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October 27, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) released the following statement after she helped introduce Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s (NH-01) Surviving Spouses Income Security Act, H.R. 4106, designed to improve the formula used to allocate benefits and compensation to Gold Star Families -- the family members of deceased service members:

“When a service member is laid to rest for their sacrifice to our country, the very least we can do as a nation is to ensure the financial stability of their loved ones,” said Rosen. “By increasing payments to Gold Star Families and securing their access to benefits, we can honor and comfort the surviving spouses and children of fallen service members. I am proud to work with Congresswoman Shea-Porter on this legislation and will continue to honor service members and their families and work to help them obtain their much-deserved benefits and resources.”

BACKGROUND: Introduced earlier this week, H.R. 4106 would improve “dependency and indemnity compensation” (DIC), which is a payment made to the surviving dependents of either a deceased active duty service member, retired military member who has died from a service-connected cause, or a veteran who was rated 100% disabled for a period of ten years prior to a death, not caused by their service-connected condition. The Surviving Spouses Income Security Act creates a new Dependents and Survivors Income Security (DSIS) benefit, equal to 55% of the rate of compensation for a veteran with a 100% service-connected disability. Currently, DIC to military families is not equivalent to that paid to surviving family members of civilian federal employees who are killed while performing their duties, and this bill would more closely align these benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs,
3,662 Nevadans are beneficiaries of the VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefit, which is paid to Gold Star Families, surviving spouses and family members of veterans who pass away as a result of their service-connected disability, and survivors of veterans who were 100% service-connected disabled for at least 10 years before their death. The benefit is often much less than VA disability compensation paid prior to the veteran’s death.