Casualty Services/ Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)
The Air Force Casualty Services Program 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 applied for promptly. The CAR provides limited casualty services to members of sister services, certain foreign nationals, and civilians.
Military pay stops when a member dies. The SBP is a government program which makes it possible for retiring members to ensure that after their death, their eligible survivors receive a portion of their military retired pay in the form of a monthly annuity. The SBP was structured so that a surviving spouse cannot outlive the annuity, and it has Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) incorporated so the annuity increases with inflation.
An active duty member who has eligible dependents is automatically covered by SBP at the maximum level at no cost to the member while he/she remains on active duty.
Prior to retiring, each member must decide whether to continue SBP coverage into retirement. The retired pay of those members who elect to participate is reduced by monthly premiums. The SBP is a unique plan: Government-subsidized premiums are deducted from a participating member’s retired pay before taxes. The SBP is the sole means for a member to continue a portion of their military retired pay to their eligible survivors. If a member chooses (with the concurrence of their spouse) not to participate in the SBP, an annuity cannot be paid.