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I am a retired military veteran here in California.Would changing my name complicate and affect my retirement/disability pay?

Pico Rivera, CA |

I'm worried that if i do change my name legally, this might delay or cutoff my pay and benefits. The reason why I'm changing my name is few people can pronounce them. This is a nightmare for me while I was still on active duty,that they only use to call me Sgt Z. but now even my kid is getting ridiculed at school because of this. Please advice me.

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Attorney answers 5


I don't think anyone can predict how the bureaucrats will deal with this. It shouldn't be a problem. Will it be? Hard to tell. I know that isn't the answer you are looking for, but nobody can tell you whether it will have an affect.


Name, DOB,and social together form the basis for your being identified by the government you can expect some issues. Recommend you contact DFAS, VA, IRS and CA state before you start the process.

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Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


at a minimum--DMV, anyother government agencies with whom you regularly deal will likely have processes and procedures required in such a situation--many with duplcative questions and processes, right hand not talking to left etc. Its going to be some period of months, likely even years before all the dust settles.


Contact DFAS they would be better able to answer.;; 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Anecdotally, I have seen a number of people go through name changes because of marriage or divorce in both Active Duty and Retired without much difficulty.

Andrew Cherkasky of Cherkasky Law, LLC is an Illinois attorney focused on military & criminal defense. The advice given does not form an attorney-client relationship. The advice above is intended to educate on general legal principles and theories and should not be considered state specific advice. Please call anytime, day or night, to discuss further, 703-314-6475.


It should not be too big a deal. I would recommend you contact the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) Retirement Pay Division.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retirement Pay
PO Box 7130
London KY 40742-7130
Toll free 1-800-321-1080

I believe that as long as your SSN stays intact, it should not be a big issue. I would imagine that the retirement pay would continue to flow to your account.

However, I would keep all legal records of the name change so that if/when you pass away, whomever you designated as your beneficiary for the Survivor Benefit Program (SBP) will still be entitled to receive your pension.

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