TAPS Advocates for All Military Survivors 


The mission of TAPS is to offer comfort and support for surviving families of military loss regardless of the location or manner of their death. Part of that commitment includes advocating for improvements in programs and services provided by the Federal government through the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as State and local governments. TAPS also works to advance policy and legislation to strengthen the families of America’s fallen military heroes. 

For more information on TAPS Military Survivor Advocacy, contact us at policy@taps.org.


Current Legislative Priorities

 
Soldier against fire background
Pass Landmark Toxic Exposure Legislation

TAPS is the leading voice for the families of those who died as a result of illnesses connected to Toxic Exposure and co-chair of the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Coalition. TAPS is working to improve healthcare and benefits.

 
Widow Tax Legislation House get together
Increase Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

TAPS was instrumental in the fight to eliminate the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) / Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) offset or “Widow’s Tax” and continues to work towards equity with other federal benefits for surviving spouses.

 
 
Couple Holding Hands
Introduce Comprehensive Remarriage Bill

A long-term goal for TAPS is to secure the right for surviving spouses to remarry at any age and and not forfeit loss of financial benefits such as education, medical care, commissary and exchange benefits.

 
 
 
survivors console each other
Expand Mental Health Services for Survivors

TAPS has been on the front lines of suicide postvention efforts to support military families grieving deaths by suicide, and supports prioritizing mental health care as an essential element to overall wellness and readiness.

 
Define Gold Star Family
Honor All Gold Star Families

The Gold Star Families Day Act will create a federal holiday as a national day of remembrance for all those who have lost a loved one to military service, regardless of the manner, place, or time of death including non-combat deaths.

Navy Family
Create One Gi Bill for All Veterans, Survivors and Families

TAPS long-term goal is to bring all survivors into the Fry Scholarship and phase out the Vietnam Era Dependents Education Assistance (Chapter 35).

 
 
money and paperwork
Strengthen the Death Gratuity

TAPS supports a minimum of 50% of the Death Gratuity for eligible surviving spouses and to change the name of the Death Gratuity to more accurately reflect the intended purpose of the payment and sensitivity towards newly bereaved survivors.

young adults
Provide Tricare and Champva Young Adult Coverage in Parity With The Affordable Care Act

TAPS supports the Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act which would allow TRICARE young adults to remain on their parents' policy up to age 26.

 
flags at cemetery
Ensure Benefits for Veterans Who Die of COVID-19 With Underlying, Service-Connected Disabilities

Veterans who pass away from the coronavirus may have their cause of death labeled as "COVID-19" without accounting for service-related disabilities.


Related Articles and Videos

 
at the gravestone
Agency Over Agent Orange

When a loved one's illness comes years after military service, survivors can feel disconnected from military & veteran support services. TAPS is here to help navigate this journey with you.

 
 
Veterans Affairs and TAPS Staff
TAPS and VA Partner Together for Veteran Benefits

TAPS partnership with the Veterans' Affairs ensures veterans and their families receive the support they need.

 
Coleen and Senator Tillis
From Caregiver to Survivor: Finding New Purpose and Honoring Husband's Legacy

TAPS leadership lead to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs passage of a Landmark Toxic Exposure Bill.

 
 
Candace Wheeler speaking in front of Podium at Capitol Hill
Surviving Military Spouses Axed the Widow's Tax

Several members of the TAPS Family key to efforts that ultimately axed the Widow's Tax share about their work on this historic legislation.