GSW Legislative Goals 2023-2024
Our primary focus is to improve and protect existing survivor benefits and to eliminate benefit inequities. The goals as voted at the 2023 78th National Convention by the general membership are as follows.
#1: DIC Increase: Increase DIC, which is currently 43% of the basic rate for a veteran receiving disability compensation rated at 100%. Other Federal survivor programs provide up to 55% of their spouse's retirement. The current bill would make DIC equitable to Federal survivor programs. This bill would also change the criteria to enable the surviving spouse to receive pro-rated DIC if the veteran is 100% disabled for five years instead of 10. This means after five years the cause of death would not rely on service-connection.
#2: Suicide Prevention and Issues: We are concerned with the high number of suicides for both Active Duty and Veterans, as well as the aftermath of their surviving families. GSW stand ready to assist those with difficulty in obtaining survivor benefits.
#3: Remarriage Benefits: GSW has been successful in having the remarriage age reduced from age 57 to age 55; but there is much left to be done.
We are fortunate to continue working as members of The Military Coalition (TMC), as well as working with representatives of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congressional representatives, their staff, and committees continue to be important in our efforts. These relationships enable us to better represent Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. in efforts that serve our membership effectively.
GSW is also an active member of the Coalition Toxic Exposure of American Military (TEAM). While we have had great successes in the area of toxic exposure, there is much left to be done.