Survivor Checklist

This checklist is provided by MOAA headquarters to assist the surviving next-of-kin when a retired service member dies.

Time Sensitive

  1. Notify the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Center, U.S. Coast Guard Human Resources Service and Information Center, or U.S. Public Health Service by telephone of the death of the service member. This call will generate the RSFPP/SBP/RCSBP/SSBP annuity application process and application for arrears in pay.

    Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force: (800) 269-5170
    U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA: (800) 772-8724
    USPHS: (800) 638-8744

  2. If a Civil Service or Federal Employee Retirement System (CSRS or FERS) retiree, notify the office of Personnel Management at (412) 794-8690 (Civil Service SBP, Casualty and Federal Group Life Insurance inquiries).

  3. If you live in close proximity to a military installation and want assistance with military administrative matters, call the Casualty Assistance Officer. (This service may not be available at all locations.) Also contact the Retirement Service Office, or Retired Affairs Office if one is near your place of residence. These offices can offer invaluable information and assistance.

  4. If the deceased also was retired from employment in the private sector and a retirement plan was involved, notify that employer or pension plan administrator.

  5. Contact your lawyer, trust administrator, or the executor of the estate.

  6. Notify the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 (Social Security survivor benefits and death benefit).

  7. Notify any bank and stock brokerage that has an individual or joint account in the name of the deceased. Have account number available, if known.

  8. Notify all life insurance companies. Have policy numbers available, if known.

  9. If the death possibly could have been due to uniformed service-connected causes, contact the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office by calling (800) 827-1000. This call could initiate application for potential VA benefits, i.e., burial benefits, application for headstone, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). You may want to seek the help of a Veterans Service Oficer (VSO) inpreparing claimswith the VA. Call MOAA at 1-800-245-8762, Ext 116, for the name of a VSO in your state.

  10. If the deceased was a CSRS or FERS retiree and participated in the Thrift Savings Plan, contact the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board at (504) 255-6000.

  11. If the deceased was a participant in any of the VA insurance programs (SGLI, VGLI, NSLI, USGLI, etc.), call (800) 669-8477 and report the death. Have the policy numbers available, if possible

  12. Some associations offer spouse assistance to their members and will notify many of the places listed on this checklist, e.g. Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association at (800) 336-4538 or (703) 522-3060, Navy Mutual Aid Association at (800) 628-6011 or (703) 614-1638.

Not time sensitive

It's your choice when to contact the following locations or offices. Items on this list are not as time sensitive as those on the previous pages.

  1. Credit card companies and other charge accounts
  2. Accountant/CPA or tax preparer
  3. Other insurance companies (health, property, mortgage, Medigap, MOAA Mediplus, etc.) Have policy numbers ready.
  4. Department of Motor Vehicles
  5. City, county, and state property offices
  6. Fraternal and professional associations such as MOAA, AARP, American Legion, or DAV
  7. Loctions of stocks,bonds, and securities held
  8. Nearest military installation personnel office (renew family member ID cards)
  9. Automobile leasing agent

Surviving spouses inherit the remaining MOAA membership of the uniformed service member and can become auxiliary members. Call MOAA at 800-245-8762, Ext 154, or send email to to initiate this process.

If you have other questions regarding this checklist, contact MOAA's Personal Affairs Department at (800) 245-8762, Ext. 116.

This checklist can be accessed from MOAA's website.

This checklist is copyright by MOAA.

Lewis & Clark Chapter
Webmaster: Bob Allen
Last update: November 2007