Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

Surviving spouses of service members who die on active duty are entitled to Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) benefits. SBP payments equal 55% of what the member's retired pay would have been had the member been retired at 100% disability. SBP payments are offset by Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Spouses can also choose "child only" SBP benefits. This option is helpful when the spouse's DIC payment is greater than the amount of SBP. One must also consider the age of the child(ren) when choosing this option. The "child only" option has been extended retroactively to the survivors of all members who died on active duty since October 7, 2001.

SBP is automatically adjusted annually for cost of living increases and payments are subject to federal income taxes. If the spouse remarries before age 55, SBP payments cease. If that subsequent marriage ends in death, divorce, or annulment, SBP may be reinstated. If the spouse remarries after age 55, SBP payments continue. If that marriage occurs before age 57, the surviving spouse who was also receiving DIC will lose the DIC payments, but the SBP payments will rise to the full SBP amount available.

Some spouses may be eligible for the Supplemental Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA).

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