CURRENT SURVIVOR LEGISLATION 2019-2020
A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to secure medical opinions for veterans
with service-connected disabilities who die from COVID-19 to determine whether their
service-connected disabilities were the principal or contributory cases of death, and for
other purposes ( S.4166) – SVAC
● Introduced in the Senate 07/02/2020, Sponsor: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ),
Co-Sponsor: Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)
● Requires VA Secretary to secure medical opinions for veterans with service-connected
disabilities who die from COVID-19 to determine whether their service-connected
disabilities were the principal or contributory cases of death.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act of 2019 ( H.R.3221/S.1047) -
● Introduced in the Senate 04/04/2019, Sponsor: Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Co-sponsors:
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), 4 current co-sponsors
● Introduced in the House 06/12/2019, Sponsor: Johanna Hayes (), Co-Sponsors: Rep.
Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large), Rep. Lance
Gooden (R-TX-5), Rep. James Himes (D-CT-4), Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-7), 19 current
● Creates an allowance for a deceased veteran's or deceased service member's surviving
spouse who is receiving dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) from the
Department of Veterans Affairs.
● The bill provides a formula for calculating the monthly rate of the allowance based on the
DIC amount the spouse is entitled to receive.
● Raises DIC to 55 percent of the rate of monthly compensation
Leasing Relief for Dependents of Fallen Heroes and Injured Servicemembers Act of 2020
(S.3854) - SVAC
● Introduced in the Senate 06/01/2020, Sponsor: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),
Co-Sponsor: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
● Clarifies the termination of leases of premises and motor vehicles of servicemembers
who incur catastrophic injury or illness or die while in military service.
Caring for Survivors Act of 2020 (H.R.6933) - HVAC
● Introduced in the House 05/19/2020, Sponsor: Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA-21), Co-Sponsors
Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL-3), Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ-2),
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT-5), 14 current co-sponsors
● Increase in the amount of dependents and survivors income security benefit payable to
surviving spouses by the secretary of veterans affairs equal to 55 percent of the rate of
monthly compensation of 100 percent disabled.
● Modification of requirements for dependents and survivors income security benefit
payable by department of veterans affairs for survivors of certain veterans rated totally
disabled at time of death from 10 or more years to 5 or more years.
● Eligibility for dependents and survivors income security benefit payable by department of
veterans affairs for surviving spouses who remarry after age 55.
To amend title 10, United States Code, to extend certain morale, welfare, and recreation
privileges to recipients of the gold star lapel button (H.R.6412) - HASC
● Introduced in the House 03/27/2020, Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26),
Co-Sponsors: Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ-3), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-4), 10 co-sponsors
● An individual who received a gold star lapel button under section 1126 of this title shall
be permitted to use commissary stores and MWR retail facilities on the same basis as a
member of the armed forces on active duty.
Justice for ALS Veterans Act of 2019 ( H.R.4748/S.3091) - HVAC
● Introduced in the House 10/18/2019, Sponsor: Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39),
Co-Sponsor: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), 8 current co-sponsors
● Introduced in the Senate 12/18/2019, Sponsor: Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE),
Co-Sponsor: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
● Increases Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) to the surviving spouse of a
veteran who dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)
regardless of how long the veteran had such disease prior to death. Under current law,
such compensation is paid for a service-connected disability that was rated totally
disabling for a continuous period of at least eight years immediately preceding death.
Protecting Gold Star Families Education Act (S.1851) - Referred to Committee on Health,
Education, Labor, and Pensions
● Introduced in the Senate 06/13/2019, Sponsor: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Co-Sponsors:
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
● Makes permanent and expands the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant that surviving
children are eligible for if they are above the Department of Education Pell Grant limits.
● To qualify for assistance, dependents must be less than 33 years of age.
Pell Grant rules pertaining to the determination of financial need do not apply to the grants
awarded by this bill for veterans' dependents. Honoring All Veterans Act (H.R.3010) - HVAC
● Introduced in House 05/23/2019, Sponsor: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4), 42 original
co-sponsors, 58 current co-sponsors
● Adds the following as a mission statement for the Department of Veterans Affairs: "To
fulfill President Lincoln's promise to care for those 'who shall have borne the battle' and
for their families, caregivers, and survivors.”
Veterans Estate Transfer to Survivors Act (H.R.2736) - Referred to Subcommittee on Disability
Assistance and Memorial Affairs - DAMA
● Introduced in the House 05/14/2019, Sponsor: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1), no co-sponsors
● Clarifies that the estate of a deceased veteran may receive certain accrued benefits upon
the death of the veteran.
Fry Scholarship Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R.2221/S.1283) - HVAC/SVAC
● Introduced in the House 04/10/2019, Sponsor: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12),
Co-Sponsor: Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49), 2 co-sponsors
● Introduced in the Senate 05/02/2019, Sponsor: Sen. James Lankford (R-OK),
Co-Sponsor: Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE)
● Expands Fry Scholarship eligibility to surviving spouses and children of National Guard
and Reservists who are not activated at the time of death.
CHAMPVA Children's Care Protection Act of 2019 ( H.R.2094/S.1034) - Referred to
Subcommittee on Health/SVAC
● Introduced in the House 04/04/2019, Sponsor: Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), 11
● Introduced in the Senate 04/04/2019, Sponsor: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), 10 original
co-sponsors, 12 current co-sponsors
● Provides that a child shall be eligible for medical care under the Civilian Health and
Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) until the child's
26th birthday, regardless of the child's marital status.
SFC Brian Woods Gold Star and Military Survivors Act (H.R.1911) - HASC/HVAC
● Introduced in the House 03/27/2019, Sponsor: Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL-6),
Co-Sponsors: Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-2), 35 co-sponsors
● Expands benefits for survivors of members of the Armed Forces.
● Provides commissary and exchange privileges to a remarried former spouse.
● Provides continued eligibility for payment of an annuity to a spouse who remarries,
including a surviving spouse who remarried before the age of 55 and before enactment of
● Allows payment of necessary expenses for the transportation of a decedent's remains to
two locations (if the second is a national cemetery.
● Allows payment of financial assistance to civilian providers of child care or youth
program services furnished to survivors of members who die in the line of duty while on
active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training.
● Provides continued eligibility of a remarried surviving spouse for payment of veterans'
dependency and indemnity compensation, including a surviving spouse who remarried
before the age of 57 and before enactment of this bill.
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve dependency and indemnity
compensation for survivors of certain totally disabled veterans (H.R.464) - HVAC
● Introduced in the House 01/10/2019, Sponsor Rep. Walter Jones (passed away)
● Assuming First Sponsorship 09/24/2019 - Rep Troy Balderson (R-OH-12) asked
unanimous consent that he may hereafter be considered as the first sponsor of the bill for
the purpose of adding cosponsors, 6 current co-sponsors
● Improves dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain totally
● Requires VA to treat a notification of the death of a veteran rated totally disabled at the
time of death as a claim by the veteran's surviving spouse and children for Dependency
and Indemnity Compensation benefits. The VA may not require that such spouse and
children file a claim for such benefits.