Senate passes survivor benefits amendment

By voice vote and without debate, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment July 21 that repeals the offset of pay for surviving spouses who are eligible for both military and survivor benefits. The American Legion has urged Congress to end the unfair practice of deducting VA survivor benefits from military Survivor Benefit Plan annuities.The amendment to the fiscal 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) was chiefly sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. About 57,000 survivors, mostly widows, will be affected by the new provision. Most of them will get a monthly benefit increase of about $1,100.At its 90th National Convention in Phoenix in 2008, The American Legion passed a resolution that called for the elimination of the Survivor Benefits Plan and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset.