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Southwest Oklahoma MOAA

Southwest Oklahoma MOAA
Southwest Oklahoma MOAA
Thought for the Week...

Whenever you express gratefulness, you make yourself happier.  But when you share it directly with the person you feel grateful to, the benefits accumulate. 

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Survivor Benefit Plan

The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) provides eligible beneficiaries with a benefit called an annuity, a monthly payment for the beneficiary’s lifetime.  The amount of this benefit is typically 55 percent of the retiree’s retired pay at the cost of 6.5 percent of monthly retired pay.  SBP is paid by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a benefit paid monthly to eligible survivors through the VA. To qualify for this benefit, you must be the spouse, child, or dependent parent of a veteran who died while serving on active military duty or as a result of a service-connected disability or who had a disability rating of totally disabled for a certain length of time before death. Guardmembers and reservists who were activated for federal military service and later separated are considered veterans.

Under current law, SBP is reduced dollar for dollar by the DIC awarded, currently $1,254.19 per month, leaving the surviving spouse with the remainder of the SBP — or, in many cases, nothing.  Approximately 62,000 surviving spouses are affected by the SBP-DIC offset, and 35,000 of these receive only DIC as their SBP is completely offset.  This means a survivor receives an income of only $1,254.19 a month from DIC instead of full SBP plus full DIC.  The average SBP payment is $988 a month.

These are two separate programs for two separate purposes. In the entire federal government, un-remarried military surviving spouses are the only insured entity to incur this offset.  Servicemembers and spouses purchase SBP at retirement to ensure the surviving spouse will have income upon the retiree’s death.  DIC is purchased with service and sacrifice.  The 100-percent disabled retirees receive disability compensation in addition to their retired pay, yet the benefit is not paid for the deceased retiree who was 100 percent disabled and who died because of service to the country.  This is wrong!  Over the past 13 years, bills have been introduced in Congress to change the law and eliminate this unjust offset.  So far these bills have not been passed into law.  Entering our 14th year, Senator Nelson (Fla.) and Congressman Wilson (S.C.) are slated to introduce new legislation.

MOAA supports elimination of the SBP-DIC offset.  It affects our members who purchased SBP upon retirement and now suffer a disability.  If they should die of their service-connected disabilities, their spouses could be impacted by the offset.  See MOAA’s Vow of Honor publication to learn more about this unjust offset.

 

Southwest Oklahoma MOAA

Southwest Oklahoma MOAA
Southwest Oklahoma MOAA
Southwest Oklahoma MOAA

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