Creating a survivor’s file
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — Whether your marriage was in the early days of military service or long after retirement, one of the most difficult situations you’ll face is dealing with the death of your retired military spouse. Nothing can make this mission easy, but being prepared can help ensure you do what you need to when the time comes. A file with all the veteran’s important papers won’t help if it’s in an unlabeled file drawer or on a computer protected with a password you don’t have. Similarly, funeral wishes can’t be followed if the cemetery selected has since closed to new burials.
Survivor’s files at a minimum will need your Social Security number and copy of your DD-214. Make sure your survivor’s file includes information on any VA payment or claim you’ve filed with the VA. Include a copy of your latest Retiree Account Statement and highlight the section that shows if you did or did not enroll in a Survivors Benefit Plan and, if you did enroll, what category of beneficiary you enrolled (for example, spouse or former spouse).