Analysis of Financial Support to the Surviving Spouses and Children of Casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Analysis of Financial Support to the Surviving Spouses and Children of Casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Analysis of Financial Support to the Surviving Spouses and Children of Casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Analysis of Financial Support to the Surviving Spouses and Children of Casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Excerpt

Federal law mandates that every four years the President assess the military compensation system. The eleventh such review, known as the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC), focuses on four broad areas: (1) combat compensation, (2) reserve component compensation, (3) compensation for wounded warriors and surviving spouses, and (4) pay incentives for critical career fields. The research documented in this report addresses compensation for surviving spouses.

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has deployed more than 1.7 million service members to support military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Official records show that more than 6,000 of those service members were killed during their deployment or died as a result of injuries sustained during deployment. This study examines how the death of service members during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) has affected the subsequent labor market earnings of their surviving spouses and the extent to which survivor benefits provided by the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration have compensated for lost household earnings. The report should be of interest to policymakers and manpower analysts concerned with the effects of combat deaths on the lives of service members’ families.

This research was sponsored by the 11th QRMC and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

For more information on the RAND Forces and Resources Policy Center, see http://www.rand.org/nsrd/ndri/centers/frp.html or contact the director (contact information provided on the web page).

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