LEGISLATION NEWS WILL BE POSTED BY OUR NEW CHAIR--ROSALIE HORTON, contact her at  rosehorton@me.com
 
 

All active duty service members and retirees need to make phone calls, send e-mails and visit their Members of Congress, to ask for their co-sponsorship and vote to pass this SBP/DIC offset elimination legislation. You must speak for your fallen military comrades in arms, and do what you can for their surviving spouses and families.  This is what we do in the military family.  No fallen comrade is ever left behind. 

SSIA was only extended until May of 2018 - not even a whole year - at $310 a month.

Consider joining Facebook, and ask to join the SBP-DIC Offset 2017 Facebook group. It’s a “closed group” so you must be approved by the moderator. 

Kathy Prout, moderator of this Facebook page, posted recently:  “Get involved and work for your spouse's earned benefits! We need every one of you. Go into the files under info and start reading to start. Get on our conference calls!  There are only 63,000 SBP-DIC Offset Surviving Spouses.”

“SBP-DIC Offset 2017 Facebook Group” has a membership of 1,000 affected surviving spouses working to pass H.R. 846 (House), S. 339 (Senate).

All of us need to be making phone calls, sending e-mails, making Congressional office visits either locally or on the Hill.  We are responsible for each other.  It is the Mission of SMW to “educate and advocate for the protection and preservation of the entitlements and benefits for the betterment of military widows, veterans and active military personnel, to provide those we serve with the information and services necessary to maintain or improve their quality of life.”

 

 

“SBP-DIC Offset 2017 Facebook Group” with Representative Joe Wilson on the Hill, March 30, 2017

H.R. 846 -Introduced in House (02/03/2017) by Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-2)

Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act

This bill: (1) repeals certain provisions that require the offset of amounts paid in dependency and indemnity compensation from Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities for the surviving spouses of former military personnel who are entitled to military retired pay or who would be entitled to retired pay except for being under 60 years of age, (2) prohibits requiring repayment of certain amounts previously paid to SBP recipients in the form of a retired pay refund, and (3) requires (current law authorizes) the Secretary of the military department concerned to pay an annuity to a member's dependent children when there is no eligible surviving spouse.

 What we can offer members, if they join the Society of Military Widows:

1.  Membership in a national military widows organization with a total active membership of approximately 5,000.

2.  Camaraderie among sister military widows, and emotional support in grief.

3.  National SMW website (open to the public) with updated information on legislative issues from Legislative Chair; opportunity to request information about military benefits; blog for members; and much more:  http://www.militarywidows.org/home.aspx

4.  Regularly scheduled monthly Legislative Conference Calls on the fourth Wednesday of each month throughout the year (except November and December). 

5.  Lobbying Congress on our military surviving spouses legislative issues:  Rosalie Horton, Legislative Chair, regularly visits Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, and will take your letters with her.  Any members who live in the Washington, D.C. area - or are visiting the area - may contact Rosalie and schedule visits together.

6.  SBP-DIC Offset Facebook group moderated by SMW member Kathy Prout (closed to members of group) including files section for access to historic data and legislative information. 

7.  Annual Convention for members and guests (usually in October).

8.  National SMW newsletter being sent by postal mail to members in 2017 on a quarterly basis, plus a weekly news brief sent by e-mail.

9.  24/7/365  availability to talk with SMW National President:  (951) 525-3561  or e-mail: clmcgraw@hotmail.com ~ Catherine McGraw

My goal is to encourage our members to continue supporting each other and those who join our ranks.  We need to be active in letting our Congressional Representatives know we are here and need their attention.

 
Our annual convention will be in September this year and we will have more information soon.  It will be in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Embassy Suites Downtown.  We will be celebrating our 50th year.  Another special event this year to celebrate this milestone will be the publishing of our story, "Military Wives and Widows Tell Their Stories" edited by Rita Berman, a SMW member from North Carolina.