Posts Tagged ‘Widows Tax’

Widows of Veterans Fighting For Survivor Benefits

Friday, February 12th, 2010

The “widow’s tax” is a government policy that refuses widows of veterans who died from a military service related cause to collect:

  • Military survivor’s benefits (retirement pay); and
  • The full annuity (basically an insurance policy) purchased when their military spouses were alive.

The Senate has voted to eliminate this “tax” every year since 2005, but at the last minute every year the bill  ends up being written in private, and both the House and Senate drop the vote. The widows lobbying for the abolition of the “tax” are told every year there is no funding for them. There are approximately 54,000 survivors being affected by the policy, and with the ongoing current wars, that number is growing.

Politicians, however, keep promising they will help. The widows continue to find politicians to champion their cause at least in the short term, and they are always left flat in the end. Both Nancy Pelosi and President Obama, while still an Illinois Senator, took up the cause and promised to help the widows. Neither one of them have taken any steps to follow through with their promise.

Congress could help the widows, but it would take a massive vote. In the very least, the widows would like to see enough politicians with enough political will to promote this issue to the level on which it deserves to be recognized. Congress did take action in 2008 and granted survivors $50 more per month than what they were receiving and the widows consider that somewhat of a victory.

Perhaps one day Congress will see that taking care of the families of  dead soldiers sent to defend this country as enough of a priority to take action. The widows have amassed 300 co-sponsors for their legislation in the House and at least 50 in the Senate. Now it is just a waiting game to see if Congress will pass it into law.

Learn more about the widow’s tax and its progression through Congress.

If you are a surviving family member of a deceased veteran, you may be entitled to certain benefits.  The law office of  LaVan & Neidenberg may be able to help,  contact our veterans disability rights firm today.

Florida Veterans Affected By VA Disability Benefit Backlog

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Florida veterans are voicing their concerns with the way in which the Department of Veterans Affairs handles disability benefit claims and survivor benefits, sometimes referred to as the “widow’s tax.” 

A story on Tallahassee.com reports that a group of interested individuals will meet Wednesday with the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to discuss such issues as the “backlog for disability claims” and how this affects disabled Florida veterans. 

Thousands of disabled veterans around the country face long waiting periods for their veterans’ disability benefits. Some of those disabled veterans will wait, only to experience a denied disability claim. 

Veterans’ issues are a hot topic in Florida where veterans’ disability claims and denials impact so many state residents: 

  • It’s estimated that 1.7 million veterans live in Florida.
  • Florida has the second-highest population of veterans in the country.
  • California is home to the most veterans in the U.S. 

Some of the topics for discussion at Wednesday’s meeting will include: 

  • The nearly 400,000 pending disability claims for veterans in the United States and how this impacts disabled Florida veterans.
  • The VA and Department of Defense of policies, sometimes known as the “widow’s tax,” that regulate how veterans’ spouses can collect Defense retirement benefits and VA disability benefits after their veteran spouse dies. 

In recognition and respect of their service to their country, disabled Florida veterans deserve to have their voices heard and their concerns addressed. They deserve to know how and when they will receive the disability benefits to which they are entitled.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida disability lawyers, LaVan & Neidenberg, represent over 5000 disability claimants. Our disability attorneys have experience with cross examining agency-appointed medical and vocational experts and take time when speaking with you about your disability claim. Call us today at 1-888-234-5758 for a FREE legal consultation. There is NO OBLIGATION to hire our firm and there are NO FEES unless one of our trained disability lawyers wins your case.