Keep Those Checks From Uncle Sam Coming

Q: My father was in the Air Force and he retired after 23 years of ser­vice. When he was liv­ing he received a retire­ment check every month from Uncle Sam. When he died my mother had to send back his check that he got for the month in which he died. Any­way to make a long story short, she didn’t know until approx­i­mately 5 years ago that she was still eli­gi­ble to receive TRICARE for her pre­scrip­tions. Some­one told me recently that they had a rel­a­tive who still got a por­tion of her dead spouse’s retire­ment pay, do you know if this is cor­rect? That would be sweet if it’s true because she is liv­ing off of Social Secu­rity and any lit­tle bit would help. If this is cor­rect could you please tell me who she needs to con­tact the get the ball rolling? Thank you very much.

–Julia, Rocky Point, NC

A: Wow, I’m sorry to hear your Mom was not able to fully take advan­tage of her ben­e­fits. As I’m sure you know, TRICARE is much more than just pre­scrip­tions, it’s full blown health­care cov­er­age and thank­fully it sounds as if she’s now tak­ing advan­tage of it.

The mil­i­tary also has a pro­gram called the Sur­vivor Ben­e­fit Plan (SBP). This sounds like what you heard about.  SBP allows mil­i­tary retirees to pro­tect a por­tion of their retire­ment for their sur­vivors. How­ever, the ser­vice­mem­ber has to to sign up for SBP at retire­ment. My guess is that your Dad did not sign up, but you can check with the folks at the Defense Finance and Account­ing Ser­vice. Give them a call at 888–332-7411.

There’s also a VA ben­e­fit for sur­vivors called Depen­dency and Indem­nity Com­pen­sa­tion (DIC). It’s is a VA ben­e­fit paid to the eli­gi­ble sur­vivors of a vet­eran who dies while on active duty, from a service-connected dis­abil­ity, or from a con­di­tion related to a service-connected dis­abil­ity. Your mom could be eli­gi­ble for this if your dad’s death was service-connected. The basic DIC pay­ment is $1,195/month and must  be applied for using the VA Form 21–534. Good Luck!

3 responses to “Keep Those Checks From Uncle Sam Coming”

  1. What kind of help does a retired Navy man with 32 yrs ser­vice
    get when he comes down with Alzheimers and he has no money for
    Alzheimers care in the pri­vate sec­tor? Does the VA have help ?
    Thank you for a reply.

    1. con­tact the va hos­pi­tal in your area so get his med­ical care asap and if your next of kin call va check if his on the system.If you dont read care­fully on that book­let ben­e­fits you wont get result and what ever is going on i can see how grate­ful is this guy for what you doing sir god bless you

  2. to julia of rocky point NC i read ur story dated back april 3 /12 regard­ing your beloved mother.i hope you got every­thing for your mother you must request to send you the va 2012 ben­e­fits book­let edi­tions so you will exactly know what they need to do oth­er­wise they wont tell your mother.and if they (va) off­fice never nofi­tify ur mother for some error or what so ever and the va ben­e­fits book­let stated they have to reroac­tive that 5yrs she sup­posed to be enti­tled on behalf of your father ben­e­fits is because the va staff are just there to put your claim not to do the claim for your mother.meaning as long as she didnt went beyond that 5yrs time they will pay her back that mon­ey­plus yrs after that and look up on that pre­scrip­tion copay reim­burse­ment page and thats more emer­gency fund for your mother ok god bless you

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