Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA)
Benefit Fact Sheet
The Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) is a benefit for Surviving Spouses who receive a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity that is offset by a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payment from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
Surviving Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) Eligibility:
Child annuitants are not eligible to receive SSIA, DIC payments to Children do not affect SBP Child annuitant payments
Surviving Spouses eligibility is suspended if a Surviving Spouse remarries before age 55, but eligibility is restored if that marriage ends by death or divorce
Surviving Spouses remarriage after age 57 allows a Surviving Spouse authorized both SBP and DIC to receive SBP without an offset by DIC. Remarriage after age 57 thus eliminates the SBP/DIC offset and SSIA is terminated.
*SSIA was made permanent in The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2020. The NDAA contained a provision to amend section 1450 of USC Title 10 to permanently extend the authority to pay SSIA with an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
Surviving Spouses who are eligible for to receive a SBP annuity due to an LOD Yes that is offset by a DIC payment from the VA due to service-connected Death.
Surviving Spouses who are eligible to receive RCSBP if the Reserve or National Guard Soldier enrolled with Option B or Option C when they received 20-Year Letter; or received the 20 year letter, are within the 90 day period, but have not made an RCSBP election; or should have received a 20 year letter and the RCSBP is offset by a DIC payment from the VA due to service connected Death.
Surviving Spouses who are eligible to receive RCSBP if the Reserve or National Guard Soldier enrolled with Option B or Option C and the RCSBP is offset by a DIC payment from the VA due to service-connected Death.
When DFAS is informed by the VA a Surviving Spouse receiving an SBP annuity is receiving DIC, the law requires that DFAS deduct the amount of DIC received from the amount of SBP payable and pay the remaining amount of the SBP to the annuitant. This is called the SBP/DIC offset. SSIA is payable when the offset begins.
In 2022, SSIA will be paid at up to $346 per month. Eligible Survivors will continue to receive the SSIA, up to the maximum amount per month, or up to the gross amount of SBP (if the gross amount of SBP is less than the maximum amount) until December 31, 2022.SSIA will not be paid in 2023
The SSIA is a benefit for Surviving Spouses who receive a SBP annuity that is offset by a DIC payment from the VA.
In 2021 the benefit paid was $327 per month plus a cost-of-living adjustment each calendar year. The cost-of-living adjustment began in 2019. It can be confusing to understand how SBP, DIC, and SSIA are paid, and how the laws and regulations treat different situations. Here are the basics:
Spouse SBP annuitants, except for those who remarry after age 57 (or in other specific circumstances), cannot receive full SBP and DIC at the same time (DIC payments made directly to Children, or to a guardian on behalf of Children, do not affect SBP Child annuity payments).
When DFAS is informed by the VA that a Spouse receiving an SBP annuity is receiving DIC, the law requires that DFAS deduct the amount of DIC received from the amount of SBP payable and pay the remaining amount of the SBP to the annuitant. This is called the SBP/DIC offset.
If the SBP payment is greater than the DIC payment, a partial refund of premiums paid into the program during the Service member's retirement will be made to the Spouse.
If the DIC payment is greater than the SBP payment, SBP will be stopped completely and all eligible basic Spouse premiums paid into the program during the Service member's retirement will be refunded.
When a Spouse is eligible to receive SBP and DIC, and those payments are subject to the SBP/DIC offset, the Spouse will also receive the SSIA.
As with other laws and regulations, there are many exceptions and special circumstances that apply to these benefits. For additional information, please go to the DFAS Understanding SBP, DIC and SSIA webpage.
Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Division (CMAOD):
To obtain a detailed estimate of your survivor benefits, including SBP payments to eligible dependents, visit the MyArmyBenefits Survivor Calculator (CAC or DS Logon account needed):
DFAS “Understanding SBP-DIC-SSIA” website: