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Military Survivor Benefit Plan

In everyday life many of those who have served in the military begin to wonder what will happen to their spouse once they retire and pass away, “how will they be financially stable”? That is where the Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) comes into play. Many times people even wonder, “What is a survivor benefit plan?” A military survivor benefit plan is along the same lines as to term insurance, with a few differences. Unlike term insurance SBP coverage never stops because of a person’s age. The survivor benefit plan also provides an inflation protected annuity for the life of their spouse or other eligible beneficiary. A survivor benefit plan is a way to protect a person’s spouse once they have deceased. Without a survivor benefit plan, if the retiree has deceased, the military retirement will stop as well. Read below where Military Lawyers have answered the top commonly asked questions on SBP benefits.

If an ex wife is named on someone’s survivor benefit plan, if their ex husband dies will the benefits be move the current spouse?

There can only be one person receiving the survivor benefits. When one with the plan passes away all the benefits will go to the ex spouse, now when the ex spouse passes away then all the benefits will stop. If the previous spouse dies before they do then they can go to Defense Finance and Accounting Service and request that their current spouse be named the beneficiary.

After being married 20 years and in service for 20 years is someone’s soon to be ex spouse entitled to the survivor benefit plan and Military ID?

They would meet the 20/20/20 rule; they are married to a person in service for at least 20 years that has overlapped at least 20 years of military service. They will not automatically be entitled to Tricare, a military ID card and the px/commissary and other base privileges that come along with a military ID. Also, they are not automatically entitled to any portion of the military retirement or the survivor benefit plan. This is for the state court to decide in the divorce decree. The Uniform Service Former Spouse Protection Act allows the state court the authority to divide the military retirement, but the law does not specify a certain amount. The court could grant them 50% or 0%.

If name beneficiary of a spouses military survivor benefit plan what can happen if their husband canceled the plan, and then died?

If they have canceled the plan then it is done. Neither State nor Federal court can force the survivor benefit plan to be honored because they don’t have the authority to do so. In this sort of situation, if their husband has failed to follow the courts orders then the spouse can sue his estates for the damages. That will be the only thing possible in order to receive the benefits.

In the state of Florida can someone sue their lawyer for not informing them about the one year deadline for a survivor benefit plan?

If their lawyer missed the statue of limitations under the survivor benefit plan, then they may have a legal malpractice case against them. They can either choose to file an ethics complaint with the Florida State Bar Association and a civil lawsuit.

What happens to a person’s survivor benefit plan if they chose to marry after the age of 55?

When a person decides to remarry before the age of 55, and they are receiving survivor benefits, then their benefits will suspend. Now, if they remarry at the age of 55 or over, there is no legal requirement to suspend a person’s survivor benefit plan because of remarriage.

After retirement from either a job or having an active duty in service, many people began to think of some sort of insurance such as a survivor benefit plan. Many sign onto a survivor benefit plan to protect their spouse and children once they have deceased and can no longer provide for the family. There are many laws and regulations regarding a military survivor benefit plan, contact the Legal Experts for accurate fast and affordable answers to many specific military questions.
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Recent SBP Questions

  • A Former Spouse receiving Retired/Retainer pay. Member death

    A Former Spouse receiving Retired/Retainer pay. Member death 6 August 2013. Married 29 yrs 6 mos. A 20/20/20. Divorced (QDRO)1995 member retired 1992 named as surviving spouse in final decree. SBP denied by member's choice. Did a "deemed election" ignored by DFAS. Now, VA say because of divorce I'm not surviving spouse. What are my RIGHTS and course of action?
  • I was married in Delaware County, PA in June 1997. My husband

    I was married in Delaware County, PA in June 1997. My husband joined the US army serving active duty in September 1998, and continues to serve. We have three children together born 1995, 1999, and 2005. For the duration of the marriage, I did not work outside the home per my husband's request. We separated August 2010, and I filed for divorce in February 2011 in Delaware County, PA. Almost four years later, and we still do not have a decree of divorce because my husband does not want to give me any finances. We both are represented by civilian attorneys, and this has just been dragging on. I'm asking for alimony, 50% of his pension, and survivor's benefit. He has already changed his SGLI and SBP from me and our children being beneficiaries to his "shack-up" girlfriend and her children (they do not have any children together.) My question is....how can I influence the courts to return those benefits back to me and our minor children, and have it written into the divorce decree? What can I do to ensure that upon my husband's death, that me, but more importantly our children receive benefits especially if they are still minors?
  • Hello- My husband former wife has been collecting SBP payments

    Hello-
    My husband former wife has been collecting SBP payments after their divorce. However, she married before the age of 55. She did not report this information to finance to get payments suspended. We now have her official marriage license to send to finance. Its been 6 years shes been married. Will my husband be reimburse this year he paid and she was married?
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