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.

 

 Janet Snyder:                                                                                                              702 227 6566
  Thank you for being a member of SMW.  This is a reminder about the NAUS transition:  The officers who were members of NAUS had their membership transferred to MOAA.  The enlisted servicemembers who were members of NAUS had their membership transferred to TREA.  The military widows who were members of NAUS and SMW kept their membership in SMW and we were on our own.  We found another company (AMS) in Maryland and signed a contract with them to do the same things that NAUS was doing for us.  AMS is handling our membership database, sending out newsletters, and also handling our financial business. 

 

We trust you will want to come and join us at our SMW Convention in Las Vegas on October 15 - 20, 2017.  It is the one time in the year that we can meet military widows from all over the country.  Flights to Las Vegas are usually inexpensive.  The hotel cost and meals are also inexpensive.  If you share a room with another military widow, the cost per night will be less than $40. each.  Registration of $140. covers the Welcome Reception on the 15th, Lunch on the 16th, and the Banquet on the 19th.  You will see in the attached newsletter the variety of restaurants at South Point and prices are good, because it is an off-Strip hotel. 

 

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 Wednesdayof 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:  (702) 227-6566  or e-mail: groundhog71@gmail.com  ~ Janet Snyder

 

 

My goal is to make these two years EASY and FUN.  We are at the stage of our lives when we want life to be a joy, not a hassle or a burden in any way.  This is why I want you to seriously consider eliminating the need to provide written reports for the Convention in Las Vegas.  Most people don't read them anyway.  We are too busy meeting new people and renewing friendships with members from around the country. 

 

The Annual SMW Convention is so important to all of our members.  SMW Convention Committees put their hearts and souls into making it a great experience for all of us.  What I remember about attending my first (2011) and subsequent annual meetings / conventions:  the smiles and friendliness of all the SMW members.  We are a happy group, and it shows.  Let's continue this tradition.  We can hang loose with a minimum of organized meetings and workshops.

At the October 15 - 20, 2017 Convention in Las Vegas:  only the Welcome Reception on October 15, Lunch on October 16, and Banquet on October 19 are included in the Registration Fee.  The rest of the time you are free to do whatever you like.  You can take tours, go shopping; or attend the optional workshops in the Hospitality Room.  There is something scheduled every day for those who plan to stay at the hotel. 

 

Remember to call me or send an e-mail, if you have any questions or suggestions for how we can make SMW better and more relevant to you.  I am enjoying getting to know more of you, as we talk on the phone and send e-mails to each other.  We are a special sisterhood, and I want you to know that I love and value each one of you.  Please write your stories and send them to me.  Each one of us has a unique story to tell.

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Janet Snyder

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