Submitted by: Wayne LeVasseur
It has recently come to my attention from an article by Maine Senator Susan Collins in the May 2013 issue of the Maine Legionnaire in regards to military spouse survivor benefit program.
It appears that the Military Survivor Benefit Program (SBP) and the Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Annuity have run afoul of the insensitive and outrageous bureaucratic minions within our government. It seems that under current law that if a spouse is receiving (DIC) and (SBP) a dollar for dollar reduction will be incurred, who in their right mind can even imagine that this concept is fair or how these two programs can be related.
Upon my retirement from the military my spouse and I were presented with the opportunity to enroll in the military (SBP), a totally voluntary program that we could have refused. At that time I contacted numerous insurance agencies to inquire regarding the affordability of an annuity policy for my spouse’s security. It was determined that the (SBP) from the military was the better plan. I say this clearly and loudly, “My spouse and I made a voluntary choice of the (SBP)”. I am a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. Based on my service-connected disability my spouse would be eligible for (DIC) if I was to die from my service-connected disabilities.
I have given much thought to the relationship between (SBP) and (DIC) and have failed to arrive at a logical conclusion as to how the two programs are related. My spouse and I could very well have voluntarily chosen another program instead of the military (SBP) and avoided the confusion with the VA’s (DIC). I fail to see a difference in our choice of (SBP) or a commercial annuity plan or how any reasonable individual can confuse this issue.
It is my sincere hope that sensibility and common sense will awaken in Washington and such egregious, insensitive laws will be eliminated.
About the author:
Retired US Army SFC/E7, enlisted in August 1968, separated from military in December 1976 and returned to the Army in May 1972, retiring in in 1990. Served three tours in Korea, a tour in Germany and various assignments in the United States. My career started in Fort Dix, NJ and finished at Fort Dix after having served in numerous positions such as the Full-Time Manning Program, Battalion Maintenance Sergeant, Senior Instructor, and Assistant Inspector General at Ft. Dix.