Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) has cosponsored H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act. This is a bi-partisan bill that allows surviving spouses of military members to not forgo their Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments if they become eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payments when their spouse dies. Under current law, surviving spouses who are eligible for both payments must forfeit a dollar of their SBP annuity for every DIC dollar they receive. This offset can completely wipe out the monthly SBP annuity that the family already spent years paying for. This bill would repeal provisions that require the offset of payments.

“Our veterans and their families have already sacrificed so much,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “A surviving spouse of a military member should receive the best possible retiree benefits – they should not have to worry about their payments being erased due to an arbitrary law that requires them to forfeit the payments they so deserve. I am proud to continually stand with our military and their families and do everything in my power to make their lives easier. I am forever indebted to their ultimate sacrifice to our country.”

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is in support of this bill. Congresswoman Stefanik was also a cosponsor of this bill in the 115th Congress.