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

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  • 12 Aug 2019 11:06 AM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    Indiana veterans & spouses exempt from paying state income tax on their veterans benefits. The state hopes this will entice veterans to move or stay in the state.  Read more about this legislation here.

  • 12 Aug 2019 11:05 AM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    "A bipartisan contingent of senators are pushing the Armed Services Committee leaders to repeal Widow's Tax."

    Read full article at WUSA9.


  • 2 Aug 2019 11:41 AM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    Congress took away this benefit for surviving military spouses 40 years ago. Now, they’re close to finally righting that wrong - read full article at WUSA9.




  • 17 Jul 2019 5:20 PM | Maia Stanhope (Administrator)

    Spouses' benefit fix gains in House bill. The provision, which was included in the House's version of the National Defense Authority Act, will soon go to a conference committee for review. Please click the following link to learn more:
    https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/jul/13/fix-for-widow-s-tax-gains-in-house-bill/


  • 13 Jul 2019 2:17 PM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    As reported at National Convention, you can use MOAA's Take Action site to ask Congress to support issues of importance to you (such as the SBP/DIC Offset aka Widows Tax). 

    Click this link - http://takeaction.moaa.org/?1 - and scroll down to to the topic you support (example "Act now to end the widows tax) and click on that topic.  Then fill in your personal information and complete the form so that MOAA can send it to the key officials. 

  • 26 Jun 2019 9:44 AM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    On June 12th of this year, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes of Connecticut introduced the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act of 2019 with bill number HR 3221. This bill will create a fund to pay additional money to those who receive DIC payments so that the total compensation is equal to 55% of a single 100% disabled veteran’s compensation and would bring parity with other federal survivor programs. Because this is a separate fund, it would not affect the SBP/DIC offset.

    This legislation was introduced in the 116th session of Congress, which means we have until the end of December 2020 to get this done; which also means we need your help now. Below is a draft letter that you can send to your Member of the House of Representatives asking them to support this legislation.


    Letter for House of Representatives


    The Honorable (Insert Name of Representative)
    Address

    Dear Representative XXXX,

    My name is XXXXX and I am a Member of the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. As you may know, the Gold Star Wives is a national organization that represents those of us who have lost a spouse in the service of our country. I would like to thank you for your service to our nation as my Representative and for hearing my concerns.

    I wanted to bring to your attention, and seek support for HR 3221, the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act of 2019.

    This bill is critical to surviving spouses. I’d like to tell you why it is important to me.

    The bill would create a fund to ensure that those of us who receive DIC payments would get compensation equal to the compensation paid to other federal employee spouses. The fact that military widows are not paid the same as other federal government spouses is not fair. As it stands right now, DIC recipients, on average, only receive 43% of a single 100% disabled veteran’s compensation. This bill would create a separate fund that would bring the total compensation to surviving spouses up to 55%, which is on par with other federal survivor programs.


    Now is the time to fulfill the promise made to those of us who have sacrificed along with our loved ones. Thank you so much for your time. If you, or your veteran’s affairs staffer would like more information, we have an advocate in Washington, D.C. His name is Lars Anderson and he can be reached at lars.goldstarwives@gmail.com.

    Thank you.

  • 20 May 2019 5:09 PM | Membership Office (Administrator)

    The below template is also available as a PDF file


    Date ___________________________

     

    The Honorable _______________________­­­­______

     

    _________________________________________

     

    _________________________________________

      

    Dear Senator ______________________________,

    My name is ___________________________________________________________________.   

    I am a Member of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. 

    As you may know, Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a national organization that represents those of us, who have lost a spouse in the service of our country, either in the line of duty or service-connected injury or disability.

    I would like to thank you for your service to our nation, as my Senator, and also for hearing my concerns. 

    I want to bring your attention, and also seek your support, for Senate Bill 1047, the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Improvement Act of 2019.

    This bill is critical to surviving spouses and I would like to tell you why it is important to me. 

    The bill creates a fund to ensure that those of us who receive DIC payments would get compensation equal to the compensation paid to federal employee spouses. The fact that military widows are not paid the same as federal government spouses is not fair. As it stands right now, DIC recipients, on average, only receive 43% of a single 100% disabled veteran’s compensation. This bill would create a separate fund that would bring the total compensation to surviving spouses up to 55%, which is on par with other federal survivor programs.

    Now is the time to fulfill the promise made to those of us who have sacrificed, along with our loved one’s. Thank you for your time. If you, or your Veterans’ Affairs staffer would like more information, we have an advocate in Washington, D.C. His name is Lars Anderson and he can be reached at lars.goldstarwives@gmail.com 

    Thank you.


    My Address is:  _____________________________________________________

     

    __________________________________________________________________

     

    __________________________________________________________________

  • 26 Apr 2019 3:28 PM | Maia Stanhope (Administrator)

    DIC Improvement Act of 2019: S. 1047

    WE NEED YOUR VOICE!

    Now is the time for action and we need your help. We have a chance to encourage our Senators to pass Bill S.1047 which would increase DIC for ALL OF US by approximately $300 per month!

    What is Bill S. 1047?

    During the 116th Congress, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced a free standing bill, entitled Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement  Act of 2019:  S. 1047 which will increase the DIC for survivors from 43% ($1319.04) to 55% ($1681.42) of a single 100% disabled veteran’s compensation * (currently $3057.13).  This bill, if passed into law, will cause no further increase to the SBP/DIC offset.  Bringing DIC compensation to 55% would provide parity with other Federal survivor programs.  All military survivors currently receiving DIC will realize an approximate increase of $300/month.

    *2001 Public Law 107-107 states a deceased service member is the equivalent of 100% disabled, which is why the increase used is compared to a single 100% disabled veteran’s compensation.

    Why does S. 1047 matter to me?

    The latest statistics from the Veterans Benefit Administration Annual Benefits Report of Fiscal Year 2018, updated as of September 30, 2018, indicates that 422,979 surviving spouses receive DIC. They represent 95.90% of total DIC recipients. (The other DIC recipients are children and parents who number: 17,402 or 4.10%). If S.1047 is passed, it means that each of us will get approximately $300 per month in addition to the DIC we currently receive.

    How can I help?

                    We have just two years to tell our Senators to get this bill passed before we would have to start all over again with a new Senate. You can help by contacting your Senators and urging them to co-sponsor and VOTE for S.1047.

    How do I contact my Senators?

                    Call:      (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator.

    What do I say?

                    My name is ______________. I am the military widow of ________________who was KIA in _______________ or died of a service connected disability related to____________ while in service to this country. I am a member of the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. I am requesting that you agree to co-sponsor and VOTE for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act of 2019: S. 1047.

    It is a Bill that will increase the Military Surviving Spouses’ compensation known as DIC to be at the same percentage (55%) of compensation that a Federal Employee’s Surviving spouse receives. DIC has not had an increase except for COLA since 1993. The income of many of these older surviving spouses is only from DIC and perhaps a little Social Security.  Thank you for your time and attention to my request.


  • 9 Apr 2019 10:53 AM | Maia Stanhope (Administrator)

     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  S.1047: DIC Improvement Act of 2019

    April 5, 2019

    Tester Fights for Stronger Benefits for Montana’s 1,000 Gold Star Family Members

    Senator recognizes Gold Star Wives Day with bill to bolster support for survivors of those killed in line of duty

    (U.S. Senate) – On Gold Star Wives Day, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is introducing legislation to better support spouses and children who have lost a loved one in service to this country.

    More than 1,000 Montana family members of service members who died in the line of duty, and of disabled veterans who died from a service-connected condition receive a monthly Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefit from the VA. Tester’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act will give these family members an additional $300 per month. Doing so would make it fairer by bringing benefits for surviving military families more in line with federal employee and Department of Defense survivor benefits. 

    “Families who are grieving the loss of a parent who served this country should never face financial uncertainty,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “These brave men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice and it’s our duty to give their loved ones more economic security.”

    Tester’s bill also ensures survivors aren’t penalized for receiving these benefits by preventing an unfair offset that denies them the compensation to which they are entitled. Nearly 200 Montanans currently face this offset.

    Veterans and Gold Star families support Tester’s bill. 

    “I am grateful and very thankful that the Senate is willing to bring attention to those surviving spouses that have fallen far behind other federal programs and therefore have not gotten the full benefit of the ultimate sacrifice that our service members made," said Crystal Wenum, National President of the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. “We think this is an issue that spans partisan politics and brings well deserved parity with other federal programs.  It is the right thing to do and I thank Senator Tester and the Co-Sponsors that have brought this attention to the DIC issue."

    “We applaud Senator Tester for reintroducing the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act in the 116th Congress,” said DAV National Commander Dennis Nixon. “DAV strongly recommends this legislation that provides greater support to deserving survivors of disabled veterans. A veteran’s lifelong disability or service-related death can result in undue economic hardship on their spouse and children; this legislation increases financial support for them after the passing of their loved one. We’re grateful Senator Tester has continuously advocated for not just service-connected disabled veterans, but for their families as well.”Tester’s bill can be read online HERE


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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

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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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