14 April 2021
09 April 2021
That's right! It seems this state legislature simply didn't contemplate the possibility of Colorado soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines dying on active duty. That's why Colorado seem to have forgotten to offer our Gold Star Wives the same widows' benefits as we provide to survivors of totally disabled veterans.
That's unjust and plain WRONG! But not a single widow of an active duty service member
is permitted the Colorado Disabled Veteran's Survivor Property Tax Exemption, a small
exemption saving widows between $400-$600 a year.
Why? Our state constitution's Article X Section 3.5 permits the exemption only to widows of
disabled veterans already in receipt of the benefit. Dying on Active Duty means not being
able to complete the application process – because the service member died first!
This is Really an Amazing and Ridiculous Catch-22!
Why is the small property tax exemption of value to Gold Star Wives?
First, it shows the state's respect and appreciation for the loss borne by these widows and widowers. The partial tax exemption would only save about $400 to $600. It would seem a minor issue to most of us.
But look at this from a Gold Star Widow's perspective. Circumstances vary, but if eligible widows can receive half of the service member's base pay. More than half of all military deaths are E-5 and below. An Army E-5 three-stripe sergeant would have a widow pension of under $2,000 per month.The VA has "Dependents Indemnity Compensation," where if eligible a survivor might receive $1,300 per month. So, at best, the sergeant's widow (or widower) hopes for a modest $39,000 per year.
How far does that go? In Colorado, the average home mortgage cost is $1,700 per month, and with typical associated costs like taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance, a monthly cost of over $2,400 or $28,000 annually. You can do the math – that leaves $916 per month for food, transportation, insurance, clothing.
Summary: Colorado Life did a thorough report on the money necessary to live in Colorado one needs $4,317.68 per month to live in Colorado if there is a mortgage involved. Oops – that leaves our widow short by over $12,000 per year. That's why the paltry $400-$600 partial property tax exemption is important.
17 March 2021
Not sure the best place to post this. My father, Wayne "Coby" Johnson succumbed to his fight with lung cancer on 9/20/20.
He was a pilot and member of the 355th and 356th TAS at Rickenbacker and the 731st TAS at Westover. I would like to thank all of members of this community and this website specifically.
Although he was initially denied his medical claim with the VA we were able to appeal the decision and he received the care and benefits he earned through the last year of his life. Thank you. https://www.wilmingtoncares.com/obituary/wayne-coby-johnson/
Thanks for writing, and God Bless your dad.
15 March 2021
30 May 2020
In addition, there was one claim approved that I disagree with: a paratrooper claimed Agent Orange exposure merely by having jumped from a C-123 during his active duty years. This kind of infrequent, non-professional is not what VA had in mind when the C-123 eligibility rules were published. Lucky guy, but not from any merit on his part.