Survivors of service members who died on active duty face immediate changes for their families and need to know that there are resources and benefits available to help. It is important that survivors understand their benefits and how to obtain them. The following information is meant to help you navigate this process.
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When a service member dies, the services assign a casualty assistance officer. Each military service has its own title for its casualty assistance officers. The Army has casualty assistance officers. The Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard have casualty assistance calls officers. The Air Force has casualty assistance representatives, family liaison officers and mortuary officers.
the support you need.
Your service's long-term case management program will have expert case managers and counselors to assist you in the years to come. You may access support groups, grief counseling, benefit assistance, milestone management (as you experience life changes, your benefits may change), financial counseling to assist with budgeting, investing, estate planning, tax issues and other long-term benefits. To find your service's long-term case management program, you may contact:
In addition to your CAO or CACO or long term case manager, each branch of the military has a Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representative. This designee provides support and addresses issues or concerns raised by spouses and other dependents regarding casualty assistance or receipt of military survivor benefits. Reach out to your Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representative if you are not satisfied with the casualty assistance provided; they are there to help, regardless of how and where your loved one died.
more about your survivor benefits provided by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Individualized benefits information is available to the surviving spouses and children (and guardians of children) of service members who die on active duty. The online survivor benefits report can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need assistance, contact the Family Assistance Support Team at 877-827-2471, or by email at email@example.com.
As you go through the days ahead, remember to rely on your community and the support offered by your service branch. You don't have to navigate this alone. Your casualty assistance officer will connect you to survivor benefit experts and assist you with applying for your benefits.
Find programs and services at your local installation.
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