The below resources can help surviving spouses navigate the complex world of obtaining military benefits, find much-needed comfort and support, and work through the difficult days after the loss of a spouse.
National MOAA. MOAA can be your first line of information. You’ll find online resources such as links to most benefits agencies and articles written by experienced professionals and regular folks who have been where you are.
MOAA Chapters. Find your local MOAA chapter, and you’ll have a community of supportive friends who are willing to assist you with many of your questions. Most chapters have a surviving spouse liaison who is directly connected to a network of people who have a shared experience.
MOAA Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter. Join this quarterly conference call for information and have your questions answered. It is a great forum to connect with the military community of surviving spouses. Hear firsthand from experts in financial planning, benefits information, and more. For additional information or to join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Military OneSource. Find information and resources for all areas of military life on this comprehensive website. Special sections include DoD Casualty Assistance information and links to other important resources.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS offers many resources for those experiencing the loss of a loved one, including a library of books, retreats, camps for children, and a social community.
Your Financial Adviser. Hopefully you have a financial adviser who can assist in navigating the complex world of filing for benefits and how to manage financial resources in the days ahead. Be sure to have an adviser who is not trying to sell a product but can deliver expert advice. Look for someone with the certified financial planner (CFP) credential.
[RELATED: How to Select Your Financial Adviser]
Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA is a very large government agency, and it might be difficult to navigate to get the answers you need. A veterans service organization can assist you.
Snopes.com. There are many internet rumors and fake stories. You can avoid miss-information by checking with a trusted source. Snopes.com provides the background and lets you know if what you heard is fact or fiction. Beware of the ads that are peppered throughout the site; they can be easy to click on by mistake.
Gold Star Wives of America Inc. This organization was founded after World War II and provides a unique service for a widow/widower not available from any other organization.
Surviving Spouses of MOAA Facebook Page. If you have an account on Facebook, you can join this group and make connections with MOAA surviving spouses from across the U.S. The page has been a valued resource for information about the Survivor Benefit Plan-Dependency and Indemnify Compensation offset and was instrumental in the advocacy that led to its repeal.