MOAA Board Member Calls on Congress to End the Widows Tax

MOAA Board Member Calls on Congress to End the Widows Tax
From left, Rep. David Trone, D-Md., meets with past Maryland Council President Col. Harvey Kaplan, USA (Ret), and MOAA board member Rear Adm. Jurkowsky, USN (Ret), shortly after Trone announced his support for the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act during MOAA's annual Storming the Hill event in April. (photo by Sean Shanahan for MOAA)

By MOAA Staff

Now is the time for Congress to fix the "incomprehensible injustice" known as the "widows tax," a MOAA board member wrote in a commentary recently published by The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital newspaper.

The piece, by Rear Adm. Tom Jurkowsky, USN (Ret), asks House and Senate members in general, and the Maryland delegation in particular, "to correct this long-term wrong — a wrong that equates to turning their backs on the survivors of military members who have lost their lives in service to country."

The commentary addresses potential legislative fixes, including the ongoing push by MOAA and other groups for House members to include an amendment to that chamber's version of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2500) that would stop requiring surviving miltary spouses to forfeit part or all of their military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity when they receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

[TAKE ACTION: Ask your House member to support an NDAA amendment ending the widows tax]

More than 65,000 military families are affected by the offset, losing about $12,000 in benefits a year on average. A wide majority -- 365 House members and 75 senators, as of July 8 -- have cosponsored standalone legislation to end the offset. An effort in late June to add an amendment to the Senate NDAA was unsuccessful. 

Read Jurkowsky's full commentary here. Read MOAA's most recent position paper on the widows tax here.

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