TAPS on the Hill: Love Lives on Act of 2023

Author: Ashlynne Haycock-Lohmann

In 2023, TAPS is leading the charge on Capitol Hill to introduce and pass comprehensive legislation to allow surviving spouses to maintain benefits upon remarriage at any age. 

In April, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) reintroduced the first truly comprehensive remarriage bill, the Love Lives On Act of 2023 (S.1266). The House companion bill (H.R.3651) was introduced in May by Representatives Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Richard Hudson (R-NC). 

The bill would allow surviving spouses to maintain access to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation and education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Survivor Benefit Plan, and commissary and exchange privileges through the Department of Defense. It would also fix the archaic language that prevents surviving spouses from “holding oneself out to be married,” which has caused many survivors to live in fear of losing their benefits, and it would restore TRICARE benefits to surviving spouses whose subsequent marriage has ended.


white flowers tied to park benchPhoto: Pixabay


While there would be no back pay for survivors who have previously remarried under this bill, if it passes, those benefits would be restored going forward.

Currently, the bill has split jurisdiction between the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The TAPS Government & Legislative Affairs team is working to ensure that the provisions related to the Armed Services Committee are included in the 2024 Defense budget, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and we are working with the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs to help identify funding to pay for the costs of the bill. TAPS is optimistic that we will at least get parts of the bill passed this year!

Learn More About the Love Lives On Act

If you are interested in getting involved or have questions about the Love Lives On Act, please contact TAPS Government & Legislative Affairs team at policy@taps.org. As your advocates on the Hill, we are here for you.

Ashlynne Haycock-Lohmann, is the Deputy Director, TAPS Government Relations & Legislative Affairs and the surviving daughter of Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Haycock, U.S. Army, and Senior Airman Nichole Haycock, U.S. Air Force Veteran