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Connors, Rumpf & Gove

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Committee Advances Connors-Rumpf-Gove Veterans’ Surviving Spouse Benefit Bill

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The Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee voted to approve legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove which would require the $750 annual compensation to surviving spouses of certain blind or disabled veterans to be payable from the date of the veteran’s death. Members of the 9th District delegation serve on the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committees of both houses.

A Senate committee approved a bill sponsored by Connors, Rumpf, and Gove requiring the $750 annual compensation to surviving spouses of certain blind or disabled veterans to be payable from the date of the veteran’s death. (©iStock)

Under the 9th District delegation’s legislation (S-898), payments to a surviving spouse would be due from April 9, 1985, in the event the veteran’s death occurred prior to that date, or the date of the veteran’s death if the death occurred after April 9, 1985, regardless of the date of the surviving spouse’s application.

Connors, Rumpf and Gove issued the following statement on the Committee’s release of their veterans’ initiative:

“Veterans’ services remain among the most important issues to our constituency, a large segment of which are veterans themselves or have a veteran family member. This legislative proposal is the result of hardship cases we were informed of in which spouses didn’t become aware of the benefit until long after they became eligible. Given the extenuating circumstances, which includes their spouses’ service to our nation, these individuals should be entitled to the monetary compensation dating back to their eligibility date.

“For those unfamiliar with the lifetime benefit, it is statutorily available to a veteran who was blinded or severely disabled as a result of service during any war, including specifically World War II, Korean, or Vietnam. The need for correcting current State law becomes all the more necessary when considering that the VA’s Office of Blind Rehabilitation Services estimates there are approximately 130,000 veterans in the United States who are legally blind, and more than a million veterans who have low vision that causes a loss of ability to perform necessary daily activities.”

Assemblyman Rumpf and Assemblywoman Gove are sponsors of the companion version, A-697, which was referred to the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee upon reintroduction.

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