Larry E. Bennett Post 255

POST 255 SERVICE OFFICER

MILTON IRONFIELD

Article Posted January 2023

Free lifetime Military Pass Entrance to National Parks for Gold Star Families and Veterans

The free annual Military Pass is available for current US military members and their dependents covers entrance fees and standard amenity fees.  There is also a pass for Seniors and disabled persons. $10 processing fee online or free in person at sites that issue passes.

https://store.usgs.gov/recreational-passes

Free California State Park Lifetime Pass

Eligibility:  50% VA rating, POW, or Medal of Honor.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30958

Discounted CA Sport Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Disabled and Recovering Vets 50% rating or service members undergoing medical treatment while recovering from a severe service-related injury or illness. Apply with your VA certification or treatment letter from your commander or military doctor via mail.  You can also request a secure document upload to LRB@wildlife.ca.gov.  Once established, you can purchase at any licensing location

Article Posted November 2022VA Survivors Pension:

Offers monthly payments to survivors of wartime veterans who meet needs-based income limits, for spouses, not remarried, and unmarried dependent children under 18 or in school to age 23.  The calculations are complicated but we can review your situation and assist with the application.  You will need to gather documents to verify income (including social security), assets, and debts.  https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension

Article Posted December 2022

VA Survivors Pension:

Offers monthly payments to survivors of wartime veterans who meet needs-based income limits, for spouses, not remarried, and unmarried dependent children under 18 or in school to age 23.  The calculations are complicated but we can review your situation and assist with the application.  You will need to gather documents to verify income (including social security), assets, and debts.  https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension

Article Posted October 2022

New myPay for Gray Area Retirees

https://www.dfas.mil/grayarea

Gray Area Retirees are members who served in the Guard or Reserves and qualified for retired pay and have retired from their service, but are not yet at the age where they can start receiving retired pay, and includes members in the Retired Reserve.

By registering for a myPay account, you will receive important information from DFAS and your Branch of Service, such as changes in laws or policies that impact your retirement benefits, reminders about applying for retired pay, and your Services’ Retiree Newsletter.  Also, DFAS will send email status notifications to you when your completed application for retired pay is received (applications for retired pay should be submitted through your Branch of Service or National Guard command).

Article Posted September 2022

VETERAN Designation on Driver License and ID Card

Eligible vets can add "VETERAN" to the front of their driver license or ID card and can serve as proof of service for various discounts and benefits. The CalVet office will verify and issue a verification form that you take to the DMV.  $5 is added to the regular card fee.

https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetServices/Pages/Veteran-Designation-on-California-Driver-License-and-ID-Card.aspx

Registration Fee Waivers for Disabled Vets

Free vehicle registration and license plates for 100% percent disabled, former POW, Medal of Honor recipient, or the surviving spouse of a POW or Medal of Honor recipient.  

Article Posted August 2022

Comrades
I would like to encourage everyone to sign up for the  free insurance offered by Legionnaires Insurance Trust. It's free. The department of California gets money for each member signed up. The department uses this money to support  VA&R. In other words this money helps pay for Accredited service officers throughout  the state that help members apply for benefits. All members of the legion family are eligible. So please spread the word to both our auxiliary members and sons. You can get additional information at the web site and the address is www.THELIT.com.

Also I have  been getting a lot of questions about the social security noncontributory earnings, I wrote about earlier. The benefits manual says that these benefits are not in the record now, but should be added when you apply for benefits. So when you apply take a copy of your DD-214 with you ,and ask them to add the earnings, if you are eligible . You should be eligible for additonal earnings if you served on active duty from 1956 through 2001

Article posted July 2022

Instantly Download VA benefit letters

https://www.va.gov/records/download-va-letters

I just figured out you can login in and download these VA benefit letters without filling out a form:

- Proof of Service Card (useful at stores that have Vet discounts)

- Service Verification Letter, Benefit Summary

- Civil Service Preference Letter

Article posted June 2022

California Property Tax Exemptions: 

Homeowners Exemption - Reduces the taxable value of your primary home by $7,000 saving you an exciting $70.  https://arcc.sdcounty.ca.gov/Documents/HOMEOWNERBrochure.pdf

Veterans' Exemption - gets you even less, so don’t bother.

Disabled Veterans Exemption - reduces property tax for 100% rated vets and surviving spouse.  Base exemption is $150k, or $225k with household income below $66k.  It adjusts for inflation and may be retroactive 8 Years.  Proposed changes make it available to all vets based on rating.  https://arcc.sdcounty.ca.gov/Documents/DVETBrochure.pdf

Capital Gains Tax Relief - If you or spouse are age 55+, or severely and permanently disabled, you can transfer the base value of your home to a newly purchased home.  It also allows a one-time claim for disability related modifications to your home without adding the cost to the assessed value.  

https://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/prop60-90_55over.htm

https://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/faqs/propositions110.htm

VA now uses Login.gov as an alternative to ID.me - one account for access to govt agencies. 

Article posted before 2022

D214 ACCESS ONLINE NOW

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following web site for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov/ or try

http://www.archives.gov /veterans/military-service

FOR SAN DIEGO VETERANS & THEIR SURVIVORS

CALL 619-479-1447.

EMAIL: ServiceCorps@LegionSD.org

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VA BENEFITS? http://statesidelegal.org/library/2780

Do you need help filing a claim? Call our office for an outreach appointment today! We provide counseling and assistance in filing for VA Disability or Dependent Indemnity Compensation, Disability or Death Pension, Health Care enrollment, Burial and Memorial benefits, Education and Vocational Rehabilitation benefits or other VA benefits or benefits available from the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

SCAM ALERT!!! Do not pay anyone to help you file a claim with the VETERAN’S ADMINISTRATION. We can get you help for free if you qualify.

Are you looking for a job? Visit WWW.VETJOBS.COM.

DD FORM 214 -- SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT

Please share this with anyone who's had active duty service prior to January 2002 and planning for retirement.

In a nutshell it boils down to this: You qualify for a higher social security payment because of your military service, for active duty any time from 1940 through 2001 (the program was done away with in January 2002). Up to $1200 per year ofearnings credit credited at time of application - which can make a substantial difference in social security monthly payments upon you retirement.

You must bring your DD-214 to the Social Security Office - and you must ask for this benefit to receive it! Social Security website:
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/military.htm
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/military.htm>
This is something to put in your files for when you apply for Social Security down the road. It is NOT just for retirees, BUT anyone who has  served on active duty prior to January 2002.
  FYI - this benefit is not automatic, you must ask for it!