Veterans benefits due military personnel frequently go unclaimed. Often overlooked are disabled veteran payments, veteran death benefits and burial allowances, veterans life insurance, savings bonds and military back pay.
An unclaimed veteran benefit will not show up in a search of state unclaimed property databases, as it is an obligation of the federal government. Similarly, funds and benefits held or owed by the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense do not include amounts that may be held or owed by other federal and state agencies.
VA Benefits For general assistance with benefits due veterans, including disability payments, burial allowances and life insurance, contact the Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 1120 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20421. Phone (800) 827-1000 to speak to a benefits counselor or visit: vba.va.gov
US Savings Bonds The Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force provide safekeeping of US Savings Bonds for service members, a great many of which go unclaimed and unredeemed after separation. Former servicemen and heirs may also be entitled to Adjusted Service Bonds (ASB) and Armed Forces Leave Bonds (AFLB), issued as compensation for accumulated but unused military leave. For assistance locating lost or missing US Savings Bonds: Savings Bond Search
Life Insurance Service members or beneficiaries who believe they may be entitled to unclaimed SGLI or VGLI should contact the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at: Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI), 290 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 (800) 419-1473. To search the Veterans Unclaimed Insurance Funds database, which includes death awards, dividend checks and premium refunds owed to missing current and former policyholders or beneficiaries arising from United States Government Life, National Service Life Insurance, Veterans Special Life Insurance, Veterans Reopened Insurance, and Service-Disabled Veterans Life programs (not SGLI or VGLI) go to: https://insurance.va.gov/liability/ufsearch.htm
For assistance locating lost, missing or unclaimed life insurance policies issued by insurance companies including MetLife, John Hancock, Prudential and others go to: Unclaimed Life Insurance Search
The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Special Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist them in daily activities. It can also help with nursing home and Assisted Living Facility (ALF) bills. Go to: A & A Special Pension
Military Pay Issues specifically concerning military pay are handled by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. While no separate files or comprehensive reports are maintained on individuals due unclaimed pay and entitlements, active duty members may claim authorized payments at any time. There is a six-year statute of limitations on collecting pay or entitlements once an individual has separated from the service. Contact The Defense Finance and Accounting Service at: 800-321-1080 or go to http://www.dfas.mil/
Bank Accounts Given the transient nature of military life, servicemen and women should make a special effort to ensure they have closed out all bank and credit union accounts after a change of duty station. * For assistance locating a lost account: Unclaimed Bank Account SearchMilitary Records The National Personnel Records Center / Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) provides DD-214’s and other separation documents that are required to process most types of claims, including those for burial assistance, pensions and life insurance. Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Defense requires that all requests for information be made in writing. They must be dated and signed, as well. Standard Form 180, “Request Pertaining to Military Records,” can be downloaded from the NPRC website: http://www.archives.gov