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Casualty Assistance Services & Survivor Benefit Plan


Casualty Assistance Services

The Air Force Casualty Services Program’s primary goals are to provide prompt, accurate reporting, dignified and humane notification, and efficient, thorough, and compassionate assistance to the next of kin for as long as needed. The Casualty Assistance Representative (CAR) works closely with commanders at all levels to ensure the success of the program. The CAR works closely with survivors of retired Air Force members to ensure potential benefits are explained and applied for. The CAR provides limited casualty services to members of sister services, certain foreign nationals, and civilians.

Air Force Families Forever and Gold Star Members Program

“Once a part of the Air Force family, always a part of the Air Force family.”

Air Force Families Forever (AFFF) is a long-term aftercare program established to provide proactive outreach to family members who have lost a loved one that was serving on Active Duty in the United States Air Force at the time of death. Air Force Families Forever takes a proactive approach to provide outreach, resources, support and information to help surviving family members adapt to life without their loved one.

Air Force Gold Star Airmen fall under the umbrella of the AFFF survivor support program but are further defined as Active Duty status or Active Duty for training status who lost their life on or after 18 September 1947 while engaged in action against enemy of the US as part of a peacekeeping effort. Gold Star surviving family members have access to outreach, support, resources and information under the Air Force Families Forever survivor support program.

How AFFF can help…

– Referrals for private & group counseling
– Sources for support in the local community
– Information on Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
– Books and literature to help with coping and bereavement
– Resources and pastoral care
– Help with Veteran’s benefits
– Questions about entitlements

Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

The SBP protects a portion of the income a retiree receives and makes it payable to a surviving spouse or eligible children after death. SBP protection is provided for all active duty service members at no cost. If an active duty service member with a spouse and/or children dies, dependents will continue to receive 55% of the retirement income they would have received. At retirement, service members must elect to continue SBP coverage. After retirement, the government subsidizes a portion of the cost for SBP protection, but the service member is required to pay a share of the premiums equal to roughly 6.5% of the amount protected. For more information, please call our Survivor Benefit Plan Counselor at the Military & Family Readiness Center at (801) 777-4681, or access the Defense Finance and Accounting website at https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/provide/sbp.html. If you are soon to retire and would like to generate an estimate of retired pay versus SBP costs please visit the cost estimator at https://w45.afpc.randolph.af.mil/retsepcalcnet40/Default.aspx. Recent changes have been made to the Survivor Benefit Plan child-annuity recipient re-certification process. An article on the subject is also available at this link.

SBP Resources

SBP Handout for Retiring Members

SBP Make it Part of Your Retirement Plans

SBP Handout for Spouse Fact Sheet

SBP Handout for Former Spouse Fact Sheet

SBP Student Eligibility 101

SBP Cost Analysis

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