Those That


Benefits News

Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance

August 5, 2018


The National Defense Authorization Act established a Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) for surviving spouses who are the beneficiary of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity and their SBP annuity is partially or fully offset by the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).


SSIA is a permanent benefit. The benefit will be paid at $310 per month plus a cost-of-living adjustment each calendar year. The cost-of-living adjustment will begin in 2019.


Here are the essentials of the benefit:
















  • Spouse SBP annuitants, except for those who remarry after age 57 (or in other specific circumstances), cannot receive full SBP and DIC at the same time (DIC payments made directly to children, or to a guardian on behalf of children, do not affect SBP child annuity payments).
  • When DFAS is informed by the VA that a spouse receiving an SBP annuity is receiving DIC, the law requires that DFAS deduct the amount of DIC received from the amount of SBP payable and pay the remaining amount of the SBP to the annuitant. This is called the SBP/DIC offset.
  • If the SBP payment is greater than the DIC payment, a partial refund of premiums paid into the program during the service member's retirement will be made to the spouse.
  • If the DIC payment is greater than the SBP payment, SBP will be stopped completely and all eligible basic spouse premiums paid into the program during the service member's retirement will be refunded.
  • When a spouse is eligible to receive SBP and DIC, and those payments are subject to the SBP/DIC offset, the spouse will also receive the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA).


Perhaps a little confusing to grasp at first, but, for the sake of clarity make sure and visit an accredited VSO who can help with the details.


Chemical Compensation

August 10, 2018


Project 112/SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) is the name of the program for both shipboard and land-based biological and chemical testing conducted by the U.S. military between 1962 – 1973.VA will provide physical examinations to veterans who participated in the testing. Veterans will receive medical care free of charge for conditions related to exposure.


Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation if they have a service-related disability and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.VA does not presume by regulation that any specific disabilities are related to participation in Project 112/SHAD. Veterans’ claims are decided on a case-by-case basis.


VA presumes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosed in all Veterans with 90 days or more continuous active military service is related to their service, although ALS is not related to Project 112/SHAD.  Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who died from health problems related to participation in Project 112/SHAD may be eligible for health care, compensation, education, and home loan benefits.

12 | 3 | 4 | 5Next>>