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Frequently Asked Questions Benefits for LGBT Federal Employees and Annuitants

If I were to die while an employee, what are the qualifications that would allow my same sex spouse to receive survivor benefits?

If a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employee dies, recurring monthly payments may be made to the surviving spouse if the employee completed at least 18 months of creditable service and was covered under CSRS at the time of death.

- To qualify for the monthly benefit, the surviving spouse must have been married to the employee for at least nine months prior to death.

- If the death occurred before nine months, a survivor annuity may still be payable if the employee’s death was accidental or there was a child born of the marriage.

If a Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employee dies with at least 18 months of creditable civilian service under FERS, the Basic Employee Death Benefit may be available for the surviving spouse.  Additionally, if a FERS employee dies, recurring monthly payments may be made to the surviving spouse if the deceased employee completed at least 10 years of creditable service (18 months of which must be civilian service). The same nine-month marriage requirement exists for establishing entitlement to the FERS Basic Employee Death Benefit and the  FERS spousal survivor annuity , and the same exceptions to the 9-month marriage requirement apply (i.e., the 9-month marriage requirement will not apply if the employee’s death was accidental or there was a child born of the marriage).

You can go to the Life Event webpage for Death/Survivors to learn more.

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