September 2nd, 2023
BY NCNow Staff
Congresswoman Stefanik has introduced legislation that she says supports military families by easing the financial burden on active-duty military spouses when they are challenged with the loss of employment due to duty location changes.
Called the bipartisan Military Families and Surviving Spouses Benefits Enhancement Act, this bill also restores non-monetary survivor benefits to the remarried spouses of fallen U.S. service members.
“Military families face difficult and unique challenges ranging from frequent moves to the devastating loss of their loved ones,” stated Congresswoman Stefanik. “I am honored to introduce this common-sense, bipartisan legislation that will support our brave military spouses and families when they are faced with difficult times. Our Servicemembers would not be able to complete their mission without their family’s support, which is why I will always be the staunchest advocate of our military families across Upstate New York and the North Country.”
The new Military Families and Surviving Spouses Benefits Enhancement Act would support our military families by:
• Deferring loans for certain military spouses for an aggregate of 180 days;
• Reinstating eligibility for the federal non-competitive hiring appointment of surviving spouses;
• Restoring access to commissaries, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation retail facilities for those surviving spouses, and;
• Reinstating eligibility for housing and small business loans for remarried surviving spouses.
“When our men and women in uniform deploy overseas, military spouses and their families face a unique set of challenges here at home,” stated Congressman Norcross. “Military families are the backbone of our armed forces and national defense, and we owe them more than a debt of gratitude. I am proud to support this legislation that will give families peace of mind during a difficult time of loss or transition and ensure they are supported. I will continue to fight for our armed forces and military families in South Jersey and across the country.”
“TAPS is grateful to Representative Stefanik for her leadership in introducing the Military Families and Surviving Spouses Benefits Enhancement Act,” stated Bonnie Carroll, President and Founder, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. “This important legislation will ensure surviving military spouses retain their base access and federal hiring preference upon remarriage. Being widowed should not penalize them from finding love in the future.”
“It is our responsibility as a nation to ensure the well-being of our servicemembers and their families, especially our Gold Star families who have lost a loved one serving our nation. The least we can do is provide them with any benefits and support they need,” said National Association of Mortgage Brokers President Ernest Jones. “We should never allow restrictions to cut off survivor benefits of military widows and widowers simply because they choose to remarry. As President of NAMB, I will always support any legislation that ensures that Gold Star spouses retain their survivor benefits, and I applaud Congresswoman Stefanik for leading this effort.”
Read the article in North Country Now here.