As this year’s National Defense Authorization Act makes its way through Congress, many military families are waiting with bated breath for something they’ve been fighting for for 18 years – benefits.
This bipartisan defense bill making its way through Congress repeals the “Military Widows Tax,” a provision that prevented Gold Star families from receiving full survivor benefits from Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, and includes benefits that many military spouses have been fighting for for nearly two decades.
“It [Military Widows Tax] has just been one of the most unfair programs that the United States has had that has been hoisted on military families,” said Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who helped eliminate the provision, reported Fox 6 News.
“They [military spouses] had worked on this for so long and they thought the country was just ignoring their pleas,” Jones continued.
“I think it’s been a budget issue. You know, a lot of times, people up here, they tend to look at dollars and cents more than they do right or wrong. They [military spouses] now know people truly care.”
The bill, which was co-sponsored by almost 80 Senators, has already passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate soon. If passed, the changes will be phased in over a three year period, benefiting more than 65,000 surviving military spouses and their families.