By the American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, D.C.– 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.