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By Cari Hachmann
Staff Writer 

Military widows fight for fair benefits in Congress


Last updated 4/22/2019 at 9:56am

From left, Michele Linn, 43, of Bonsall and Melanie Meluat, 36, of Fallbrook both lost their U.S. Marine husbands to war in Iraq. Now struggling to support their families, the military widows are among 65,000 other surviving spouses petitioning across the country to end the Survivor Benefit Plan -Dependency Indemnity Compensation offset, which they said denies them military survivor benefits in full.

Michele Linn was 27 years old when her husband was killed in combat in 2003 serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Their only child had just turned 1 year old. Linn said it was a horrible time in her life. Each day after his death, she awoke to a fog and confusion, at times losing track of space and time. Linn had nightmares and said she couldn't think straight for years.

Now the 43-year-old Bonsall woman is struggling to raise her 16-year-old daughter on her own.

She is one of thousands of surviving military spouses speaking up across the country about an offset that they said has left them wi...

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Reader Comments

mcgregoram writes:

The Department of Defense’s Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) provides no-cost automatic coverage to members serving on active duty. Maybe these ladies are confusing SBP with Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI), term life insurance coverage, which military members do pay for. As far as not knowing about SBP coverage, or the DIC offset, those issues should have been explained by the Casualty Assistance Calls Officer, when the next-of-kin is notified of the servicemember’s death.


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