Survivor Link - Issue 3 - December 2021

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December 2021

The Survivor Link: Issue 3

     The Survivor Link is the Army Survivor Outreach Services Newsletter. This newsletter is published on a quarterly basis to provide information about benefits changes, program updates, opportunities to connect with other survivors, and to stay linked to the Army.

      Army Survivors can subscribe to The Survivor Link at any time. To subscribe just follow the link in this newsletter. You can choose to have the Survivor Link delivered to your email address or as a text message to your cell phone.

      When you subscribe you will be asked a few questions. Please complete your first name, the component of your Soldier (Regular Active Army, US Army National Guard or US Army Reserve), your relationship to the Soldier (spouse, child, parent, staff or other), and your State of residence.

Holiday Message from the

Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9

DCS G9 Holiday Message

SOS Staff Locator

Did you know that the Army has more than 150 Survivor Outreach Service Coordinators ready to assist Surviving Families who are having problems with benefits such as the Survivor Benefit Plan, TRICARE, or education benefits? 


Click on the map to use the SOS Coordinator Locator and find the coordinator nearest to your home. 


On November 30th, President Biden signed the Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act. Tis law ensures that surviving spouses and children of veterans who access the Survivors' and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) program are eligible for in-state tuition wherever they choose to go to school, whether they live in that state or not. Talk to your Veterans Affairs representative to learn how this affects you. 


Remarks by President Biden at Signing of Veterans Bills

Coping with Grief at the Holidays

The holiday season can be a joyous time for families filled with traditions and celebrations with family and friends. For many this can also be one of the most challenging times of year for those grieving the loss of a loved one. Their absence seems even greater during holiday rituals and traditions.

Be kind to yourself as you work through your emotions and create new rituals and traditions.

Go to: Coping with Grief

Holiday Spending

The month of December brings more than a dozen religious holidays. We know that holidays, birthdays and other special days can increase the sense of loss and grief. It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to overcompensate for those emotions with even more cooking, shopping and celebrating. Here we provide a few tips to help you manage your finances at the holidays to avoid the additional burden of after holiday debt.

Go to: Tips for Holiday Spending

2021 TO 2022

New Year New Changes in Survivor Benefits

     Happy New Year! What will 2022 bring for you? You can stay up-to-date on what your survivor benefits will look like by using the Department of Defense (DoD) interactive Online Survivor Benefit Report (OSBR) for surviving families of service members. Whether it be the impact of the SBP-DIC Offset Repeal or life milestones, you can see how those changes affect your monthly benefits.

Go to the Online Survivor Benefit Report Page


Planning ahead? See more information from DFAS on the changes coming in 2023 when the Optional Annuity for Dependent children is eliminated. DFAS will be mailing an eligibility packet to surviving spouses of a service member who died on active duty or on inactive duty in the line of duty after October 7, 2001 who requested the SBP Optional Child Annuity.

The SBP 2023 Active Duty/Line of Duty Optional Annuity for Dependent Children Elimination/Annuity Reversion to Surviving Spouses


The Military In Lasting Tribute memorial honors military heroes who died serving our nation. The memorial is an online destination where survivors can view, remember and share tributes to their loved ones with their networks, extended survivor community and military family. It is the only Department of Defense memorial that honors service members who died during peacetime. Within these pages, family members can submit the names of the service members they would like to see honored in the memorial. To be eligible, service members must have died while serving honorably on active duty from 1985 to the present. 



Army Survivor Advisory Working Group Update 2021


Are you familiar with the Army Survivor Advisory Working Group that we refer to as SAWG? The SAWG is a voice for Regular Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve survivors on quality of life issues and concerns affecting all survivors. Members of the working group strengthen communication between the Total Army and the Army survivor community.

Learn more about the SAWG

Soldier for Life

New Army SBP Page on the

Soldier For Life Website

Check out the updated SBP page on the Soldier For Life website using the following link, US Army | Soldier For Life.  This page serves as a resource for Soldiers, their Families and Survivors.  The site contains facts sheets for Survivors of Retirees and Active Duty Loss, videos explaining the Phase-out of the SBP offset by DIC, and links to various resources including the SBP Premium Calculator, the Survivor Benefit Calculator, DoD Actuary SBP Financial Tools, DoD Financial Readiness and DFAS pages concerning the implementation of the Phase-out of SBP by DIC. 

US Army | Soldier For Life

Ringing Telephone

Dial and Dine: Financial Education Call for Military Survivors

Hosted by the Ft. Leonard Wood SOS Financial Counselor

What: These calls, held at least quarterly, provide a forum for Military Survivors and friends to ask questions on education tools and to better understand identity theft minimization, saving and investing, estate planning considerations, tax issues, insurance, potential financial resources and budgeting concerns in creating financial success and hear from various guest presenters and other peers.   

The January call will focus on Financial and Estate planning considerations especially for Military Spouses and their families and will include a review of the resources available for assistance for assistance for tax preparation support, information on home real estate property tax abatement, where applicable, financial and estate planning considerations in light of legislative changes, review of military preference points for Federal employment , the upcoming SBP changes, camps available for Military Survivor families,  and have an expanded dialog on  specific potential education scholarship resources, including programs and initiatives various 501c3 groups are planning for 2022 and 2023.

Where: The Call number is (1-605-475-5910; Access Code 7681905#)

When:  The next live call is Wednesday, January 19, 2022 7:00 pm Central

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Click here to find more resources on the DCS, G-9 SOS Webpage


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