The introductory phase of legislative session is quickly giving way to the grind of committee hearings and legislation is being introduced every day.
On Monday, 1/23/17, the House Veterans Affairs Committee will start to hear the first round of Veteran's legislation. On the agenda for Monday is Rep. Dettmer introducing H.F. 119. This is the bill I have been working on for the past couple of months that will do 3 things:
1) Create an eligibility for widows/widowers to be able to apply for the first time, should the Veteran become terminally ill and not live to start receiving the benefit as currently required.
2) Get rid of the eight year time limit for how long the surviving spouse may receive this benefit and extend to their lifetime. This was a part of the tax bill last year and likely would have been signed into law had the special session actually happened.
3) Add eligibility of this benefit for all surviving spouses receiving DIC. This is a slight expansion of this benefit. One of the primary ways a surviving spouse becomes eligible for DIC is for the Veteran to die as a result of a service connected disability. In strongly supporting this we as a Veterans community are saying, "If a Veteran dies directly as a result of their service to this country, we want their surviving spouse protected!"
Please join me on Monday at 1:00pm in Rm. 5 of the State Office Building for this hearing. It is important we as a Veterans community show we are active and paying attention.
If any Veteran, or supporter, is interested they are welcome to meet me on the 3rd Floor of the Veterans Service Building (DAV Dept. Offices) at 20 West 12th St., St. Paul, MN and walk over as a group at 12:20. There is no need to be a member of any specific Veterans Organization, this offer is open to all.
I can be reached at Trent@davmn.org or 651-788-3186.
Please join me in spreading the word, we have a lot of important work ahead of us.
Trent C Dilks
DAV of MN
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