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What is Gold Star Wives of America?

Gold Star Wives is a Congressionally Chartered non-profit service organization. The charter was granted because GSW is unique in that it is the only service organization capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses.  To qualify for membership your spouse must have died while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces or from their service connected disability as a result of that service.

What is the cost of Membership Dues? What are the terms?

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. offers annual membership.

Annual Membership 
Annual membership dues are $35 per year. The dues year or membership term begins January 1 and ends December 31.

New members paying dues after July 1 receive the remainder of the calendar year plus the entire following year of membership under their first $35 payment. (i.e. July 3, 2020 - December 31, 2021). If you are interested in continuing your membership after the 2021 membership term ends, a dues payment would then be required for the following term (2022).

Annual Dues Renewal reminders are mailed to members in October (of each year). It is recommended you pay for your upcoming year of membership before the current term ends on December 31. Paying on or before the week of December 28th will ensure your payment is received and processed before the new term begins. Dues renewals are to made payable to Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. and addressed / mailed to Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., National Membership Office: P.O. Box 279, Kimberly, AL 35091. Please DO NOT mail your dues payment to your region or chapter president or any other address. 

The National Membership Office is closed December 24-25, and December 31 and January 1.

Members are offered a grace period until March 31st to pay their annual renewal.

Annual dues payments are accepted throughout the year. However, if you pay your dues late in the year, on September 4th, for example, your membership term will expire on December 31st of the current, same year. So, your $35.00 dues payment will grant you coverage effective September 4, 2020 until December 31, 2020.

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. does not offer rolling memberships. You will NOT receive a membership renewal reminder based on the date you paid your dues. For example, if you pay your dues on May 3, 2020, you will NOT receive a renewal notice in the mail in May of 2021.

GSW accepts dues payments and donations in the form of check or money order only. Please do not send cash as a payment type.

Please do not combine your membership payment with your [annual] Stay at Home Tea donation. You must pay your dues and tea donation separately. Separate handling and processing is required for each.

GSW does not accept dues payments in installments. Payment is expected in full. 

Who is eligible for membership?

Membership is extended to anyone whose spouse died while serving on active duty, or of a service-connected cause. Remarriage does not bar membership.

When are the National Newsletters mailed?

There are 4 newsletters a year, mailed the first week of December, March, June, and September. They are mailed at non-profit bulk rates, which means that it could take up to 3 weeks to be delivered. Members may select to have their newsletters emailed as a cost savings to GSW. 

The newsletters are sometimes inadvertently lost, delayed or damaged in transit. Please contact the GSW National Membership Office ( for a replacement at no charge. 

How do I contact Veterans Affairs to answer my questions?

You may dial 1-800-827-1000 and this will automatically connect you to your VA Regional Office.

How do I reach CHAMPVA, TRICARE, or Meds by Mail to have questions answered?

Champva is available for survivors of service connected disability, or for a spouse who originally qualified for Tricare (Champus) has remarried and then been reinstated. (You cannot go back to Tricare)

ChampVA is also available for those who have remarried and were at least age 55 when they remarried.

ChampVA - questions: 1-800-733-8387; information 1-888-289-2411; or EMAIL - 

ChampVA Meds by Mail - questions: 1-888-385-0235  

Tricare is available for active duty and retired spouses who have never remarried. 

Tricare - questions: 1-800-538-9552

TFL Meds by Mail (required as of FEB 2014 for TFL)

Is my DIC payment affected when I receive Social Security? 

DIC stands for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which is awarded to spouses of active duty, or service connected surviving spouses. There is NO SOCIAL SECURITY OFFSET for DIC. This offset was eliminated in 2004.

What is SBP?

SBP is Survivor Benefit Plan. This usually only affects retirees and is a plan paid into by the retiree so her/his spouse will have benefits after the retiree dies.  If the death of the retiree is additionally caused by a service connection  the surviving spouse would also be entitled to Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC).  The SBP was offset by the amount of DIC received, but the offset will be phased out over a three year period beginning in 2021. DIC is non-taxable and SBP and SSIA are.

When Will I Receive My GSW  Membership Card?

Annual Membership cards are mailed at the first of every month, with the exception of holidays. 

For example, if you pay for your dues in December, your membership card (with your new membership expiration date) will be mailed during the first week of January, etc. If you paid for dues on February 6th, your membership card will be printed and mailed in March. 

Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery. Your membership card will not be mailed the same day, next day or same month you make your dues payment. 

The membership cards are mailed first class and delivered via the United States Postal Service. It is possible membership cards are unfortunately and inadvertently damaged or lost in transit. 

If your annual or lifetime membership card is damaged or you did not receive it in a timely manner, you may request a replacement at no charge. Please email or call the GSW National Membership Office to request another card. The email address for the GSW National Membership Office is and the phone number is 1-888-751-6350. When you call or send an email to the office, please be sure to provide your full name and current mailing address. 

How Do I Obtain a Military I.D. Card so I can go to the Commissary?

Military I.D. Cards are issued by the Department of Defense. Please visit and click on their Rapids Site Locator, chose by "By Location" and enter your state, with no city or zip code. 

Thank you to our 2023 Corporate Sponsors! See 2023 Convention Sponsors.

Gold Level


Silver Level 

VFW 5434 Brown & Small Post
Bronze Level

For additional information, or to become a Gold Star Wives Corporate Sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page.

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Gold Star Wives is a Congressionally Chartered non-profit service organization that is capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses.

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Birmingham, Alabama Office
P.O. Box 279
Kimberly, AL 35091
Phone: 1-888-751-6350

DC Area Office
6412 Brandon Ave Ste 345
Springfield, VA 22150

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)4 National Military Widow/Widowers Service Organization chartered by the United States Congress. Donations are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes but may be deductible as trade or business expenses. Copyright © 2024.

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