Active Duty Survivor Benefits Enhanced
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November, 2006 - The fiscal 2006 defense authorization act extended transitional survivor status at the active duty family member payment rate for surviving children of service members who died while serving on active duty for more than 30 days. The law also enhanced Tricare benefits for surviving children and spouses of deceased active duty service members. The enhancements are retroactive for dates of death beginning Oct. 7, 2001. The Defense Department and Tricare Management Activity were to implement these changes on Nov. 1, 2006. Under the new law, minor children and unmarried dependent children remain in transitional survivor status until they reach age 21, or up to age 23 if full-time students (and if they had relied on their sponsor for more than 50 percent of their financial support). These children remain transitional survivors until they reach the eligibility age limit, marry or otherwise become ineligible for Tricare.