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This is the year lawmakers will ax the 'Widow's Tax'

Surviving military spouses can expect to receive their full benefits by Jan. 1, 2023.

WASHINGTON — It’s a story WUSA9 first shared you with earlier this year. Annie Yu has been on the journey with surviving military spouses who have been battling decades to get back benefits that they earned. 

Tonight, some 65,000 surviving military spouses have a lot to celebrate.

Legislation to repeal the SBP DIC Offset, better known as the "Widow’s Tax," was passed by committee conferees negotiating the budget for the military in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020

The elimination of the "Widow’s Tax" will be phased in over a three-year period, starting on Jan. 1, 2021. Surviving military spouses can expect to receive their full benefits by Jan. 1, 2023. 

Credit: WUSA9
Surviving military spouse Edith Smith lobbied lawmakers for repeal for decades

RELATED: Surviving military spouses to lawmakers on Capitol Hill: If they can't take care of our veterans, stop creating them

For survivors who took the child-only option, they will continue to receive both the SBP and DIC, without the offset money subtracted from their survival benefits.

But those spouses will be able to re-select to receive the survivor benefit plan in their name permanently Jan. 1, 2023, which is when the child option will be phased out. For spouses whose children have aged out, they too will be able to re-select to receive full benefits Jan. 1, 2023.

The full House and Senate will be voting on the legislation within the week, after which it goes to the president for his signature.

RELATED: 'There's been many days and nights that I shed tears over this' | Surviving military spouses battle for full benefits

Credit: WUSA9
Surviving military spouses lobbied lawmakers for decades to repeal "Widow's Tax"

RELATED: Congress took away this benefit for surviving military spouses 40 years ago. Now, they’re close to finally righting that wrong

RELATED: 'With this vote, we sent an unambiguous message that ending the Widow's Tax is urgent'

Credit: WUSA9
Surviving military spouses stormed Capitol Hill to fight for their full benefits

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