Congressman Joe Kennedy

Representing the 4th District of Massachusetts


Congressman Joe Kennedy working for Massachusetts constituents

Our military families

June 18, 2015

Dear Friend,

In this country it’s never been just our brave men and women in uniform who serve. It’s also the family members who stand by their side; the wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who watch their loved ones put everything on the line to keep the rest of us safe.

So when Gold Star Wives came to me about an inequity that was limiting benefits for spouses and family members who tragically lose a loved one in service to our country, I was anxious to help.

They told me that when soldiers are killed in action or pass away from injuries suffered in their service, there is significant reduction in the benefits their families receive – a reduction that leaves military families with significantly less than the survivors of other federal employees who pass away in government service. That doesn’t seem right to me. These advocates also talked about the so-called “widow’s tax,” which is an injustice in our existing benefit system that is currently costing spouses hard-earned retirement savings that their loved ones earned over the course of their military career.

After speaking with the Gold Star Wives and the Military Coalition, I was proud to introduce the Surviving Spouses Benefits Improvement Act last month. This bill would bring survivors’ benefits in line with other federal employees and end the ‘widow’s tax,’ ensuring that that no military spouses receive a cent less than they deserve.

Now we’re focused on adding a strong bipartisan group of cosponsors to the bill so we can move it through Congress.

You can read the full text of the bill here. As always, I appreciate your time and would love to hear your thoughts on this bill!

All my best,

Congressman Joe Kennedy III