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

GSW Legislative Goals 2018-2019

Contact Senators and RepresentativesOur primary focus is to improve and protect  existing survivor benefits and to eliminate benefit inequities. The Government Relations Committee proposes the following legislative priorities for the coming year.

1) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Increase:

 The flat rate DIC has not been increased since 1993.Compared to other Federal survivor programs, DIC lags behind almost 12%. The current DIC flat rate is 43% of the compensation of a fully disabled single veteran.

 Other Federal survivor programs provide a survivor annuity of 50-55% of retirement pay to the surviving spouse. We propose a 12% increase once or a “Sunset Provision” of 3% each for 10 years for DIC to become equitable with other Federal survivor programs. We are working on having a primary sponsor for a bill in the House and Senate.

2) Survivor Benefit Plan/DIC Offset (SBP/DIC Offset): We propose continued work on passage of the concurrent receipt of DIC and SBP. We have bills in the current Congress (HR 846 and S 339) to amend Title 10, United States Code, to repeal the requirement of the SBP/DIC offset which is a dollar for dollar offset.

3) Change in the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. Federal Charter: US Code: Title 36>Subtitle II> Part B> Section 80507, Restrictions: (b) Political Activities. The corporation, or a director or officer as such may not contribute in any political activity or in any manner attempt to influence legislation. GSW wishes to eliminate the last few words of Section 80507 (b) “in any manner attempt to influence legislation.”

5) Eliminate The Remarriage Penalty for Younger Surviving Spouses:

To change current law that unfairly binds young surviving spouses to widowhood. If surviving spouses remarry before the age of 57 they forfeit lifesaving benefits afforded to them. Congressional research and surviving spouse experience shows age 57 is an arbitrary age that unfairly penalizes younger surviving spouses. There isn’t any specific rationale requiring surviving spouses to remain unmarried. Removing the remarriage limitation completely, especially the age limit on all benefits including Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), home loans, educational benefits, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA), burial benefits, and Tri-care is needed.

Networking: We are fortunate to continue working with The Military Coalition (TMC) and Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) as well as representatives of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congressional representatives, their staff and the committee staff continue to be important in our efforts. These relationships enable us to better represent Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. in efforts to serve our membership effectively.


NAVIGATE

Contact Senators and Representatives

U.S. Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121

or MOAA's toll free number
1-866-272-6622

Ask for your Representative or Senator's Office



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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.

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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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