and homes
  • School-age care program that provides care to children from kindergarten to 12 years of age before and after school and during holidays and summer vacations
  • 24-7 Child Care operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of shift workers and families seeking flexible arrangements

Boys & Girls Clubs of America 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the U.S. Armed Forces partner to help support children of military families with youth development programs, curriculums and activities. Education and career programs include:

  • Mission Youth Outreach: a free membership to local Boys & Girls Clubs for military youth ages 6 to 18 who do not live near or have access to a military youth center
  • Money Matters: a program where youth ages 13 to 18 learn how to manage a checking account, create a budget, start a small business, pay for college, and save and invest
  • diplomas2Degrees: a program to prepare high schoolers for college and career success
  • Summer Brain Gain: a program to encourage summer learning and keep kids engaged in reading
  • My.Future: a program that teaches foundational technology skills and develops computer literacy

4-H Military Partnerships

  • 4-H Military Partnerships bring the resources of the land grant universities including youth development professionals, research-based curricula, and high-quality training and technical assistance to the youth programs of the military.
  • Military youth can join 4-H clubs in their community and also participate in summer camps around the country.

Operation Purple® Camp

  • Operation Purple Camp from the National Military Family Association brings together military kids from all services and offers a Family Retreat that provides military families with a chance to reconnect and bond.

Department of Defense financial aid for schools with military kids

Through the Department of Defense’s Impact Aid for Military Connected School Districts, you can help your child’s school get more money.

The Department of Defense Education Activity also gives grants to school districts with school-age military children, such as:

  • A competitive grant program that works to boost student performance, provide professional growth for educators and add technology to programs in schools facing a growing number of military kids
  • An invitational grant program that aims to increase student success and ease the challenges military kids face because of their parents’ service

Our Military Kids grants

  • Our Military Kids offers grants to National Guard and reserve families during deployments. The grants are to help with children’s activities when families have trouble accessing support services from military installations.
  • Our Military Kids also offers grants to children of injured military members to pay for participation in sports, fine arts and academic tutoring.

Home-schooling benefits

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is an agreement among participating states to help alleviate some of the school transition problems that happen with frequent moves. The compact helps out in four major areas:

  • Enrollment: The compact helps with education records, immunizations and kindergarten and first grade entrance.
  • Placement and attendance: The compact ensures that your children won’t miss appropriate placement in required classes, advanced placement and special needs programs while awaiting evaluation at their new school.
  • Eligibility: The compact makes a smoother transition when it comes to your children’s eligibility.
  • Graduation: The compact ensures that a move won’t affect your high schooler’s graduation.

Military Child Education Coalition 

The mission of the MCEC is to ensure quality educational opportunities for all military- and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition and family separation. They offer a variety of programs, such as:

  • Student 2 Student programs that train civilian and military high school students to establish peer-based programs in their schools to support children transitioning to new schools
  • The Parent to Parent program that teaches parents to be strong advocates for their children on educational and social issues
  • The Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program that identifies exceptional young people through their participation in the Student 2 Student program
  • The Call for the Arts Program that encourages military children to express themselves through art to communicate and celebrate their military lives

Special needs consultations

Special needs consultants through Military OneSource can point you to benefits that are available for families with special needs. Your consultant can help connect you with information, resources, services and more, including:

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or view overseas calling options to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Appointments are available seven days a week for your family’s convenience.

Guard and Reserves – The Essentials

National Guardsman salutes the flag.

Joining the National Guard or reserves is a good way to stay connected to the benefits of military life while fully participating in civilian life. Reserve duty is also a viable path to military retirement which can be obtained through 20 years of combined active and reserve duty.

Here are some things to consider as you evaluate your options:

Are the reserves right for you?

Reserve duty can do more than fulfill your obligation. It’s also a good way to keep one foot in the military community and one foot in the civilian world. As a reservist, you can be connected to the benefits of military life and civilian life at the same time. Find out if reserve duty is right for you by reading Is Your Next Step Joining the Reserves? Get the Basics.

Know your benefits

Don’t let benefits you’ve earned slip through your fingers just because you’re in the National Guard or reserves. Guard and reserve members can take advantage of benefits and services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, just like their active-duty counterparts. The VA can help Guard and reserve members cover the cost of school, secure a home loan or acquire life insurance. Learn more in these resources:

Understand your special benefits: Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn service members

Active-duty, Guard or reserve service members returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn deserve the easiest possible transition back to civilian life. To thank service members for their sacrifice, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a variety of services and benefits, such as ongoing medical insurance, tuition assistance, options to keep your life insurance and readjustment counseling. Learn more about Veterans Affairs Benefits for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn Transitioning Service Members.

Resources

Information is power when it comes to a successful separation or transition from the military. Find out more about National Guard and reserve benefits in the following resources:

Military OneSource provides an array of services to help you conclude your life as an active-duty service member and advance to the next step. Call 800-342-9647 for specialty consultations or to connect to a variety of other resources. You can also use OCONUS dialing options, or schedule a live chat