Support Adding Key Survivor Legislation to the FY 2023 NDAA

Support Adding Key Survivor Legislation to the FY 2023 NDAA
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Each year, legislators use the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as a vehicle for smaller defense-related legislation to become law. MOAA has supported three survivor-related bills this session which make perfect candidates for NDAA inclusion, and which would make significant improvements to the lives of this important part of our wider uniformed services community.


As the FY 2023 is drafted and marked up, reach out to your elected officials and ask them to support these important bills, either via the links below or by using MOAA’s toll-free line to the U.S. Capitol switchboard – 866-272-MOAA (6622) – to connect with your legislators' offices.


Supporting Families of the Fallen Act 


The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs provide a maximum coverage of $400,000, a figure which has not been updated since 2005. With current inflation and the cumulative effect of 17 years without an update, it is time for SGLI and VGLI to catch up: The Supporting Families of the Fallen Act will increase this important coverage to $500,000.


Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act  ​


When a retired servicemember passes, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service recoups their last month of retirement pay. This is frequently a terrible surprise for a new survivor and adds unnecessary financial stress to a grieving widow. The Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act would allow survivors to avoid this immediate recoupment (and prevent surprise overdraft fees) and instead gradually repay the amount over the next 12 months or request debt forgiveness.


Caring for Survivors Act  ​


This important legislation would raise Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) to the same levels as other federal survivor programs. It would boost DIC to 55% of the compensation of a 100% disabled veteran, up from the current 43%; correcting this injustice is long overdue.


The bill would also reform the so-called “10-year rule,” which prohibits survivors from receiving DIC benefits if a 100% disabled servicemember dies of a non-service connected injury less than 10 years after receiving that disability rating. This bill would allow beneficiaries to receive a portion of DIC beginning at five years, with that amount gradually rising until reaching full compensation at the 10-year mark.


[RELATED: MOAA Premium and Life Members, Download MOAA's Survivor's Planning Guide]


Unfortunately, the unofficial cost estimate for the Caring for Survivors Act gives lawmakers sticker shock at roughly $20 billion over 10 years. This means MOAA needs your dedicated, long-term advocacy to help build co-sponsors in both chambers for this legislation.


Persistent Grassroots Engagement

Sending multiple emails, writing letters, and making phone calls to your representative and both of your senators has an iterative effect. They get tired of saying no.


Share the links and the toll-free number listed above with your extended network of family and friends. They do not need to be MOAA members to support these important advocacy initiatives. Be sure to use your own words and experiences when speaking with staffers and asking for their support.


Stay tuned for developing news on the NDAA and other MOAA advocacy priorities at MOAA’s Advocacy News page.


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About the Author

Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)
Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)

Belinsky retired in 2019 after serving 22 years, with overseas tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He joined the MOAA team in 2019 as Director, Currently Serving and Retired Affairs.