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"We believe surviving spouses and dependent children need an organization dedicated solely to their needs, concerns, and welfare.”

Questions not answered below may be directed to info@goldstarwives.org.

What is Gold Star Wives of America?

Gold Star Wives is a Congressionally Chartered non-profit service organization. The charter was granted because GSW is unique in that it is the only service organization capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses.  To qualify for membership your spouse must have died while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces or from their service connected disability as a result of that service.

What is the cost of Annual Membership Dues? What are the terms?

Membership dues are $35 per year. The dues year or membership term begins January 1 and ends December 31.

New members paying dues after July 1 receive the remainder of the calendar year plus the entire following year of membership under their first $35 payment. (i.e. July 3, 2020 - December 31, 2021).

Annual Dues Renewal reminders are mailed to members in October (of each year). It is recommended you pay for your upcoming year of membership before the current term ends on December 31. Paying on or before the week of December 28th will ensure your payment is received and processed. 

The National Membership Office is closed December 24-25, and December 31 and January 1.

Members are offered a grace period until March 31st to pay an annual renewal.

Annual dues payments are accepted throughout the year. If you pay your dues on September 4, 2020, your membership term will expire on December 31st of the current, same year. So, your $35.00 dues payment will grant you coverage effective September 4, 2020 until December 31, 2020.

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. does not offer rolling memberships. You will NOT receive a membership renewal reminder based on the date you paid your dues. i.e. If you pay your dues on May 3, 2020, you will NOT receive a renewal notice in the mail in May of 2021.

GSW accepts dues payments and donations in the form of check or money order only. Please do not send cash.

GSW does not accept annual or lifetime dues payments in installments. Payment is expected in full. 

Please make dues checks payable to: Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. and address your envelope to: Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., P.O.Box 361986, Birmingham, AL 35216.

Who is eligible for membership?

Membership is extended to anyone whose spouse died while serving on active duty, or of a service-connected cause. Remarriage does not bar membership.

When are the National Newsletters mailed?

There are 4 newsletters a year, mailed the first week of December, March, June, and September. They are mailed at non-profit bulk rates, which means that it could take up to 3 weeks to be delivered. Members may select to have their newsletters emailed as a cost savings to GSW. 

The newsletters are sometimes inadvertently lost, delayed or damaged in transit. Please contact the GSW National Membership Office for a replacement at no charge. 

How do I contact Veterans Affairs to answer my questions?

You may dial 1-800-827-1000 and this will automatically connect you to your VA Regional Office.

How do I obtain a WWII-type service flag?

A banner with one gold star is available at $6.95 + tax (in some states) + shipping from American Legion Emblem Sales, 1-888-453-4466, M-F 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. eastern time.

How do I reach CHAMPVA, TRICARE, or Meds by Mail to have questions answered?

Champva is available for survivors of service connected disability, or for a spouse who originally qualified for Tricare (Champus) has remarried and then been reinstated. (You cannot go back to Tricare)

ChampvVA is also available for those who have remarried and were at least age 55 when they remarried.

ChampVA - questions: 1-800-733-8387; information 1-888-289-2411; or EMAIL - hac.inq@med.va.gov 

ChampVA Meds by Mail - questions: 1-888-385-0235  

Tricare is available for active duty and retired spouses who have never remarried. www.tricare.mil 

Tricare - questions: 1-800-538-9552

TFL Meds by Mail (required as of FEB 2014 for TFL) http://www.tricare.mil/pharmacy.aspx

Is my DIC payment affected when I receive Social Security? 

DIC stands for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which is awarded to spouses of active duty, or service connected surviving spouses. There is NO SOCIAL SECURITY OFFSET for DIC. This offset was eliminated in 2004.

What is SBP?

SBP is Survivor Benefit Plan. This usually only affects retirees and is a plan paid into by the retiree so her/his spouse will have benefits after the retiree dies.  If the death of the retiree is additionally caused by a service connection  the surviving spouse would also be entitled to Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC).  The SBP is offset by the amount of DIC received (Currently $1215 a month). DIC is non-taxable and SBP and SSIA are.

What does COLA mean?

COLA = Cost of Living Adjustment. For 2014 it will be a 1.5% increase on DIC and allowances paid by the VA. The SBP Cola will be 1%.  The Special Survivor Indemnity allowance is increased by a yearly schedule and not affected by COLA, this allowance is currently set to expire in 2016.

When Will I Receive My GSW  Membership Card?

Annual and Lifetime Membership cards are mailed at the first of every month, with the exception of holidays. Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery. 

For example, if you pay for your dues in December, your membership card (with your new membership expiration date) will be mailed during the first week of January, etc. If you paid for dues on February 6th, your membership card will be printed and mailed in March. This applies to a one-time lifetime dues payment as well.

Your membership card is not mailed the same or next day you make your dues payment. 

The membership cards are mailed first class and delivered via the United States Postal Service. It is possible membership cards are unfortunately and inadvertently damaged or lost in transit. 

If your annual or lifetime membership card is damaged or you did not receive it in a timely manner, you may request a replacement at no charge. Please email or call the GSW National Membership Office to request another card. The email address for the GSW National Membership Office is admin@goldstarwives.org and the phone number is 1-888-751-6350. When you call or send an email to the office, please be sure to provide your name and current mailing address. 

How Do I Obtain a Military I.D. Card so I can go to the Commissary?
Military I.D. Cards are issued by the Department of Defense. Please visit dmdc.osd.mil/rsl and click on their Rapids Site Locator, chose by "By Location" and enter your state, with no city or zip code. 


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Thank you to our 2020 Corporate Sponsors!

Gold Level 


Silver Level



Bronze Level

For additional information, or to become a Gold Star Wives Corporate Sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page.

Additional Sponsors:
Prince of Peace Catholic Church Knights of Columbus - Hoover, AL

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Gold Star Wives is a Congressionally Chartered non-profit service organization that is capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses.

Learn More Join Us Donate Now

Birmingham, Alabama Office
P.O. Box 361986
Birmingham, AL 35236

Email: info@goldstarwives.org
Phone: 1-888-751-6350

Washington DC Office
200 N.Glebe Road Rm 435
Arlington, VA 22203-3755

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)4 National Military Widow/Widowers Service Organization chartered by the United States Congress. Donations are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes but may be deductible as trade or business expenses.

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