Simplifying the Certification Process for Students Receiving a Survivor Benefit Plan> US Department of Defense> Defense Department News

A commitment to continuing education is an important investment in the future. This is especially true for a student covered as a child annuitant under the Survivor Benefit Plan, or SBP.

The plan’s children’s pension payments generally end when beneficiaries turn 18. But if you are a recipient attending a full-time educational institution – in high school or in an approved trade school, technical or vocational institute, college or university – you are eligible to continue receiving until the end of the year. end of the school year in which you turn 22, as long as you remain single.

The majority of child pensioners of the PAS continue to receive this pension even though they are full-time students over the age of 18. more practical.

A quick overview of the SBP

The Department of Defense sponsors and subsidizes the SBP, which provides an ongoing monthly annuity – up to 55% of the service member’s retired salary – to military spouses and / or children when a member dies while on active duty , inactive or after retirement.

Coverage is automatic and free for active duty members and for members of the reserve component who complete inactive duty training. Active members can purchase retirement coverage. Reserve element members can choose full-time coverage, whether in service or not, upon reaching 20 years of service eligible for Reserve Retirement Salary.

Facilitate the certification process

To continue annuity payments after reaching age 18, annuitant students must submit an academic certification form, DD 2788 – Child Rentier’s School Certification, each quarter / semester. The Defense Finance and Accounting Department, or DFAS, must receive the form no later than the last day of the start of the school year to continue payments without interruption.

Remember to file for and obtain certification from a school official each semester can be difficult, especially for college students immersed in studies. But it is necessary to validate that an annuitant remains a student to be eligible to receive this important benefit. The DOD is taking steps to streamline the process to make it easier to validate each student’s eligibility each semester. DFAS has created a convenient new online option to download and submit school certification forms.

DFAS can also now accept forms signed more than 45 days after the semester start date, lifting the previous requirement that forms should not be signed more than 30 days before the semester end.

A new useful checklist is also available. It provides advice and step-by-step instructions to help students and school officials complete the certification form. Download and print the checklist, or use it on a computer or tablet while completing the form.

How to submit certification forms

Here are three free ways to submit your school certification form each term / semester. Keep a copy for your records each time:

  • Online: DFAS has created a submission module,, where you can download a school certification form through AskDFAS on the website. This is accessible on mobile browsers. Simply fill out the required information on the online screen and upload a PDF of your completed and signed DD 2788 form.
  • By email:

Defense Finance and Accounting Department
Compensation of the American military annuitant
8899 E. 56th Street
Indianapolis, EN 46249-1300

If you want to receive email reminders when it’s time to submit your school certifications, follow the simple instructions to create a profile in myPay.


Find additional information about military benefits on the DFAS website. You can also speak to a customer service representative at 216-522-5955 or 800-321-1080, or write to the address above.

The Financial Preparedness Office has more resources and tips to help you and your family prepare for your financial future. Follow FINRED on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and search for more on YouTube and the FINRED website and blog.

(Andrew Corso is the Deputy Director of Military Compensation Policy for Retiree and Annuitant Compensation in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.)

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