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Senate approves Wounded Warrior Protection Act

Sen. Steve Russell Sen. Steve Russell

The Senate showed their support of Oklahoma’s heroes who are wounded in battle by giving unanimous approval to a bill to protect Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) in divorce proceedings. Senate Bill 1951 would deem a portion of CRSC as separate property, not divisible as a marital asset or community property. The bill would prohibit alimony payments, whether designated for support or for property division, to be based on CRSC.

“These men and women have sacrificed so much. It’s incomprehensible that someone would try to claim a military member’s special compensation for losing a limb or being paralyzed, but it happens. It’s a case of downright greed and we need to protect our injured military members,” said Russell, R-Oklahoma City. “I completely understand ensuring that a spouse receives sufficient alimony and so forth from a military member’s regular pay and retirement, but not this special compensation. This is the government’s way of showing its gratitude to these brave men and women for their incredible sacrifice, and no other human being has the right to take that away from them.”

Under the proposed measure, the service member would have to prove a specific dollar amount of CRSC was compensation paid for combat-related loss of limb or loss of bodily function. Combat-related injuries include those for which a service member was awarded a purple heart, was incurred as a direct result of armed conflict, or sustained through an instrumentality of war while serving in a combat theater.

Service members would be responsible for providing competent evidence of what amount of his or her disability compensation is CRSC. Competent evidence would include, but not be limited to, a DD-214 or NGB-22 or similar statement of service which identifies the combat theater in which the member served; a Bureau of Veterans Administration (“BVA” or “VA”) Award letter which sets for the specific combat-related loss of limb or loss of bodily function, and the specific amount of CRSC paid for such injuries; and a 1099 from the BVA or VA which details the specific amount of CRSC for combat-related loss of limb or loss of bodily function.

SB 1951 now moves to the House for further consideration.

Contact info
Sen. Russell: (405) 521-5618