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Additional Military-Provided Death Benefits

Beneficiaries of deceased Service members may be eligible for additional death benefits beyond those provide by Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance.

Three Potential Benefits

Servicemembers’ Group Life insurance is valuable and relatively low-cost life insurance for Service members. But it’s not the only potential death benefit available to the beneficiaries of those who make the ultimate sacrifice. Here are three additional benefits that might be available:


Military funeral, handing over flagDeath gratuity*

A one-time tax-free payment of $100,000 paid to eligible survivors of Service members who die on active duty or while serving in certain reserve statuses.


Military funeral - loved ones receiving flagDependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)*

An annually adjusted tax-exempt monthly payment made to eligible survivors of Service members or veterans who died while meeting specific criteria.

*See for program details.

Military funeral flowersSurvivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

A Department of Defense program that provides monthly payments to eligible beneficiaries of Service members who die in the line of duty and eligible beneficiaries of military retirees who elect and pay for SBP coverage.

Also, though not a specific military-provided benefit, surviving spouses and children may also be eligible for Social Security Benefits.

Is It Enough?

The potential death benefits available to a deceased Service member’s beneficiaries can be substantial. However, it’s important to realize that these valuable benefits may not actually be enough in certain circumstances. To help protect your family:

  • Understand all the potential benefits that could be available
  • Crunch the numbers for your specific situation
  • Determine if it might be necessary to purchase additional coverage

Thinking about passing away and making plans in case we do can definitely create some uncomfortable moments. Still, those moments are nowhere near as uncomfortable as what our families could face if we pass away and there’s not enough financial resources to take care of them after we’re gone. This isn’t to say we all need to run out and purchase more life insurance, but it is worth giving this topic some serious thought.

Portrait of Scott Halliwell
Tip from Scott Halliwell, CFP®

Talking about death with loved ones can be difficult. Having these conversations now can prevent future obstacles in the event of death.