It is the time of year to renew your Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. membership. Gold Star Wives needs you, your support, your ideas and your strength to continue to work on improving our benefits.
As a result of your dues and donations GSW has made much progress including:
· Effective January 2015, the Fry Scholarship which previously had been only for surviving children, has been extended to surviving spouses of those who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001.
· The creation of an Office for Survivors within the Department of Veterans Affairs (Moira Flanders, Director, 1-202-461-1077) to assure a continuity of equitable benefits and an improved delivery of benefit information to survivors.
· Increased education benefits for an extra 10 years for spouses of active duty deaths
· Reinstatement to receive DIC if you have remarried and that remarriage has ended in death or divorce.
· Retention of DIC upon remarriage after age 57. If you remarry, report your new name and address to the VA.
· TriCare for Life (TFL) with a prescription benefit for those over 65 and eligible for TriCare.
· ChampVA for Life (CFL) with a prescription benefit for those over 65 and eligible for ChampVA.
· ChampVA benefits for spouses who remarry after age 55.
· Equal cost of Living adjustment (COLA) for DIC widows.
In 2018, the Government Relations Committee is focusing on the following areas:
· DIC Increase
· SBP/DIC Offset
· TRICARE proposed fee increases
We continue to be available for your questions and concerns when you have “no place to turn.” It is only with your continued fellowship, dues and donations that the above increased benefits have been accomplished. Without you there would be no Gold Star Wives organization to continue to reach out to new surviving spouses and to maintain our benefits as well as to seek new and improved ones.
Thanks and best wishes,
Crystal L. Wenum