My father, a USAF Chief Master Sergeant (E-9), served 25 years in the Air Force, retired in 1975 and passed away in 2009. Upon his retirement, he selected full SBP for my mother and paid for full SBP for over 34 years, the last 15 years of which he was rated 100% disabled and unemployable. A week after my father passed away, my mother went to her county veterans assistance office and applied for all benefits for which she was eligible, including SBP. My mother has never remarried and is now 86.
Almost three years ago, we placed my mother in a personal care home because of dementia and expressive aphasia (she has extreme difficulty communicating). I already had a durable POA, but applied for and was appointed her VA Fiduciary only to discover that she has never received any SBP payments. (Until shortly before placing her in a home, she was quite capable of handling her own affairs.)
When I discovered that she has not received any SBP payments, I did some research, discovered that, due to the fact that my father had been rated 100% disabled and unemployable for over 10 years, my mother was eligible for full reimbursement of the entirety of my father’s SBP payments. As a result, I contacted DFAS and inquired as to why she has never received SBP payments. In response, I received an application packet from DFAS, which I completed and submitted. In response, I was informed that she had to apply within six years of my father's death (which she did, although it was apparently never received), her request for SBP was denied and that she had 30 days to file an appeal.
I have no idea how to construct an appeal that DFAS might find compelling, assuming that DFAS ever makes an award upon appeal.