Honoring Gold Star households: Bipartisan assist for Love Lives On Act of 2023

With the sundown of the “Widow’s Tax” earlier this yr, Gold Star households are looking for to finish one other vestige of military family life: a remarriage penalty. 

The Love Lives On Act of 2023, launched within the Home of Representatives this week by congressional representatives Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and Richard Hudson, R-N.C., would permit Gold Star spouses to retain their survivors advantages after remarrying.

In response to the Division of Veterans Affairs, surviving spouses solely remarry in 5% of instances, citing monetary issues about shedding advantages.

A surviving partner should wait till the age of 55 to remarry and nonetheless retain survivor advantages like TRICARE or the Fry Scholarship. 


Love Lives On Act, Congressman Dean Phillips

Congressman Dean Phillips’ organic father, U.S. Military Capt. Artie Pfefer, left, subsequent to a present picture of the congressman. Pfefer died through the congressman’s childhood within the Vietnam Warfare. Phillips cites the lack of his father and his mom’s subsequent remarriage as a part of his reasoning for cosponsoring the Love Lives On Act of 2023. (Congressman Dean Phillips)

Advocates of the Love Lives on Act declare that the present statute is stunting each the non-public {and professional} targets of Gold Star spouses, lots of whom depend on advantages to assist their kids after the lack of their service member. 

A House of Representatives cosponsor, Congressman Dean Phillips, D-Minn., is a Gold Star son whose mom remarried after his father, U.S. Military Capt. Artie Pfefer, died within the Vietnam Warfare.

“Spouses of those that die in service to our nation make unimaginable sacrifices and deserve endless respect and assist in return,” Phillips mentioned. “The  Love Lives on Act  is a part of my mission to make sure navy households have entry to each single profit they’re owed.”


The invoice was additionally cosponsored within the Home this week by the Republican Congressman from North Carolina who represents Fort Bragg, Richard Hudson.

“We should assist surviving spouses who select to remarry and take away the concern of shedding the advantages paid for by their late spouses’ sacrifice,” Hudson mentioned.

Within the Senate, the invoice was cosponsored by senators Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.

Senator Moran Veterans Affairs

Rating member Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., left, and Chairman Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., proper, converse earlier than a Senate Veterans’ Affairs listening to on the president’s proposed price range request for fiscal yr 2024 and 2025 advance appropriations requests for the Division of Veterans Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington Might 17, 2023. (AP Photograph/Andrew Harnik)

“I’ve heard from surviving spouses in my state who need to remarry and supply their kids with a father or mom determine however really feel they need to delay marriage as a result of the monetary threat of shedding their advantages is just too nice,” Moran, the lead senator on the Veterans Affairs Committee, advised Fox Information Digital.

Warnock, who additionally cosponsored the invoice in April, famous the timing of the invoice’s introduction. 

“As our nation comes collectively to commemorate Memorial Day, it’s vital for all of us to keep in mind that it’s not simply service members who present up,” Warnock mentioned. “Their households make super sacrifices for our nation as properly.”

“As our nation comes collectively to commemorate Memorial Day, it’s vital for all of us to keep in mind that it’s not simply service members who present up. Their households make super sacrifices for our nation as properly.”

— Sen. Raphael Warnock

Present VA regulation declares that a Gold Star spouse is not the duty of the navy as soon as she or he remarries, which incorporates well being care. A spokesperson for the Division of Protection confirmed in an electronic mail with Fox Information Digital that “TRICARE advantages for [a] surviving partner finish after they remarry.”

Amy Dozier is a surviving partner of SFC Jonathan Dozier, and the Love Lives On Act would profit her if signed into regulation.

“To remarry would imply to lose the advantages I paid into and earned as Jonathan’s spouse and now widow,” Dozier mentioned.

“The downstream impact, particularly on this economic system, could be detrimental not solely to our monetary stability, however, extra importantly, to the expansion [my daughter and I] proceed to have on this journey.”

“Selecting to remarry shouldn’t impression a surviving partner’s potential to pay payments. They need to not have to decide on between one other probability at love and monetary safety,” TAPS, or Tragedy Help Program for Survivors, added in an electronic mail to Fox Information Digital.


The Love Lives On Act of 2023 awaits a vote in each the Home of Representatives and the Senate forward of Memorial Day Weekend and the annual congressional recess


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