Repeal SBP/DIC Offset 

Letter sent to:  

U.S. Senator: Bill Nelson

U.S. Representative: Joe Wilson 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                              February 10, 2011 

On behalf of the more than 100,000 members of the Association of the United States Army, I write to thank you for introducing HR 178 / S. 260, legislation that would repeal the law requiring a dollar-for-dollar deduction of veterans’ benefits for service-connected deaths from military survivors’ Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity.  Your legislation also would prohibit the Department of Defense (DoD) from recouping retired pay refunds previously paid to SBP recipients.

We believe that if military service caused a member’s death, the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) that the VA pays their survivor should be added to the SBP benefits the disabled retiree paid for, not substituted for them.  In the case of members who died on active duty, a surviving spouse with children can avoid the dollar-for-dollar offset only by assigning SBP to their children.  That forces the spouse to give up any SBP claim after the children attain their majority – leaving the spouse with only a $1154 monthly indemnity from the VA.  Surely those who gave their lives for their country deserve fairer compensation for their surviving spouses.

The elimination of this survivor benefit inequity is a top AUSA legislative goal for 2011.  We strongly support your legislation and urge your colleagues to add their names as cosponsors.

                                                                                             Sincerely,

                                                                                             GORDON R. SULLIVAN
                                                                                                General, USA Retired