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Monday at 6 | Suffolk siblings to lose benefit years after their father died in military accident

Chenoah Kent says a new law will force her and her children to move where the cost of living is cheaper.

SUFFOLK, Va. — A "For Sale" sign sits outside Chenoah Kent's house off Route 58 in Suffolk. 

The mother and teacher is moving to Roanoke, where the cost of living is cheaper. 

Starting in January, Kent's two children, 11 and 14, will no longer be eligible for the military's Survivor Benefit Plan's optional child annuity. 

 The National Defense Authorization Act, passed in 2020, reverts the payments to the surviving spouse only beginning next year. 

Her kids will lose $740 a month each, because Kent is not Navy Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Findley's surviving spouse.

They were divorced and he remarried months before dying in the line of duty in 2017. By law, the money goes to the children's stepmother.

"When I truly sit down and think about it--I see it as a disservice to Charles," Kent said. 

"We were still friends when we divorced. One thing he always wanted to make sure [of is] that he took care of both his children and his spouse. And if that's something that he chose, I was actually shocked." 

Learn more about their story and the implications of this change for military families in Hampton Roads on Monday at 6 p.m., only on 13News Now.

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