I received this email today from a contractor working within the VA system. If you have received any kind of a lump sum payment, and/or have compensation coming from multiple government sources then you better be familiar with this. You have to take charge of your situation, if you don’t you’ll get bureaucratically steamrolled. km
One of our friends received a notice recently that said that he owed a debt for back payment on something he knew nothing about. The system does not seem to play very nice. DFAS will turn the “debt” over to a bill collector and mess up your credit… all the while you had no idea
anything was going on… DFAS may have your proper address to send your combat related compensation or retirement stuff but somehow between that department and the one next door they do not share information.
It falls 100% on you to find this junk out and figure out how to get out of the pit.
This is extremely important – I do not have a way to know if you have taken care of this or not – you have to contact them – there is a form you can fill out to have this paid from your VA compensation.
The link below goes to the main page dealing with SBP (Survivor Benefit program)… I do not really understand the program and it talks around in circles so you might have to call them, while your sipping mint tea and have nothing to do. It would be best to be sober when talking to DFAS but have your high blood pressure medicine nearby. Remember it is another human being on the other end of the phone just trying to make a living. They do not make the rules, they get yelled at by most callers, be the one that says, “Thank you”,” Yes, Sir,” “Your fantastic,” “I know you have been wonderful and helped me in every way that you can, but I still have a problem, can you guide me to a person who can assist me in resolving my problem (Own the problem, after all it is your problem.)
Between the 25th and 36th month after retirement you can exit the SBP. When you get married you have a certain length of time to let them know, if you get divorced there is a process to cancel the program but you have to do it the way DFAS needs it done.
If you do not know if you are in or out, if you owe or don’t you really need to check on this one because it is like a thief sneaking into your house in the dark of the night, it will come at the worst possible time. Please check it out and then let me know your status.
The link above gives a lot of information that should be considered.