An official website of the United States Government 
Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Immediate Release

DoD Hosts its First Survivor Symposium

The Department of Defense is hosting its first Survivor Symposium focused on educating surviving family members of service members who died on active duty status about their survivor benefits, entitlements, and available resources. This virtual event will take place June 21 from noon to 3 p.m. EDT. The symposium is also geared toward service providers who assist military families.

"Military service requires great sacrifices from all those who serve, whether in uniform or in support of someone in uniform," said Deborah Skillman, the DoD's Director for Casualty and Mortuary Affairs. "When a military-connected family grieves the death of a loved one who was serving their country, they face both emotional and administrative challenges. Providing benefits to these survivors is the Department's way of taking care of its people and demonstrating that they will not be forgotten."

Survivors can register for the symposium right up until it starts by using this online registration form. They will then receive an email with a link to join the conference. Participants will need an internet-connected device, or they can dial in from a phone.

The topics for the event were based on survivor questions and feedback received through surveys, survivor events, and through the Surviving Family Member Inquiry Form. The virtual symposium will feature three one-hour sessions. Subject matter experts will discuss:

  • How survivor benefits change after remarriage (noon-1 p.m.) 
  • How guardians can apply for the death gratuity on behalf of a surviving child (1-2 p.m.)
  • How a beneficiary survivor annuitant keeps their account up to date with the Defense Finance Accounting Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs (2-3 p.m.)

About the Casualty Assistance Program

The Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance program provides support for military families should their service member become missing, deceased, or suffer a serious illness or injury. This support includes making them aware of their benefits and other forms of assistance. The program assigns eligible survivors a casualty assistance officer, who provides professional and compassionate support during the most difficult time of their lives.

About Military Community and Family Policy

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing and overseeing quality of life policies and programs that help our service members, their families and survivors be well and mission ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These DOD services can be accessed 24/7/365 around the world.