MOAA's fight to end the widows tax was highlighted on a Washington, D.C. news station this week as two surviving spouses shared their stories.
MOAA has long supported a repeal of the widows tax, which is the deduction of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities from the VA's Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) paid to survivors of fallen servicemembers. The widows tax will again be a key issue for MOAA during its annual Storming the Hill event this spring as it meets with federal lawmakers.
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“This is not welfare, this is an earned benefit,” said Kristy DiDomenico, whose husband Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason DiDomenico died suddenly on July 6, 2018.
Current law requires survivors of servicemembers who died of a service-connected cause to forfeit part or all of their SBP when they are awarded the VA's DIC, offsetting more than $15,000 annually, according to MOAA's most recent calculations. The offset also wipes out funds for survivors whose servicemembers purchased the plan through deductions from their retired pay.
“Everybody has a different story, but we're all after the same mission,” said Kathy Thorp, whose husband Navy Capt. Owen Thorp died on Oct. 29, 2017. “If they say they're going to support the veterans their families, this is part of it.”
Amanda Dolasinski is MOAA's staff writer. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMOAA.