Military widow seen on viral gender reveal won't get benefits

Gender Reveal Benefits

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) -- A North Carolina widow who announced her gender reveal in a viral video won’t be getting any military benefits.

Cassie Lohrey’s husband Ryan died when a KC-130, out of Cherry Point, NC, crashed in Mississippi on July 10. Lohrey, a US Navy member was among the 16 killed and the only Sailor.

Just a month before the crash, Cassie and Ryan wed. And just a few weeks after the crash, Cassie found out she was pregnant with Ryan’s child.

RELATED | Months After Husband's Death Servicemen Help Wife Honor Husband With Gender Reveal

Cassie’s family explains in a GoFundMe account, that due to logistics and details that weren’t resolved Cassie and the baby are financially on their own.

Our sister station WFMY News 2 did some digging to figure out how that could happen.

When a military couple weds, there are some steps that should be taken as soon as possible. The first would be to sign the non-military spouse up for Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). DEERS is what allows family members to qualify for military benefits like health insurance and housing stipends. The person serving in the military is responsible for getting this done.

Next, you will need to get a military identification card as soon as possible. The ID card is the gateway to most of what the military has to offer in terms of getting on bases, exchanges, and commissaries.

After that, you may want to fill out a Power of Attorney Form, that allows the non-military spouse to conduct business on behalf of their spouse while they are deployed.

Then, comes the part many couples may have a hard time talking about---planning for deaths. When you get married you will want to designate your spouse as the beneficiary to your life insurance plans. If something were to happen to you,  your family could have some financial security.

It’s still unclear if all these steps were taken in Cassie’s case. But if they were then she would have been eligible for the death gratuity. The government would give her $100,000 in tax-free money to help cover expenses.

Carrie’s story is a good reminder for all families to keep life insurance policies and wills current.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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