Legislation Moving to Support Reserve Component Credit for
By: Cory Titus
A bipartisan bill is gaining
support to address the orders issued for the National Guard members activated
to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus.
The National Guard COVID-19 Earned Benefits Guarantee Act, H.R. 6957,
introduced by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), directs DoD to treat any time
served as part of the COVID-19 response by activated members of the National
Guard as no less than 90 days.The 90-day marker is significant because it
allows those who responded to the virus to receive credit for early retirement
and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
Notably, the bill specifies the
National Guard, not the reserve component. The lack of coverage for the
reserves is something MOAA addressed directly with Panetta’s office, and The
Military Coalition conveyed in a letter calling on the bill to be included in
their letter of support to the House Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.
As the fight continues against
COVID-19, it is becoming apparent we will see ebbs and flows at the state level.
As states begin to reopen, they run the risk of mass outbreaks that could
require a rapid response to contain the virus. A single event like a choir
practice in Washington led to 52 people infected over the course of a couple
hours. If events like this are not caught quickly, the results could prolong
necessary preventative measures.
The reserve component will continue
to be vital to any response. With the potential for servicemembers to go on and
off federal orders several times, they should not run the risk of missing
education benefits and retirement credit when responding repeatedly to the
national fight against the virus. A
legislative fix is necessary because of the enduring nature of this threat and
the need to support the troops on the front lines. Reach out to your
representative now seeking their support for this bill, and request they expand
this coverage for the entire reserve component.
Should Know About the Veterans Benefits Banking Program By: Shane
The VA and the Association of
Military Banks of America (AMBA) have partnered to create the Veterans Benefits
Banking Program (VBBP), which may help veterans with credit or legal issues –
and limited access to banking institutions – find financial help.
Each financial firm participating
in this program is committed to assisting veterans and their families find
banking solutions that fit their needs and qualifications. Veterans face increasing challenges from a
variety of predatory financial companies. For example, scams, frauds, and
corrupt busines practices from sketchy financial firms often target military
members and veterans. It is critical that veterans receiving VA compensation
have access to the regulated, safe, and reliable financial services provided by
the firms in this program.
The financial firms in this program
offer support, education, and banking solutions leading to greater financial
independence, knowledge, and recovery in difficult times. In addition, the
enhanced services provided by this program will assist VA beneficiaries in
managing their veteran compensation to reduce the number of fraud cases reported
to the VA.
All veterans who receive
compensation from the VA are eligible to participate with VBBP financial
institutions, but the program is designed especially for those who receive
financial benefits but do not have a current financial firm to help them manage
their money, such as veterans who receive pre-paid cards or checks in the mail.
It provides these veterans with an opportunity to open a bank account with a
partner firm and receive funds electronically.
Veterans must work with a financial
institution to determine their eligibility. They can learn more about which
firm fits their needs and how to apply for an account (all firms have an
application process) at www.veteransbenefitsbanking.org. You can also see a
list of participating firms if you prefer to visit in person.
Connect During COVID-19 Using the MOAA UPS Benefit By: Amber
If you are looking for a new way to
connect with friends and family from a distance, look no further than UPS – and
the discounted shipping rates available to MOAA PREMIUM and LIFE members.
The discount, one of several exclusive
member deals, is available through MOAA’s Perks Marketplace.
"We had no difficulty linking
our existing UPS account with the MOAA discount,” MOAA Board Member Rear Adm.
Clare Helminiak said. “We were able to ship eight boxes from Texas to Nebraska for
just over $100 with the MOAA discount. The cost at the U.S. Postal Service
would have been three times that, given that some of the boxes were large. We
will definitely use the MOAA discount with UPS frequently."
Perks Marketplace acts as a
separate site and purchase point, offering deals for rental cars, theme parks,
hotels, movie theaters, and more. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions
about the benefit, and instructions on how to access it:
Q. What is the UPS shipping benefit
for MOAA members?
A. The UPS benefit will allow MOAA
PREMIUM and LIFE Members to receive a flat 50% off express shipping and a flat
30% off for ground shipping. These are just two examples of nearly a dozen UPS
Q. How do I access the benefit?
A. MOAA members will have to first
sign into the MOAA website, then create a log in to Perks Marketplace (get
details here), click the UPS logo, then create an account on the UPS website.
Q. Once I’m on the UPS website,
what do I do?
A. Once set up, members may use the “Quick Start” menu to begin
taking action to ship a package. In order to learn how to navigate to the site,
please take a moment to watch our step-by-step video on the process.