Roe Cosponsors Legislation to Expand Benefits for Surviving Military Spouses
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-1) signed on as a cosponsor of legislation to increase support for the spouses of our veterans who died as a result of serving our nation. H.R. 2243, the Surviving Spouses’ Benefit Improvement Act of 2009 was introduced to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee by Ranking Member Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) and Congressman Tim Waltz (D-MN).
This legislation is a bipartisan effort that would increase the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits paid to widows and widowers whose spouses died while on active duty or as the result of a service connected illness or injury. The bill would also increase the Dependents’ Indemnity Compensation (DIC) by twelve percent, so that the base rate of DIC is equal to fifty-five percent of the rate of compensation paid to a totally disabled veteran. Currently, the rate of basic DIC is only about forty-three percent of the compensation paid to a totally disabled veteran. H.R. 2243 would also eliminate the Survivor Benefit Plan/DIC offset, which is also known as the widow’s tax.
“When an individual is serving our country, it is not just them making sacrifices- their families pay a price as well,” said Roe. “We are working hard to care for our veterans, but it’s time to start taking better care of our military families. This legislation is a step in the right direction.”