American Forces Press Service report
WASHINGTON (10/28/11) â€“ In their ongoing review of military benefits in connection with the repeal of â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell,â€ Defense Department officials have now identified a total of 14 benefits where members may designate beneficiaries of their choosing, regardless of sexual orientation.
â€œWe listed eight member-designated benefits in our original Quick Reference Guide, released Sept. 20. Weâ€™ve now validated an additional six,â€ said Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez.
â€œWhile these are not new, now that weâ€™ve confirmed these additional benefits, weâ€™re updating the Quick Reference Guide to ensure all are aware of their beneficiary options.â€
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 â€“ 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
-- Veteransâ€™ Group Life Insurance beneficiary
-- Person Eligible to Receive Effects of Deceased Persons
-- 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,â€ Lainez said, â€œthe Defense Department is engaged in a careful and deliberate review of the possibility of revising the eligibility for additional benefits, if legally permitted.â€
Service members are encouraged to contact their personnel offices for more information.