RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

Archive for September, 2008

Angeles City Outreach on September 30, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 17th September 2008

September 16 Advisory: Further to our previous public service announcement, VA-VOCREHAB: Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment personnel will be in Angeles City Outreach on September 30, 2008
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
U.S. Embassy representatives from the American Citizen Services, Non-Immigrant Visa, and Immigrant Visa Units of the Consular Section; Social Security Administration; and the Joint US Military Assistance Group will be in:

ANGELES CITY
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
12:00 n.n. to 3:00 p.m.
Hilltop Function Room, Mimosa Golf & Country Club-Monte Vista Villa
Mimosa Leisure Estate, Clarkfield, Angeles City, Pampanga
American Citizen Services personnel will answer questions and:

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MEDICARE Part D UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

Medicare regulations establish an appeals process that, in theory, can be navigated by any person with Medicare who has been denied coverage for a prescription by his or her Part D plan. But problems frequently arise because Medicare Part D plans refuse to abide by the rules and prevent people from getting medically necessary medicines. These are the most common obstacles patients face:

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TRRx UPDATE September 14, 2006

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

The government’s cost of providing brand-name drugs to military beneficiaries through Tricare’s vast retail pharmacy network (TRRx) is falling by 25% as new law forces drug manufacturers to expand price discounts. The change won’t affect co-payments charged military family members and retirees who have 60 million prescriptions a year filled in retail drug outlets. But Department of Defense pharmacy costs will be cut by more than $700 million next year and by higher amounts in following years. The cost savings flow from a provision in the fiscal 2008 defense authorization act that requires drug makers to extend federal pricing discounts to brand-name medicines dispensed to military beneficiaries through drug stores, supermarkets and other commercial outlets.

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SSA MILITARY WAGE CREDITS UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

In JAN 02, Public Law 107-117, the Defense Appropriations Act, stopped the special extra earnings that have been credited to military service personnel. If you earned military pay while on active duty since 1957 (including active duty time for training), Social Security taxes were paid on those earnings. And since 1988, inactive duty service in the reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security. Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit. Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training, but not for inactive (reserve) duty training. If you served on active duty:

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DOD VET BETRAYAL CLAIM September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

In a letter sent to members of Congress in early SEP, the directors of two major veterans’ groups say the Pentagon’s personnel chief has intentionally withheld benefits from wounded service members. “We need your immediate assistance to help end the Defense Department’s deliberate, systemic betrayal of every brave American who [dons] the uniform and stands in harm’s way,” states the letter, signed by David Gorman, executive director of Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). “Sadly, the 2007 Walter Reed scandal, which resulted mostly from poor oversight and inadequate leadership, pales in comparison to what we view as the deliberate manipulation of the law” by David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and his deputies, the letter states.

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CRDP UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

As previously reported, last year’s National Defense Authorization Act authorized full, immediate concurrent receipt for disabled retirees rated as “Individually Unemployable” (IU) by the VA. The provision takes effect 1 OCT 08 with payment retroactive to 1 JAN 05. It is estimated that 50,000 are eligible to receive these increased payment amounts. According to Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the increase in IU payment will come in the November check. DFAS says, “Retirees will not need to take any action in order to receive this increased benefit amount. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service receives this information from the DVA [Department of Veterans' Affairs] on a regular basis.” In recent contact with DFAS, we are told that the retroactive payment is being worked out. While there is no clear timeline for these back-payments, DFAS informs us that a lump sum payment will be made once the calculation of individual payments is final.

To qualify for the CRDP entitlement, the retiree must have 20 years of service or retired under Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), must be in receipt of retired pay, in receipt of DVA compensation, rated 50 percent or higher by the DVA. Those rated by the DVA as IU, are compensated at the 100 percent rate in accordance with the DVA disability compensation basic rates. Payment is not a separate payment but reduces the dollar for dollar offset that retiree’s give up for every dollar they receive from the DVA. This will eliminate the offset and give retirees in this category all of their retired pay, and they will continue to receive the DVA compensation as they have been all along. In addition, to receive the additional compensation amount, the retiree must be receiving compensation at a disability rating not less than 60 percent and be rated IU. Additional information can be found at the DFAS site: DFAS-IU Information. [Source: NAUS Weekly Update 5 Sep 08 ++]

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GREYHOUND MILITARY DISCOUNT September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

Greyhound Bus Company is offering a fare discount to active duty and retired military personnel and their family members. The offer is a 10% discount off the Greyhound walk-up (unrestricted) fare and a maximum fare of $198 round trip anywhere in the continental U.S. The following terms apply:

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MILITARY COMPENSATION REVIEW UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

The new report of the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC) proposes a number of changes in military pay and benefits. Under the law, the Defense Department must conduct a QRMC every four years. MOAA previously addressed concerns about the QRMC’s proposed changes in the military retirement system (refer to “Purposes and Pitfalls of Retirement Reform” at www.moaa.org/lac/lac_asiseeit/lac_asiseeit_2008/lac_asiseeit_080813.htm). Now they have provided an assessment of the QRMC health care recommendations. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is in agreement with proposals to stress preventive care by removing copays and deductibles for procedures and medications that are intended to guard against health problems, including colonoscopies, mammograms, and medications intended to control chronic conditions such as diabetes. Similarly, they think the QRMC is on the right track in outlining a variety of initiatives to improve recruiting and retention of the full spectrum of military medical professions and expand contract, reimbursement, and other options to attract the needed level of civilian providers to meet the military community’s needs. But they have a pretty big hiccup on QRMC proposals to:

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NDAA 2009 UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

The Senate returned to work and took up consideration of the cloture motion to proceed to S.3001, the DoD Authorization bill on 8 SEP. Two hours later they proceeded to a roll call vote on the Motion to invoke Cloture which was approved 83-0 allowing the Senate to move to debate on this bill. Cloture is a procedural vote to limit debate and force a vote on a particular issue. It prevents excessive discussion of an issue (called filibustering or talk-a-thon). Three-fifths of all senators (sixty if there are no vacancies) must vote for the motion for cloture for it to be invoked. Once cloture is invoked, the Senate must take final action on the issue by the end of the thirty hours of consideration and may consider no other business until it takes that action. Each senator may speak for a total of no more than one hour. Senators may yield all or part of their hour to one of the floor managers or floor leaders that may in turn yield that time to other senators, but each manager and leader may be yielded no more than two hours. No delaying amendments or motions are allowed, and all debate and amendments must be relative to the debate. Only amendments filed before the cloture vote may be considered; no new amendments may be offered. No senator may call up more than two amendments until every other senator has had an opportunity to do so.

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NATIONAL GUARD BENEFITS September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

Currently, enlistees may be eligible for up to a $20,000 cash signing bonus for select careers and up to $32,000 for your college education through the Montgomery G.I. Bill and other incentive programs. The Guard offers many federal benefits/entitlements to their unit members and their families such as the Base Exchange, Commissary, use of Morale Welfare And Recreation facilities, and up to $400,000 life insurance at reduced rates. Members can also take advantage of Tricare Reserve Select Health Insurance and Tricare Dental. Both of these Health Insurance programs offer low cost premiums that round out the benefits necessary for families to maintain good health. Federal education benefits through the Montgomery G.I. Bill are available to most unit members provided they enlist for 6 years. These benefits are available to members after completion of basic training and technical school. This program is a non-contributory benefit, meaning no payment or reduction in pay is required to receive these benefits. Federal benefits received: Montgomery GI Bill chapter 1606; up to $317 per month to offset college cost of attending college fulltime. Other Education Benefits for members enlisting for six years in a critical skills job are: Montgomery GI Bill kicker up to $350 per month for full-time college enrollment, Student loan repayment program; up to $20,000 paid throughout enlistment. If you have prior military service and elected the active duty MGIB, you may still take advantage of this benefit up to a maximum of 48 months of combined benefits at the full-time rate. In addition to the federal benefits listed above, each state may offer additional benefits for their members such as: up to 100% tuition assistance, state tax deferment, and reduced auto license fees. Some of these benefits extend to member’s families. To search for benefits by state refer to www.goang.com/benefits/. For more information refer to:

• Army Guard: www.1-800-GO-GUARD.com

• Air Guard: site is www.GOANG.com

• Coast Guard Reserve: http://www.gocoastguard.com

• Marine Corps Reserve: http://www.marforres.usmc.mil/join/Bonus.asp

• Navy Reserve: http://www.navyreserve.com/?campaign=Reprise_YahooPI_Homepage_Homepage_Text

[Source: NGAUS Leg Up 5 Sep 08 ++]

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