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 News Article

Department Reminds Troops of Member-designated Benefits

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2011 – In their ongoing review of military benefits in connection with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Defense Department officials have now identified a total of 14 benefits where members may designate beneficiaries of their choosing, regardless of sexual orientation.

“We listed eight member-designated benefits in our original Quick Reference Guide, released Sept. 20. We’ve now validated an additional six,” said Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. “While these are not ‘new,’ now that we’ve confirmed these additional benefits, we’re updating the Quick Reference Guide to ensure all are aware of their beneficiary options.”

The 14 benefits identified for members to designate whomever they wish as beneficiaries are:

-- Service Members Group Life Insurance beneficiary;

-- Post Vietnam-era Veterans Assistance Program beneficiary;

-- All-volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program – Active Duty Death Benefit beneficiary;

-- Death Gratuity beneficiary;

-- Final Settlement of Accounts;

-- Wounded Warrior Designated Caregiver;

-- Thrift Savings Plan beneficiary;

-- Survivor Benefit for retirees;

-- Casualty Notification;

-- Escorts for Dependents of Deceased or Missing;

-- Designation of Persons Having Interest in Status of a Missing Member;

-- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance beneficiary;

-- Person Eligible to Receive Effects of Deceased Persons; and

-- Travel and Transportation Allowance: attendance at Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events.

Eligibility for a number of other benefits is restricted by applicable statutes, including the Defense of Marriage Act.

Finally, in connection with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” Lainez said, “the Defense Department is engaged in a careful and deliberate review of the possibility of revising the eligibility for additional benefits, if legally permitted.” Service members are encouraged to contact their personnel offices for more information.


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Related Sites:
Quick Reference Guide
Special Report: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is Repealed


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

11/13/2011 10:51:29 AM
I proudly served with Honor and Integrity - And respect for my fellow straight, gay and lesbian shipmates; my friends. My daughter is now proudly serving with Honor and Integrity and respect for her fellow straight, gay and lesbian airmen; her friends. We both think it's ridiculous that it has taken so long for the Federal Government to acknowledge this very basic human rights disparity. It was not fair for me to receive benefits that people who worked along side of me did not receive. The military branches have done a stellar job of integrating what should already have been established in a very small window of time, and are to be applauded. Now if the Federal Government would catch up, and recognize the simple fact that there need be no second class citizens in the United States, especially for those who solemnly swear to step in harm's way for this country.
- Carolyn Sturgill, United States

11/9/2011 1:45:53 AM
The comments made by the first two posters are full of hate. They seem to think that it is just fine to deny a group of American citizens and taxpayers the same rights and freedoms that they themselves enjoy. Do they know that what they want is a direct violation of the Equal Protection provisions of the14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution? Now that DADT is gone, I hope its removal will be a useful precedent in declaring all state and federal DOMA acts unconstitutional at the federal (and therefore also at the state) level. When I was growing up, hateful comments like those were directed against black people. The target group may be different now, but the extreme hate is still there. I really wonder if we will ever learn from our past and get over it once and for all. .
- Joe, US

11/8/2011 6:55:46 AM
I hope the next president will come together with congress and fix this problem. People who are not legally married in all fifty states should not have any more rights or benefits than unmarried people in all fifty states. If an unmarried couple cannot have the benefits enumerated above, then neither should gay partners. Fair is fair.
- Stephen Frazier, Augsuta, GA

11/7/2011 6:43:02 PM
A real slap in the face to anyone who ever served with honor and integrity!
- Thomas Russell, Riverside, CA

10/28/2011 9:38:57 PM
Thank you for this expanded list. Could you please also publish a list of the benefits that legally married same-sex couples are excluded from?
- Johannes, USA

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