Gold star wife Brittany Jacobs never expected that she would lose her husband, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, just eight months after the birth of their son, Christian.
Unfortunately, current government law requires military widows like Jacobs to face an additional financial obstacle while dealing with the death of their spouse.
Known colloquially as a “widows tax,” the SBP-DIC Offset requires widows and widowers to give up their Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) when they receive the VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
“The SBP-DIC offset…affects a lot of us,” Jacobs told The Daily Caller. “When our husbands die, we are instantly told before [we] even have time to think about it.”
Military members who enroll in the SBP pay in some of their retirement benefits so that their families can receive up to 55 percent of their retirement pay after they die. The DIC, on the other hand, is available to survivors of veterans or troops who die of service-related causes.
Technically, the survivors of a service member who enrolled in the SBP and died of service-related causes should be eligible for both SBP and DIC benefits. But as the law stands, those survivors are required to forfeit $1 of their SBP for every $1 they receive in DIC, even though the SBP was already partially paid for by the service member.
“I didn’t understand it,” Jacobs explained. “And a lot of widows don’t when it first happens.”
Jacobs said a lot of widows are working to change the offset, and she feels President Trump can be an ally in that fight.
“That’s a thing I know a bunch of widows are trying to pass and I think there’s a better chance now of getting help with it than there’s ever been,” she said.
Jacobs stated she has always been a fan of Trump, but “especially now” because of the way he treated her son when they got to meet at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day this year.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me they have a lot more respect for him now than they ever have because of what he did with Christian,” she told TheDC. “It was just genuine. It was heartfelt.”
Jacobs said she has also appreciated Trump’s work with cleaning up the Department of Veterans Affairs, especially the legislation he signed last week to make it easier to fire bad employees.
“That’s definitely needed,” she asserted. “It’s beyond time for that because a lot of people have died because of the VA in my opinion.”