While survivors can never be fully prepared for the news their loved one has died, certain preparations can and should be made to assure casualty assistance is rendered and benefits are awarded as quickly and as compassionately as possible.
Service members should not wait until a pre-deployment brief or a change in family status to make sure critical documents are current and in order. It is important to regularly review and update the service member and family information used to determine eligibility for and the distribution of the components of the survivor benefit package. Has the service member recently married or divorced? Has the service member changed the Primary Next of Kin or added or changed beneficiaries of the Service members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)? Has the family updated a will or designated guardians if there are minor children? Are you keeping careful records of all your important documents so they can easily be located? This section provides you with benefit information to help make these important family decisions. Information on wills, powers of attorney, and other legal assistance can be found in the Retirees section.
While some survivor benefits for active duty and retired service members are similar, there are some differences. This section focuses on benefits available to survivors of active duty members. Benefits information for survivors of retired service members can be found in the Retirees section of this website.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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