Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working across the aisle to protect and strengthen Gold Star families’ benefits.
Sen. Ossoff is launching a push to pass the bipartisan Love Lives on Act of 2023, legislation he co-sponsored to protect Gold Star spouses from losing benefits.
Currently, Gold Star spouses who remarry before the age of 55 lose access to certain survivor benefits, including Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Survivor Benefits Plan (SBP) payments, among others.
“Our Bipartisan legislation will help ensure Gold Star spouses – those whose husbands or wives were killed in action or died while on active duty – are treated fairly, with the freedom to grieve and live their lives free of unnecessary financial hardship,” Sen. Ossoff said.
This legislation is supported broadly by Veterans Service Organizations and others, including the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), The American Legion and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
The bipartisan Love Lives on Act will:
- Allow surviving spouses to retain the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) regardless of marital status.
- Allow surviving spouses to remain eligible for education benefits under the Fry Scholarship regardless of marital status.
- Allow surviving spouses to use commissary stores and Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) retail facilities.
- Allow remarried spouses to regain TRICARE benefits if that marriage subsequently ends in death, divorce, or annulment.
- Remove the “hold themselves out to be married” clause that can cause surviving spouses to lose their survivor benefits without being remarried.
This is the latest step in Sen. Ossoff’s push to deliver benefits for Georgia veterans and their families.
Last year, Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill to help Georgia veterans afford mental health and substance abuse treatment became law.
This summer, the Senate passed Sens. Ossoff and Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) bipartisan Junior Enlisted Housing Affordability Actto improve how the Department of Defense (DoD) calculates housing allowances for junior enlisted servicemembers with dependents to more accurately assess their housing costs.
This summer, the Senate also passed Sens. Ossoff and Eric Schmitt’s (R-MO) bipartisan Military Spouse Career Support Act of 2023 to grant reimbursements for military families’ business expenses when moving between active and reserve assignments — with the goal of improving retention rates across the armed forces.
Earlier this year, Sens. Ossoff and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the bipartisan Military Families Mental Health Services Act to allow the Secretary of Defense to waive out-of-pocket expenses for military families on TRICARE for their first three outpatient mental health visits per year, lowering costs and helping families access the treatment they need — which passed as part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.
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