Bill would extend decision time for vet's surviving spouse
A new bill would give the spouse of a service-disabled veteran business-owner who dies a three-year transfer period of contracting benefits.
If a veteran dies of causes unrelated to service, Veterans’ Small Business Opportunity Act (S. 3210) would allow a surviving spouse time to determine the best option for the future of the veteran’s small business.
Current law allows for a transfer of the service-disabled veteran’s business designation to a spouse only if the veteran’s death was caused by a disability attributable to the veteran’s active duty service. When a veteran small business owner dies from causes deemed unrelated to service, the spouse immediately loses those benefits. As a result, the spouse is unable to pass off the business to another veteran or reestablish a business model.
“Our veterans’ spouses have sacrificed so much, and a family business shouldn’t be punished when a veteran unexpectedly passes away. Their spouse should have some time to get the business on solid ground,” Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a press release.
The legislation would update the Veterans Benefits Code within the Veterans Affairs Department. The code provides an array of federal assistance programs to veterans, including special contract set-asides for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
The bill was referred to the Veterans Affairs Committee for further consideration.
Matthew Weigelt is a former FCW senior writer who covered acquisition and procurement.