*Good News: President Donald Trump signed the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Dec. 20, 2019. The "Widow's Tax" was finally eliminated. Learn more here. 


All active duty service members and retirees need to make phone calls, send e-mails and visit their Members of Congress, to ask for their co-sponsorship and vote to pass this SBP/DIC offset elimination legislation. You must speak for your fallen military comrades in arms, and do what you can for their surviving spouses and families.  This is what we do in the military family.  No fallen comrade is ever left behind. 

SSIA was extended indefinitely at $310 a month.

Consider joining Facebook, and ask to join the SBP-DIC Offset 2017 Facebook group. It’s a “closed group” so you must be approved by the moderator. 

Kathy Prout, moderator of this Facebook page, posted recently:  “Get involved and work for your spouse's earned benefits! We need every one of you. Go into the files under info and start reading to start. Get on our conference calls!  There are only 63,000 SBP-DIC Offset Surviving Spouses.”

“SBP-DIC Offset 2017 Facebook Group” has a membership of 1,000 affected surviving spouses working to pass H.R. 846 (House), S. 339 (Senate).

All of us need to be making phone calls, sending e-mails, making Congressional office visits either locally or on the Hill.  We are responsible for each other.  It is the Mission of SMW to “educate and advocate for the protection and preservation of the entitlements and benefits for the betterment of military widows, veterans and active military personnel, to provide those we serve with the information and services necessary to maintain or improve their quality of life.”



“SBP-DIC Offset 2017 Facebook Group” with Representative Joe Wilson on the Hill, March 30, 2017

H.R. 553 - Introduced in House (01/15/2019) by Congressman Joe Wilson (SC)  now in Military Personnel Sub Committee under the House Armed Services Committee.

Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act

This bill: (1) repeals certain provisions that require the offset of amounts paid in dependency and indemnity compensation from Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities for the surviving spouses of former military personnel who are entitled to military retired pay or who would be entitled to retired pay except for being under 60 years of age, (2) prohibits requiring repayment of certain amounts previously paid to SBP recipients in the form of a retired pay refund, and (3) requires (current law authorizes) the Secretary of the military department concerned to pay an annuity to a member's dependent children when there is no eligible surviving spouse.

 What we can offer members, if they join the Society of Military Widows:

1.  Membership in a national military widows organization with a total active membership of approximately 5,000.

2.  Camaraderie among sister military widows, and emotional support in grief.

3.  National SMW website (open to the public) with updated information on legislative issues from Legislative Chair; opportunity to request information about military benefits; blog for members; and much more:  http://www.militarywidows.org/home.aspx

4.  SBP-DIC Offset Facebook group moderated by SMW member Kathy Prout (closed to members of group) including files section for access to historic data and legislative information. 

5.  Annual Convention for members and guests (usually in October).

6.  National SMW newsletter being sent by postal mail yearly on a quarterly basis, plus a weekly news brief set by e-mail.

7.  24/7/365  availability to talk with SMW National President Margaret Melchi (719) 331-6689 or e-mail mmelchi@gmail.com.

My goal is to encourage our members to continue supporting each other and those who join our ranks.  We need to be active in letting our Congressional Representatives know we are here and need their attention.