Forgotten Widows
Copied from MOAA website

The FY1998 Defense Authorization Act finally put into law our long-sought initiative to provide a minimum Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity to "forgotten widows" (those widows whose retiree spouses had passed away before the end of the initial SBP enrollment periods back in the 1970s).

Payments were made retroactive to December 1, 1997 for all qualifying widows, but widows must apply for the benefit. The problem to date has been our inability to get the word out about this eligibility. Chapters can help by spreading the word. The FY2000 NDAA extended the Forgotten Widows SBP to survivors of "gray area" reserve retirees who died before Sep 21, 1972. There are only about 200 such widows, and this will correct an inequitable oversight. The annuity in 2003 is approximately $188.18 per month.

MOAA will assist any eligible widow in applying, regardless of the retiree's grade or MOAA membership status. If you know a potentially qualifying widow, call MOAA's Benefits Information department at (800) 234-6622 Ext. 116.


  1. A surviving spouse of a retired (regular or reserve) member who died before Mar 21, 1974, and who was already drawing military retired pay at the time of death; or
  2. A surviving spouse of a qualified reserve member (one who had completed 20 qualified years of service toward retired pay), not yet in receipt of retired pay. And the member died between Sep. 21, 1972 and Oct. 1, 1978.
The following disqualifies a surviving spouse for this benefit.

    Remarriage (even if the marriage terminates for any reason).
    Receipt of Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the VA.
    Receipt of Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) from DOD.
    Receipt of Minimum Income Widow from DOD.
The addresses for the service applications are:

ARMY: HQDA Army Retirement Services, Attn: DAPE-RSO, 200 Stovall St., Alexandria, VA 22332-0470

NAVY: Department Of the Navy, Navy Personnel Command (Pers-622), 5720 Integrity Drive Millington TN 38055-6220

AIR FORCE: HQ AFPC/DPPTR, 550 C St., West, Suite 11, Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4713

MARINE CORPS: Commandant of the Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Corps (MMSR-6), Manpower and Reserve Affairs, 3280 Russell Road, Quantico, VA 22134-8163

COAST GUARD and NOAA: Commanding Officer (RAS), USCG Human Resources Service & Information Center, 444 SE Quincy St., Topeka, KS 66683-3591

PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE: Compensation Branch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 4-50, Rockville, MD 20857

The application form lists additional documentation (retirement verification, copies of marriage and death certificates, etc) the service will need to validate the claim. Services must notify applicants of the disposition of their claims within 60 days of receipt.

MOAA members may request applications by calling MOAA's Benefits Information Department at (800) 234-6622 extension 116.

Board of Directors
Term expires in 2003
            Peter Burdett 
            Richard Dennis 
            Catherine Fields 
            Donald Holroyd

Term expires in 2004
            Derrill Crosby 
            Jesse Trow 
            Jeffrey Olson 
            Edward Warfield

Term expires in 2005
            Gary S. Terhune 
            Patricia A. Graham 
            Joan M. Huber 
            Robert E. Introne


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