On May 21, 2014, Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) introduced H.R. 4741, the Surviving Spouses Benefits Improvement Act. The bill would increase Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payments a surviving spouse receives from the VA when a servicemember or veteran dies from a service-connected cause. Under current law, an eligible surviving spouse receives $1,233 per month in DIC. The amount is based off 43 percent of the basic compensation for a veteran with a 100 percent disability rating. H.R. 4741 increases that percentage to 55 percent, consistent with other federal employee programs. If enacted, the new DIC rate would be $1,572 per month. The bill would exempt the increase in DIC payments from the unfair offset for survivors eligible to receive both a DoD Survivor's Benefit Plan annuity (SBP) and DIC.
This bill currently only has two (2) co-sponsors. Get on the phone or write and ask your congressman to sponsor this bill!