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capitalbuilding 120Congressman Tom Reed undertook new efforts to protect the families of fallen soldiers by backing legislation aimed at correcting an injustice in military survivor benefits.

"As the son of an Army officer myself, I know just how important it is to make sure we care for our veterans, troops and their families," said Reed. "It's only fair that we offer the families of our fallen soldiers the same survivor's benefits that we would offer to any other federal employee."

Currently, surviving spouses of fallen soldiers are unable to collect both spousal benefits and benefits for their children and other dependents without being subject to a dollar for dollar offset.  The 'widow tax', as it is more commonly known, wipes out spousal benefits if the surviving spouse also collected benefits for dependent children.  This ultimately hurts entire families during a time of tremendous grief.

The Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act corrects this injustice by ending the 'widow tax' and allowing military families to receive the benefits that they deserve.

"The last thing a widow or widower of a fallen solider should have to concern themselves with is how to make ends meet following such a terrible loss," Reed continued.

The problem only compounds, as all other federal employees are afforded both spousal and dependant survivor benefits without being subject to the same offset.

"It's only fair that we make this change. This is a stark injustice and it really punishes a group of people that have already lost so much," said Reed.

This legislation goes to House Armed Services Committee for further consideration.

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