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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34303
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My best friends mother of 82 years age is a military widow

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My best friend's mother of 82 years age is a military widow whose Lt. Colonel spouse paid into the Survivor Benefit Plan since 1970. The Lt. Colonel passed away in 2005 and his pension stopped then but his spouse has not received her Survivor Benefit Plan benefits after filing all of the required forms. She believes she is owed a lump sum payment for the arrears of about $330,000 and a monthly benefit of $1,400. She has only received intermittent payments of $50 to $100 per month when she receives them. She has contacted her local U.S. Congressman and spoken with numerous DFAS personnel without any resolution. If she wanted to filed a lawsuit, what court should she file it in and who should be the named defendant?
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

The Federal Government is the appropriate defendant. Specifically, she would file suit naming the federal government as defendant. Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) is an agent of the federal government.

Sending DFAS a demand letter is not going to help. Under policy they ignore will need to file suit in federal court. Specifically, you will want to file this in the Federal Court of Claims. The court of claims is located in Washington DC and maintains jurisdiction over monetary claims against the US Government. You can see more about the court of claims here

What you describe? She has a great case. If her spouse paid into SBP? She is owed money...and the court of claims can award it. You will need an attorney to file this in the court of you can have a local attorney do this or you can hire one in the DC are to file for you.

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can

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