SBP-DIC Offset After Sharp Lawsuit

Jun 02 2010

Published by at 8:46 am under Military Benefits,VA Benefits

Survivors of military members have an opportunity for two forms of survivors’ benefits.  The most common is the purchased benefit called the Survivor Benefit Program (SBP) where the military member pays premiums from retired pay.  Currently serving members are covered by SBP automatically.  The other is a program ran by Veteran Affairs (VA) called Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC).  DIC is paid to survivors whose spouse died of Service-connected causes.

If a survivor qualifies for DIC and is covered by SBP, the DIC amount is subtracted from the SBP amount.  This is known as the SBP-DIC Offset.  MOAA has fought against this offset for some time and continues to fight against the offset on Capitol Hill.

In August 2009, 3 survivors fought in the courts against the offset for their specific situation and won.  They realized the law was worded differently for survivors who remarried after age 57.  In this specific case, the law does not stipulate an offset.  As a result, all survivors remarried after age 57 now receive full SBP and DIC payments.

As for the rest of you, MOAA now has a new argument in fighting for the elimination of the SBP-DIC offset given the Sharp case.  In addition to the Sharp case in 2008, Congress admitted the offset was wrong but rather than eliminate the offset (which Congress claims is too expensive) they passed legislation that authorized a supplemental payment as a compromise to help restore some of the SBP benefit denied by the offset.

This program is known as Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA).  SSIA is administered by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) as is SBP.  Here is the payment schedule for the SSIA:

Beginning                     Monthly Amount

October 2008                          $50
October 2009                          $60
October 2010                          $70
October 2011                          $80
October 2012                          $90
October 2013                          $100
October 2014                          $150
Increases thru 2017
October 2017                          $310

The SSIA is one foot in the door for the repeal of the offset. The Sharp case is another foot in the door. Elected representatives agree in principal for the repeal of the offset but the impediment has been the last minute consensus on how to pay for the offset elimination.  The fight will go on.

For more on the Sharp case, see this DFAS article.  General information on SBP can be found in this DFAS booklet.

67 responses so far

67 Responses to “SBP-DIC Offset After Sharp Lawsuit”

  1. Joanne Jasperon 16 Jun 2010 at 3:03 pm

    This appears to me that in order to receive your SBP and DIC and not have an offset, one is required to remarry. This is not fair. Our husbands put money into the SBP and fought in the war zone and we should not have to suffer the offset. I have been penalized since my husband died in January 1991 because I refuse to get married again. I’m still in love with my deceased husband but should not be punished because I didn’t remarry.

  2. K Sammonson 16 Jun 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I am wondering just why this article was written. There is nothing new here. DOD has been working since the court ruling to pay this new elite group of widows. MOAA’s SSID has been around for several years, and frankly most of the non-elite group of widows consider the amounts an insult! MOAA has already anounced if there is no offset, congress will provide no relief for non-elite widows.

    Can’t find an offset? Surely you must be kidding. Unwilling to find an offset or unwilling to pay is a better answer. This congress spends almost $50B/day under their willing to pay “emergency” expenditures — no need for any offsets there.

    If, as MOAA has predicted in the past, it might take at least 30 years to get this resolved — in my mind, why bother? Those that need this outrage corrected most will be dead by then.

  3. Carol McNultyon 16 Jun 2010 at 3:39 pm

    At this rate, I will be 81 years old or dead when I start receiving $310. I should have been receiving $1300 since 2003. If it wasn’t for MOAA none of us would be getting anything. Shame on the US Government!

  4. Stella A Lowryon 16 Jun 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t know how the DOD can restore the widows who remarried and not restore our SBP to the full amount our husbands paid for us. The $60.00 a month I get is an insult.

    We widows deserve better than this.

  5. Peggy Sheareron 16 Jun 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I am one of the group of widows who fall under the conditions of the lawsuit. However, I have not seen one penny in additional compensation. The articles always indicate that DOD is taking care of adjustung the status of qualifying widows. As it so happens, my late husband spent his whole career in the service of the U.S. Public Health Service. The information I have received from them indicates that the VA is responsible for identifying the qualifying widows to them and haven’t done so. I have spoken to the VA, and they indicate that they pay the services and it is their responsibility to identify the SBP widows that qualify for the new benefit. So, I am wondering if I will need to hire an attorney to “leap the hurdles” required for me to receive compensation that I have “accidently” become entitled to receive.

  6. Kimber Gordonon 16 Jun 2010 at 7:31 pm

    After reading this update it just breaks my heart even more to think my husband died thinking our boys and I would be ok. That all the money he had paid into sbp and dic would be there to take care of us. It is an insult that this money is offset. I think all Gold star wives and children have given up enough. Our husbands paid the unltimate sacrifice and so have we. Our husbands volunteered for this willingly and as wives we stood by them an supported them willingly. When does that count for something? Now to be told that you have to remarry to get what is rightfully yours, that my husband paid into for us. I don’t want to get remarried. This is rediculous and just makes the wounds even deeper. I love my country, I will always support my troops, but somedays my government embarrases me. It breaks my heart to think my husband trusted in this, and made a career at being a soldier for the betterment of his life and his family only now to be let down by the one thing he believed in most…..Im absolutely offended and appauled. Reward those that have moved on and have someone to help them, and punish the rest of us that would give it all just for one more day with our husbands…rediculous

  7. Laura Berglundon 16 Jun 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I’m not completely understanding who qualifies for the offset. My husband died of Service related causes. I remarried at 33 & later divorced. My widows pension was reinstated.Several years ago I received a letter from the VA telling me I may be eligible for more money & they would decide if I qualified; but not to contact them, they would contact me. I thought it strange at the time& disgustedly threw the letter out. My husband also was an Agent Orange victim so I considered it may be something to do with that. How do I find out if I do have more money coming?

  8. Kathleen Richardsonon 16 Jun 2010 at 9:19 pm

    It is so refreshing to hear you guys speaking out. I’ve called so many different military groups and all my legislators to get the following question answered and all I get is either no answer or one that is so vague and full of hot air that it isn’t an answer. Here’s it is: Why do both our legislators and the folks at MOAA and other advocacy groups keep insisting that before the offset is eliminated, Congress has to find a way to pay for it?

    My husband’s untimely Agent Orange death resulted in a large amount of money going back into the government’s coffers. My income (excluding my Social Security, which is my own, not my husband’s) is easily 1/3 of what it was when my husband was alive. If you factor in the disability money he received for 11 months before he died in addition to his retirement pay, the figure is more like 1/4. Where is all that money?

    One legislator’s aide did tell me that the money to pay us both the SBP and the DIC comes from a different fund than the pay our husband’s received – whatever that means.

    I figure if and when I ever receive both, I’ll be happy. In the meantime, I’ll just manage. I’m not holding my breath, though. And yes, reading the same old stuff on it is boring, but there may be women reading this who are new to the whole thing. Let’s keep moving forward and bombard our legislators, newspapers and whatever else with our annoying calls and letters.

  9. Linda Perry Bieron 16 Jun 2010 at 11:32 pm

    My husband died 12/13/1994 at VA Hospital in Little Rock, Ar. He was in Vietnam & returned disabled, I believe in 1971. I do receive DIC but not SBP. At the time of death I had to go to Fort Roots to get an Attorney, which the Judge claimed by all the proof I had that it was the VA’s fault! That took 2 years…..In the mean time I had to file Bankrupcy and borrow from different people to get by on. I don’t think they realize just what a widow goes through & I believe if you are due SPB, you should get it right along with DIC. The widows were right there in the service as their husbands. And this remarriage for them after 57 years of age is totally insane. I know because even though I do not qualify for SBP, I remarried after 57yrs old thinking life would be easier on me! Boy was I stupid! The man I married is 15 years my senior and HIS Money is HIS Money, Yes he pays the utility bills & buys food, but if I want or need something I have to use my money. And believe me there’s alot of men out there like that! Widows need all the help they can get because it’s harder than hard to live on what we recieve each month. I pray that the right thing is done for the ones that should recieve both & that the DIC is moved up to 50% as it should be also.

  10. Mildred Merrittson 17 Jun 2010 at 6:12 am

    The government has the funds to pay the widows, plain and simple. The government chooses not to pay the widows, plain and simple. { unless you remarry at 57 } I am 47, ten years to go and counting.
    The only thing we can do as a group is beg, petition, and hope for the compensation that we are due. Our husbands paid for us to recieve these funds, not only with money, but with their very lives.
    The lawmakers in Washington DC, unless directly effected by this, have no understanding what the DIC/SBP offset means to us widows. ASK US we will tell you! Gladly!
    Someday, somehow we will hopefully recieve what was supose to be part of our survivorship.
    Right this wrong lawmakers, it is the RIGHT thing to do.

  11. Jean Younton 17 Jun 2010 at 11:12 am

    My husband was the project manager for the M-16 rifle and I too am being wrongfully penalized by this offset. I am 86 years old and don’t want to think about how old I will be in 2017. All of our spouses did very important and usually dangerous work for our country . They would be apalled that the goverment doesn’t have the same dedication to them.

  12. Carole Noffsingeron 17 Jun 2010 at 12:12 pm

    There is only one thing for the survivors that are affected by this to say to the Congress. GET IT DONE AND GET IT DONE NOW! LACK OF FUNDS IS A RIDICULOUS EXCUSE!!! We are in a difficult economy now, but the funds needed are there. We have funds for everything else! The elimination of the SBP/DIC offset will not bankrupt the United States! There are always ways to fund anything that is truly needed. We all know that Congress funds causes and projects that are far less important!

    MOAA should be on top of this issue 24/7!! They should let the Congress know that this will never go away! It is already years overdue! MOAA take action now!

  13. Teressa Stewart-Spiveyon 17 Jun 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I view the SBP-DIC Offset as a ponzie scheme. Iif a private insurance carrier is found guilty offsetting benefits based on the likelihood of the beneficiary being compensated by another entity based on speculation and follow through with the offset with a condition set as specified for SBP there would be lawsuits all over the place and someone would be brought before a judge and jury and incarcerated. Men and women who served in the Department of Defense and paid the premiums for their spouses to be compensated in the event of their death then we all should be compensated regardless of being a widow or a widower or a re-marriage stipulation.
    It is a insult to the survivor and cruel joke of false hope to give to an active duty soldier and/or veteran that their spouse would receive monthly compensation to assist the survivor to try to maintain and sustain a compensation that would continue to help them pay their bills, put food on the table, help the children as they go to college and just put gas in the car. It is imperative that survivors are no longer discriminated based on relationship, re-marriage, and age restrictions, that was not taken in consideration when our spouses gave their lives to fight for the freedom of the United States of America and were told that their families would be compensated. All survivors need to be paid their retroactive SBP-DIC Offset effective immediately.

  14. Mildred Karch Simson 17 Jun 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I am one of the 700 widows who fall under the Sharp law suit. I married after age 57. I have started receiving my full monthly SBP, but not a word about the lump sum. It looks as though DOD will not react with that part of the law suit until some widow sues again.

  15. Jim Hillon 17 Jun 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I don’t believe that any wife that remarries (at any age) should get the DIC payment from the VA.
    Remarried they are no longer a “single” dependent and now have a new husband to take care of them.

  16. Carrie Ahrendton 17 Jun 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I have been trying for years to get an answer to my question about the SBP/DIC offset. My husband died a service-connected death in 1994. He spent 24 years in the Navy and elected not to get the SBP benefit when he retired in 1974…..HOWEVER IN 1992 there was an OPEN Erollment during that year and he decided to enroll and he DID.

    He was diagnosed also that year with malignant mesothelioma. We paid faithfully into the SBP until his death in 1994….at which time all of our money was returned to me….because I did not qualify for both DIC and SBP.

    My question…….Am I eligible for SBP even though we paid into it and the money was returned? Or when SBP/DIC is instituted….and it will be some day…….can I then at that point, get SBP???

    I feel I should be eligible……

  17. June M. Hoddinotton 19 Jun 2010 at 5:07 am

    Well! I’m now 89 years old and have been waiting since 1992 , when my
    husband died.

    I think they are waiting for all of us to die.

    I’ve been having more than half of my SBP withheld as the DIC offset.

    There are not many of us my age left. So it wouldn’t cost the Government that much.

    Maybe we could get the congress to agree to , at least pay those after 80 years old as we won’t be around long and there aren’t many of us to pay.


    BEFORE WE ALL DIE! June M. Hooddinott

  18. June M. Hoddinotton 19 Jun 2010 at 5:13 am

    Well! I’m now 89 years old and have been waiting since 1992 , when my
    husband died.

    I’ve been having more than half of my SBP withheld as the DIC offset.

    Maybe we could get the congress to agree to , at least pay those after 80 years

    old as we won’t be around long and there aren’t many of us to pay.


    BEFORE WE ALL DIE! June M. Hooddinott

  19. June M. Hoddinotton 19 Jun 2010 at 5:24 am

    My husband died in 1992. 18 years ago. I am now 89 years old.

    More than HALF of my SBP is being OFFSET each month.

    A token payment of $60.00 a month to those of us who are over , 80 years of age is really a crumb of bread to quiet us.

    Since I am now age 89 , I think I should receive what really was purchased by my husband in good faith.

    Thank you MOAA for all your help.

  20. Kathleen Richardsonon 19 Jun 2010 at 9:14 am

    Dear Carrie Ahrendt: If the SBP-DIC Offset is eliminated you will receive both since your husband paid into the SBP. I don’t think anyone really knows what the Congress would rule on paying back the SBP – I’ve heard two things: one – the govt. would subtract a small amount of money monthly to pay back to SBP and two – there would be no payback. Who knows?

    It would help to know what the remarried widows have to do – pay back or not.

  21. Carole Noffsingeron 20 Jun 2010 at 8:59 am

    To June Hoddinott:

    Just wanted you to know that I am in awe as I’m sure many others are too, that you are so computer knowledgeable at your age. I hope the rest of us, as we advance in years, are able to keep up with the ever constant stream of new technology. You are remarkable!

    To the topic of this blog: There is something sinister going on that none of us are privy to, that is responsible to the year after year failure of the SBP/DIC effort. The fact that our Congress will accept women and possibly some men, to receive both benefits if they remarried after age 57 and disallow it for unmarried survivors is an outrage! They may be counting on the rest to bite the dust!

    Money or funds as they like to call it , can not be used as an excuse. If our husbands/wives had not died, they would have had to pay bigger retirement benefits! The money has always been there. Not until this group gets in their faces and vocalizes this injustice to the whole nation, will this be favorably resolved.

    Again, I want to say that I admire you, and hope you will receive your benefits in your lifetime. They should be paid retroactively!

    God bless you. My email is:

  22. Janice Brownon 22 Jun 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I don’t think this is fair that a widow that remarries get sbp and dic. Why do the single women have to suffer that love their husband and don’t want to get marry again. After my decease husband have given this country 28 years of his life and paid sbp entire time and fought a good fight in vietnam. Also he was diagnosis agent-orange. This need to really be review on who really needs the benefit. You are giving a remarry widow which her future husband should have sustain benefits.

    MOAA I highly appreciate you

  23. Mariaon 03 Jul 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I read on another blog that the widow who does remarry loses Tricare coverage …..

  24. Frankie M Burkson 12 Jul 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Why?! Why?! Why?! want all organizations, groups and individuals who oppose this SBP/DIC madness march on Washington? Nothing would impact our nation more than to see/know that ‘widows’ and their ‘children’ of our fallen soliders are not being taken care of by the government that our soilders so proudly stood behind and protected. There should be bus loads of (US) who are affected by this ridiculous SBP/DIC offset in Washington now! Our government should be ashamed, but their not. The effective way to get them to listen is to get in their faces and ‘expose’ those in Washington who cowardly hide behind rhetoric and closed doors not fighting to eliminate this insanity. Why not march on Washington and let the entire country in on what’s truly going on with the widows of our fallen service members? That most are barely making ends meet.

    You know the saying: The squeaky wheel gets the oil. It’s time to let the country in on just one of Washington’s kept secrete. The time is way over due. Let’s get our country in on rallying behind the widows and children of our fallen soliders. Let’s take our march to the Capitol!

    Frankie M Burks

  25. Pat Zaccagnion 13 Jul 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Ref the SBP/DIC issue. As is true of many others, my husband, a retired Military Officer, died as a result of the Agent Orange issue. He died in 1993. I have not chosen to remarry. Unlike many of the folks I have read responses from, I don’t feel that MOAA has done much of anything to help us. I understand that it is the military way to be polite — I think we are WAY past that.

    I did question MOAA about why they were not stronger in this fight. I really didn’t get much of an answer. The basic response that they gave was that they felt they could ‘shame’ congress into taking care of this inequity. I wondered how could you shame people who have no conscience or ethics into much of anything.

    As far as I am concerned, the Agent Orange issue was a crime — the Government did it, covered it up, and tried to lie about it for a very long time. The Government owes ALL of us restitution — maybe our illustrious ‘elected’ officials should stop worrying about illegal immigrints rights and benefits and start worrying about the people who served their country — the United States.

    MOAA also advised they didn’t feel a lawsuit would be successful — why not? Didn’t the Government breech the contract our spouses made with the Government when they purchased the SBP? The Government is paying us the DIC because THEY CAUSED our spouse’s death. Our spouses PURCHASED the SBP as a benefit. What if a commercial insurance company said to the surviving beneficiary — “Sorry, we decided we don’t want to pay because you are receiving other monies.” Is this legal???

    As a final comment, I want to say to those folks that are in their 80s, please do everything you can to stay alive and fight this fight. I agree with you that they are hoping we will die off — well, I’m only 60 years old, and, I plan to live until I see the end of this — I also plan to become MORE vocal and raise this issue to the AMERICAN public.

  26. Pat Zaccagnion 13 Jul 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I am sorry to say that I am completely disappointed with MOAA’s response to the SBP/DIC issue. You are no better than the Veteran’s Administration — both organizations act as if you are totally lost as to what to do about this issue — rather than being proactive, you stand back and wait for some ‘elected’ official to actually do something — if that were actually possible, we would not be in the situation we are ALREADY in.

    I find it incredible that three members of the Gold Star Wives actually sued the Government and WON — while MOAA is sitting around saying that ‘a law suite is NOT the way to go.’ What exactly are you afraid of — you’all are LIVING and collecting your retirement.

    Why won’t MOAA FIGHT for the widows and families of your fallen comrades? What do you have to lose? How about asking us/the widows/spouses what we have to lose.

    Thank you,
    Pat Zaccagni

  27. Dawn Roanon 22 Jul 2010 at 6:19 am

    Personally, I think we should start a law suit against the Federal Government, just as they did AZ for trying to enforce their own laws. It is time for us to hold the Federal Government accountable for not taking care of their own. They did in fact go back on their contract with our service members’ who have put their lives on the line and paid a higher price with their very lives. The government promised to take care of those left behind. I do not know about the rest of you, but as far as I am concern this is a great law suit and I am willing to press forward. I stood by my husband each time he deployed and waited until he returned. Keeping the home fires burning and secured…would do it all again! I was a soldier’s wife and believed in our government as strongly as he did, but right now I feel abandoned by our government leaders. Does anyone know a great attorney or a whole group of attorneys????
    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts…started thinking I was alone out here…good to know there are a lot of us who feel the same!

  28. Anon E. Mouseon 30 Jul 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I, too, would like to know what is going on currently with the DIC/SBP issue. It seems that DIC/SBP widows have been abandoned not just by government but by MOAA. We have had to survive on less money as both wives (military pay was not that good back then) and now as widows. Yet the issues of active duty members and their wives are consistently in the MOAA weekly update while this subject seems to have been neatly dropped from the MOAA radar. We have had no updates about this in nearly two months. I realize there are many other important issues which threaten military benefits at this time, but it would be nice if we could be remembered. Instead we get to sit around and wonder if this topic is still on life support or has been permanently tabled in the 2010 budget. Hello, calling MOAA. We are still here and would like to have ongoing updates about our issue too. It still appears to be a man’s world, in more ways than one.

  29. Jim Satcheron 03 Aug 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Arguments aside, the current SBP-DIC dollar for dollar offset to a wife and caregiver of a permanently disabled military retiree looks something like this.

    • When a veteran receiving VA disability, Social Security and retirement pay (CRSC, other) dies, the household income for a surviving spouse, age 59 or younger, may be reduced by as much as 75-percent.

    • If the surviving spouse is age 60 or older and eligible to receive much if not all of the veteran’s Social Security, then the loss may be only 40 to 50-percent.

    • Many if not most permanently disabled veterans have little to no life insurance, because their disability and the medication they take makes them uninsurable. Note. Military personnel on active duty who take certain kinds of medication may find they are uninsurable, too. It’s paramount that every service member convert their SGLI to VGLI within 90 or 120 days right after they leave active duty.

    • VA offers certain disabled veterans up to $10,000 in life insurance. In 1951, The Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) program was established to meet the insurance needs of certain veterans with service connected disabilities. Back then $10,000 could purchase a 3-bedroom home. Now 59 years later the maximum policy amount remains $10,000. And while congress and VA may have increased education and other benefits they have yet to increase S-DVI. Why?

    At a time when Congress and the Department of Defense rely on the spouse to maintain the home front when the veteran is away at war, and to stand by him when he chooses to stay in service, and to care for him when he comes home damaged by war, then why does she become expendable the moment the veteran dies. Has she not served her country too and is she not deserving of our support and entitled to just compensation?

    By denying widows the right to keep both SBP and DIC then Congress and the Department of Defense are telling the wives of our warriors that the cost of retention may come at too high of a price.

  30. carole noffsingeron 10 Aug 2010 at 5:41 pm

    i came back to this blog today, just to see if anyone else had added anything. it has occurred to me that MOAA is no longer reading this blog, if they ever were checking it. we are headed for another year and another failure. instead of playing the blame game, it is time we all took more action. just because MOAA said to us that a lawsuit would be fruitless, we should all contact a lawyer in our local community as to the possibilities of a class action suit. the younger survivors should not expect the older ones to do anything but support the rest of us. nothing is impossible in this world. i plan to contact a lawyer who is qualified to handle Federal cases. I want a great lawyer to tell me that this is impossible. we can no longer depend on MOAA or Congress. we must depend on ourselves. we need to be organized. we need to contact the gold star organization and any others that can help. we need to contact Vivian Wersel Au.D., who won her case for her survivor benefits concerning dates, whereby she fell on the wrong side of the magical date for enhanced benefits when her husband suddenly died. she is the chair of the governmental relations committee for the gold star organizaion. she has already testified before the house committee on veterans affairs. you can google her or go to the gold star organization on the web. she has made herself an expert on this problem. good luck! any ideas, contact me:

  31. Jim Satcheron 24 Aug 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Sec. Gates suggested that if six to eight billion could be cut from one DoD program – that’s $6 billion to $8 billion spread over ten years – then the money could be used to fund the 56,000 widows entitled to both SBP and DIC. He has proposed $100 billion in cost reductions over the next five years but made no mention of SBP-DIC. Sec. Gates proposal cuts across both party lines, and his proposal will force both parties to cross the aisle to save pet projects and to pass new legislation to remove the SBP-DIC dollar-for-dollar offset once and for all.

    To the question as to why there are only 30 responses to the question about SBP-DIC offset, my guess is it is because (1) permanent disability is something that only happens to others, (2) an officer who is permanently disabled no longer lives next door – out of sight out of mind, and (3) 56,000 widows is a small voting block. MOAA has done much to speak out about the SBP-DIC offset. But the next time MOAA pushes for a pay raise maybe they could ask Congress to take a small part of that increase to fund SBP-DIC, not just for the 56,000 widows today but for all the widows to follow.

  32. Debraon 25 Aug 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I have been a widow since 2006, and feel not only have I been lied too, our husbands were also and they are no longer alive to defend us or them. Not only is this illegal cancelation of a binding SBP ANNUITY plan politically motivated, (shifting funds) but it is terribly humiliating and humbling for us who had to sit by and watch our husbands die a painful terrible death. I know I speak for many Vietnam era widows when I say our husbands fought that war twice in there lifetime and we are treated little 4th class citizens. Some of us went through great financial burdens fighting with Tricare and VA for reimbursements of Medical, most of which we were never refunded to us. And some how those in congresssional positions (mostly California, New York and Pennsylvania) opposing SBP/DIC offset ilimination are they themselves being showered with federal benefits from multiple sources. One name jumps out the most Pelosi???? I don’t want to remarry and I am not asking for a hand out I am asking for what our husbands earned and sacraficed their lives for. I am ready for a class action suit. I have nothing more to lose.

  33. m howardon 02 Sep 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I, too, am ready for a class action suit. Where do we sign up?

  34. Saraon 06 Nov 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I feel as though this has been a big mess. My husband died in 1999. I did get DIC the next month. However the month of death pay was never received. I questioned this. I was told that I did get it. I guess I can’t fight so much alone. Yes my spouse did receive his check for February. He died in March. I was told that I receied DIC the first of April. True but that month of death gets me. I was told by the Army that I should try and get the DIC as it would pay more. I just never received the SBP. I was told I could not have both. I am not interested in a re-marriage. I just wish the the DOD would own up to their responsibility and pay everyone the SBP. If they can take out of our husbands disability pay to pay for it they can pay the SBP. Maybe it is time to look for something else to have as a fail safe if the DOD can say this has been offset by DIC. I can think of no other insurance company that could deny the benefit if it was paid for.

  35. Alma Jane Nybergon 22 Feb 2011 at 10:47 pm


  36. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 23 Feb 2011 at 7:15 am

    Alma, He would have had to enroll in SBP at his military retirement. Chances are that when he passed and DFAS was notified, you would have received paperwork for SBP had he been enrolled in it. DFAS number is 800 321 1080.

  37. Susie Kon 06 Mar 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I find in incomprehensible that those of us who have NOT remarried are the ones who get the offset. It means a lot more to a single woman who is trying to get by, to have the full SPB/DIC than I think it would to someone who has remarried. I have been a widow since 1982 and sometimes doubt that I’ll ever see the full DIC/SBP.
    I would love to be part of a class action suit of widows who have NOT remarried who can also sue to receive what is due to us.
    My late husband, a Vietnam vet, was in the service 23 years and died thinking I would receive what he contributed to for his retirement. I do wonder if he would have served all those years if he thought his survivors would be so poorly treated.
    PLEASE CONTACT ME if there is a class action suit forming for un-remarried widows.

  38. Freda Greenon 15 Apr 2011 at 2:00 pm

    When my husband died in January 2003, of 100% service-connected disabilites. Upon his retirement of 35 years of active duty, he elected to buy and pay for full SBP in the event of his death. When he died, I contacted the VA and they walked me thru the steps required. A few months after his death I received a check for $42,000 from DFAS. When I called them they told me this was my money…no strings attached. I also saw legal council at Mac Dill AFB in Tampa, they also assured me this was my money I then drew the full SBP/DIC with the offset!
    SBP should NEVER have had anything deducted!

    I remarried last April 2010…..I was 74 years old. I remarried a retired military man and so still have my TCFL, etc.

    For six months (2010) I drew the full SBP & DIC. Then I received a letter from DFAS saying I had to repay that $42,000 they sent me in 2003….at 6% on the unpaid balance because it was part of the SBP money. DFAS gave me 45 days to repay this. Exactly 15 days later they started deducting $577.00 a month plus 6% on the unpaid balance.

    This is what the United States Government is doing to this military widow!!!

  39. Mary Kellyon 01 Jun 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I felt like President Obama included funds in the NDAA for 2011. But Congress has used the money for something else. When he signed the budget I thought he earmarked money for the SBP DIC offset. Well Chrysler paid back 17.1 billion dollars to the government borrowed in the bank bailout. Why can”t that money go for the SBP DIC offset?

  40. Kay Haydenon 24 Jul 2011 at 11:54 am

    My first husband died in 1970 while in the service. We were stationed in Kansas. My army indemnity pay was eliminated when I remarried in 1975. I feel I should still be entitled just like someone who is 57 years old. I will be 61 next month. The law should be fair for everyone not just a select few. My husband served in VietNam and went through hell and his widow should be entitled even if the marriage was in the 70s.

  41. Herbert Wattson 29 Aug 2011 at 12:03 am

    The links to the DFAS article and the DFAS booklet regarding the Sharp Case are broken. Or has DFAS removed them from its website?

  42. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 01 Sep 2011 at 7:33 am

    Sorry about that. DFAS changed their web site. I fixed the links…Shane

  43. Mary Kellyon 04 Oct 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Reply to Freida Green:
    I know when my husband retired in 1985, he paid into DIC. I understand this was a share cost program. He put in 40 percent and they put in 60 percent. There was a study done and DOD never put a dime in the SBP program from the time it stated in 1972. Plus when my money was refunded it did not have any interest returned with it. DOD kept the interest. All that was returned was the premium he paid in. I would check and actually demand an accounting to see if they paid you interest. I don’t think so. They are demanding the interest they would have drawn if the money was in the bank.

  44. Debra Cayloron 10 Nov 2011 at 10:01 am

    After reading Freida Green’s comments, I decided to open the file cartons with our old military records.
    Freida you are so right. Our government has a serious problem with their math. I too was not told of the large deposit in my account. No calculations or explantion. But I was given a 1099 which I promptly paid income tax on.
    I found husband’s old Form DFAS-CL 7220/148, that would be governments own paper earnings statements, There calculations were at least $12000. off. They can’t even cheat us accuratley.
    My question is, what sacrafice have many members of congress and others in washington made that they should receive all benifts and pay after a term in office? And at the same time refuse us Gold Star wives in a very condesending
    I find it terribly hard today to tell our children that the military their father was so proud to serve in has betrayed him and his family. And it is a true struggle everyday to tell the young military wives who live around me in this military community, to stand beside their husbands and the military will always be there for you. I use to believe those words when my husband told that 33 years ago. Today I am not sure.

  45. Ann Fisheron 24 Nov 2011 at 4:09 am

    How is it that IF I REMARRY they can “find” the money IMMEDIATELY to pay my Survivor’s Benefits? But if I do not, then there is “no money” to pay what is owed me, because it is “Unfunded?”

  46. Angela Johnsonon 18 Dec 2011 at 2:19 am

    Does anyone still have a copy of the form our husbands signed on for the SBP at retirement? Pretty sure the contract form said nothing about the benefit being cut on a future date if they became 100% VA-rated disabled and then died. They are different programs with different federal departments. DIC is for the replacement of working-age income military retirees would have earned before they became eligible for SS. The SBP is paid insurance and replaces a portion of the earned pension. I’m glad my husband did not know about it before he died, because he would have felt betrayed. If these other widows won based on the interpretation that remarriage was not to affect their eligibility for other government benefits, then why does the law cut our benefits though we did not remarry? Isn’t that implicit that if remarriage was not to affect benefits, then the original legislative intent was that unremarried widows should not have any cuts for any reasons?

  47. LYon 21 Feb 2012 at 7:24 am

    Well…we never seem to have budget restraints or lacking funds for Congressman/Senetor pensions and lifetime healthcare provisions. Maybe that’s a budget that needs to be bulked in with the budget needed to provide for promised military benefits…

  48. Linon 18 Jun 2012 at 6:38 pm

    When will this SBP issue will be addressed again??


  49. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 19 Jun 2012 at 6:46 am

    Lin, it’s something that is always being addressed by us on the Hill. It’s whether the issue gets any traction among the politicians that is the point. We get support to get an amendment in the draft bill but during the discussions it gets pulled. One of these times, it may get through.

  50. Linon 13 Aug 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Can anyone explain how the recent QRMC review on SBP and how and when it takes affect? Or it is just a recommendation? Thank you

  51. Darlene Lavigneon 20 Sep 2012 at 10:31 am

    Please help I need all up dates on sbp/doc off set.

  52. Betty Brownon 17 Feb 2013 at 10:45 am

    My husband passed away 9/10/2010. He was rated 100 percent service connected disabled. He served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. After his death, and it took months, after much paperwork being lost and resubmitted, that I finally got DIC. I received a refund of all SPB my husband paid and then started getting $70 a month. I was told that if they passed the law whereby I could get both SPB and DIC, the refund I received would have to be repaid before I could receive DIC. If the lawmakers had done their jobs for these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for their country and family, this would not be the case. I am now 75 and do not plan to remarry as when I lost him, I lost the love of my life. I think of him everyday and especially the time he served. He was so proud to serve his country.

  53. Darleneon 04 Apr 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Ok now were is everyone. we must FIGHT. to get what is OURS. Like our BRAVE husbands and wifes did for our Great U.S.A They gave ALL and we get what for it PENALIZE

  54. Sueon 24 Jan 2014 at 4:15 pm

    January 2014 – this STILL has not been corrected. Again both House & Senate passed the bill to eliminate the SBP offset only to have it stuck in committee for lack of funding.

    Personally I consider it a joke when my representatives try to impress me by saying they voted for it, knowing the history of like bills dying in committee.

    What about the surviving widows under age 57? Why put an age limit on who receives the full SBP their military spouses paid for?

    The SBP offset is wrong and needs to be thrown out!

  55. Mary Kellyon 28 Jan 2014 at 11:20 am

    Would this be like a reverse discrimination type of condition. Such as married not married. Why would Congress opt in for married. Because they knew a lot widows were too old and sick to get married again. To take care of a sick husband etc. So the bill exempted unmarried survivors. Is there any iscrimination laws that protect people like us.

  56. jeannie Francison 07 Apr 2014 at 10:00 am

    Does anyone know how they came up with the time frame for when a spouse can be covered? Why is it that a spouse has to wait a year to be covered under SBP? My husband died of a service connected death and we were married 10 months but living together for 7 yrs. I have been denied his SBP but they were taken it out of his retirement pay. Has anyone been through this process? Need help in this issue. I know I am not alone in this.
    Thank you

  57. jeannie Francison 07 Apr 2014 at 10:19 am

    M Howard please email me if there is a class action suit started I like to be apart of this. is my email address

  58. ellen harron 04 May 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I would like to know how all you found out about sbp, my husband was in the air force for 20 years and I never heard of sbp till after he died in 2011, I found out about sbp and dic when I went to the va office, I was shocked to say the least. I have since found out I should have been notified of his election, not one word did I hear. it makes me wonder what they said to him to encourage him to decline the sbp. he was so sick the last 10 years we didn’t talk about money, he told me several times to call a number he gave me to find out how much I would draw if he should go first, so I just knew the money was taken care of. he went first and I’m left with nothing, can’t even pay my bills. I read that in 1972-76 how then air force was not notifing the spouses of their husband election. I think that was really low down. the letter I read said that if the air force wives found out about this it would break the nation.

  59. Mary Kellyon 04 Jun 2014 at 4:47 am

    DOD is using the pay as you go rule to keep widows from getting any SBP if offset by DIC. Well our husbands have done paid it one time.

  60. Andersonon 08 Sep 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Wondering where the funds would come from to pay the Surviving Spouses, The Spouses receiving SBP now, where is the funds coming from? If the Military Sponsor was well and living where would their monthly pay come from? The Money was there until the day they were no longer living. What happened to it. It’s the same money but it gets used instead of paying the rightful Surviving Spouses.

  61. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 09 Sep 2014 at 7:30 am

    Anderson, in a process similar to Social Security payments, current SBP premiums go directly to current survivors. The current SBP premiums account for about 60% of the need to current survivors and the other 40% is subsidized by the govt. Premiums paid by a participant are not pooled and waiting to be used by the survivor after the death of the participant. Shane

  62. Adrienne K. Wallson 14 Feb 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I am also a surviving widow of a Vietnam Viet – My husband passed away on 10/30/2001. He passed away from Colon Cancer – After he died I filed a claim for DIC and was denied for at least 7 times. I have been doing some research and found 3 law suits where widows have won their DIC from colon cancer being related to agent orange. I submitted this information along with an Independent Medical Review of my husband medical records from an independent oncologist

    Now I am facing if I do win and receive the DIC Benefits I will have my SBP Benefits reduced. I agree that these benefits should not be reduced because our husbands took this out so that we could have a supplement of income after they passed away.

    If our husband’s passed away from a service connected disability why would we not be entitled to DIC also.

    Write or send E-mails to your congressman and senators and house of representations.

    Ask them when is this DIC/SBP Benefit bill be introduced into the 114 th Congress.

    Thank you

    Adrienne K. Walls

  63. Robin J. Priceon 24 Feb 2015 at 2:45 pm

    This is my first visit to this site. My husband, who recently died, served in WW II, Korea and Viet Nam. DIC was just awarded to me. I strongly agree that the SBP/DIC is unfair and abusive to spouses. It is my deep hope that all our grievances concerning this matter will culminate in a class action lawsuit. I’ll return to this site frequently to monitor any movement towards that. I would proudly join you.

  64. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 25 Feb 2015 at 7:35 am

    Thank you and welcome aboard. We won’t give up the fight. Shane

  65. Robin J. Priceon 28 Feb 2015 at 1:49 pm

    No bill concerning a change in the offset of SBP/DIC has been introduced in the 114th Congress. I have contacted our two senators here in Texas and urge each of you to contact yours. Going unheard will reap nothing! rjp

  66. Nona Chubboyon 16 Aug 2015 at 12:22 pm

    How about two Military Widows who are not receiving full DIC & SBP were over 75 years old & got married by a Justice—would they be able to receive all their benefits like the widows in California, or would they have to move to that State to be recognized for these benefits? Room for thought?

  67. Nona Chubboyon 16 Aug 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I have tried everything but this, marry another widow who is not receiving full SBP & DIC like me, by a Jutice of the Piece and get my full benefits like the 3 widows in California.

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