WIDOW'S TAX REPEAL - Success!
Military widows hugged and shared thumbs-up gestures as they embraced each other, celebrating a surreal moment nearly two decades in the making.
Just hours after the Senate approved the FY 20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Dec. 17, military widows gathered in Washington, D.C., to mark the expected repeal of the "widows tax" with federal lawmakers and representatives of veterans service organizations.
Efforts to repeal the Survivor Benefit Plan-Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset, commonly called the widows tax, had been rejected at various points in the legislative process at least a dozen times, so widows were used to disappointing news. MOAA has been engaged with this offset since the inception of the Survivor Benefit Plan in 1972 – picking up support along the way and making incremental gains while Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) continued to support legislation for total repeal since his arrival in Congress in 2001.
Repealing the offset has been a top priority for MOAA for several years. More than 150 members of the association pushed for passage of the repeal during its annual Storming the Hill event, when members meet with federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss advocacy missions. After passing the House, the Bill is now on the way to the President's desk to be signed.
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NATIONAL MOAA EFFORTS IN WASHINGTON A SUCCESS!
BLUE WATER NAVY
Beginning 1/1/2020 the VA will begin the process of awarding benefits to the veterans who file claims under the Blue Water Navy.
A federal court has ruled overwhelmingly that sailors are eligible for the same disability benefits as those who had boots on the ground or patrolled the inland rivers of Vietnam and were exposed to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange. Thanks to the support and efforts of our members, MOAA has been working vigilantly over the past few years to bring our "Blue Water" shipmates much needed and deserved relief from Agent Orange toxicity exposure.
MOAA was among the very first to come out in support for the appeal brought by Alfred Procopio Jr., who served on the USS Intrepid and was denied benefits for claims related to diabetes and prostate cancer -- diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
NEVER STOP SERVING
MILITARY MEDICAL FORCES FORCED REDUCTION
As it stands now the DD 2020 budget calls for a [possible 20% cut in the military medical force, that comes to about 18,000 positions. According to the article "Stay Alert: Military Medicine is in Danger" (MOAA Magazine, June 2019). This was done with no analysis of medical readiness or impact of it.These changes can and will cause consequences to active duty and retired veterans as well. Many TRI-CARE Prime enrollees are already being pushed to civilian networks to receive care.
MOAA is looking for answers to the following:
Proceeding without full analysis could leave the military community as well as the retired and veterans needing medical care concern in their ability to find timely medical care.
This is by no means cut in stone, just keep a watchful eye, and a readiness to contact our federal legislatures to voice concerns.
Emerald Empire Chapter
Military Officers Association of America
©COPYRIGHT MILITARY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA - EMERALD EMPIRE CHAPTER
The mission of the Emerald Empire Chapter of MOAA is to advocate for our military community and connect it to the nation we serve.