Surviving Spouse Keep Benefits Thanks to the Love Lives On Act

The Love Lives On Act of 2022 has been enacted, addressing comprehensive remarriage legislation for surviving spouses of military service members. This legislation grants surviving spouses the right to remarry at any age while retaining their benefits. Previously, many surviving spouses faced the difficult choice between remarriage and maintaining their benefits, often opting for cohabitation to avoid benefit loss, especially those with young children. Unlike survivors of first responders in the United States, who can remarry while retaining pensions and benefits, military surviving spouses were subject to restrictions.

The Love Lives On Act, endorsed by nearly 30 Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), has implemented several key provisions:

  • Eliminating the age requirement of 55 for surviving spouses to retain benefits after remarriage.
  • Ensuring remarried surviving spouses can access education benefits under the Fry Scholarship and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA).
  • Preserving Commissary and Exchange benefits for remarried surviving spouses.
  • Allowing surviving spouses to maintain both the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) after remarriage at any age.
  • Enabling remarried surviving spouses to reclaim TRICARE benefits if their remarriage ends due to divorce, annulment, or death.
  • Removing the "Hold Themselves Out to Be Married" clause from 38 USC, Section 101, paragraph 3, which was viewed as potentially penalizing surviving spouses and jeopardizing their survivor benefits.

The Love Lives On Act represents a significant step towards addressing the rights and well-being of surviving military spouses, as it removes barriers to remarriage while safeguarding essential benefits earned through the service and sacrifice of their spouses.

This is a great change from the previous rules that required spouses to be at least 55 to remarry and retain benefits. Have you personally benefitted from this change? I would love to hear your story. 

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