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MILITARY: Tax on widows shameful

Letter by Norman Campbell, DuPont on Nov. 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm with No Comments »
November 16, 2010 9:12 am

Having paid the ultimate price in sorrow and tears because of the loss of their loved ones in service to this nation, more than 55,000 grieving military retiree widows have one of two death compensation payments due them deducted from the other. In effect, they are singled out to pay a “military widows-only tax.”

Two programs are meant to care for military retiree widows: The VA-paid Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) paid to widows of all veterans who die of service-connected causes, and the military Survivors Benefit Plan (SBP), a life insurance program provided to active-duty members and offered as an option to military retirees with premiums paid out of their pensions.

Congress directs the deduction of the VA payment from the life insurance SBP payment. This eliminates all or much of the SBP payment, particularly to the widows of the lower ranked. More than 1,800 military retiree widows in this state are subject to the “military widows-only tax” that on average means a tax payment from each of them of $11,136 each year.

It is disgraceful that Congress has not acted to correct such unreasonable treatment of this nation’s military widows.

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