Washington (CNN)Kristen Fenty has been waiting 13 years for a change in the survivor benefits for military spouses that would mean thousands more dollars per year. Now, renewed action in Congress has her feeling hopeful that her wait is over. Her husband, Lt. Col. Joe Fenty, was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 5, 2006. He had served for 20 years. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on May 23, 2006, his sister’s birthday. Before his burial, Fenty not only had to make funeral arrangements, she also had to make lifelong decisions about two financial benefits available to surviving spouses: a nontaxable monthly stipend of about $1,300 from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, and an insurance annuity from the Department of Defense’s Survivor Benefit Plan, whose amount varies. Fenty said she was told she could receive the Defense Department benefit in her name for life with an offset for the amount she got from the VA — or receive the full benefit in her daughter’s name, but only until the girl reached adulthood or graduated from college. “It was very confusing to figure out what plan would work,” she told CNN on Wednesday. Fenty… Read full this story
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