Military Widow Not Receiving Benefits After Wife’s Death

Tracy  and Donna Johnson Image via Military Partners

Tracy and Donna Johnson Image via Military Partners

Tracy Dice Johnson goes to bed missing her wife every day, but unlike other military husband’s and wives, Johnson doesn’t have the financial comfort that others do. Her wife, National Guard Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson was killed by a suicide bomber at  a checkpoint in Afghanistan in 2012, but Tracy Dice hasn’t received a cent of the $1,200 a month she was promised after the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that DOMA was unconstitutional for denying federal benefits to same-sex couples, she may not see this money because her home state of North Carolina still has a law that bans same-sex marriage. Although no official letter has told her that she has been denied the benefits, her two claims have been under review for months. According to CNN: “The Department of Veterans Affairthat officials are working with the Department of Justice on ‘guidance’ to process requests for same-sex spousal benefits” A federal agency, though, said that “federal law forces it to define a legal marriage based on ‘state of residence’ as of when the couple was married or when benefits were triggered, according to the Veterans Affairs.”

 

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