Imagine losing a husband of forty or fifty years and having to move out of your apartment because of it. That’s what happens to many widows of wartime veterans everyday, because of the inequality of the Aid and Attendance Benefit rules.
Congressman Marion Berry is an original co-sponsor of H.R.2673, the Equal Treatment for Widows of Wartime Veterans Act, which would correct a discrepancy in the pension benefits paid to widows of wartime veterans. Currently, a wartime veteran with a spouse receives a maximum benefit of $15,493 in pension benefits. If the spouse of the veteran passes away, the veteran’s pension is reduced to $11,830 a year, the same amount received by a veteran without a spouse. However, if the veteran dies, the surviving spouse’s pension is reduced to $7,933 a year. The bill will increase the surviving spouse benefit to the same amount as the wartime veteran benefit.
Days before independence day, Congressman Berry hosted a press conference call to discuss upcoming legislation in Congress that could benefit widows of wartime veterans. The call focused on making certain that troops and their families receive the benefits they earned through their sacrifice and service.
“The sacrifices our troops and their families made while serving our country were enormous,” said Berry. “Any instance where a veteran or their family receives less than the best services and benefits this country is able to provide is not only shameful — it’s wrong.”
We agree. The costs associated with assisted living care will only increase over time. Veteran First Communities strive to maintain the best environments for widows as well as veterans. This increase in benefits will allow widows to stay in the same place throughout their lives. We support this bill and hope you do also. Let your representatives know that you support H.R. 2673, Equal treatment for Widows of Wartime Veterans Act.
As the Congressman said, “We continue to take steps to improve health care and benefits for our troops and their families, we must honor their service with real actions that fulfill our commitment and demonstrate how grateful we are for their service.”