I must humbly admit that I keep finding benefits for veterans and retirees that I never knew existed. Some of these could have a major impact on your lifestyle and boost your wallet! Three that I find most interesting follow.
Transferability of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Secretary of Defense has authorized the transfer of all or some GI Bill benefits to a spouse or children. Service members must have served at least 90 days on active duty on or after 11 September 2001. Benefits accrue on a sliding scale, and certainly have some limitations. But benefits can cover tuition, fees, up to $1,000 a year for books and other living expenses.
Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance. Even if a service member has used his GI Bill benefits, his spouse or children may be eligible for tuition assistance. This could apply to job training, an apprenticeship or to earn a degree. In this case, the service member must be totally or permanently disabled as a result of service, or have died from a service-related cause, is missing in action, or other situations.
Military Spouse Career Advancement Account. Military spouses can receive up to $4,000 in tuition assistance for various high-demand career fields. This is available to spouses of service members in grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 or O-2.
For more information on all of these, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs web site and do a search on GI Bill. There are lots of other benefits you may not be aware of.
Are you hearing disabled and have hearing aids from VA or DOD? Are you eligible for free hearing aid batteries from the VA Denver Acquisition & Logistics Center? I highly recommend their new automated 24-hour reorder system. Just call 303-273-6200 and follow the prompts. You will be asked to enter your Social Security number and mailing zip code. I used it for the first time last month and was amazed at how simple it is. And I got my new batteries a lot faster than using the old mail-in-the-card system.
A couple of items from the Military Archdiocese. In this year’s “Ordination Season” the Class of 2015 will turn out almost twice as many military vets compared with each of the past two years. For this year, 24 men being ordained to the priesthood report previously serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. And on March 27, the Senate confirmed the promotion of Father Paul K. Hurley from the rank of Colonel to Major General (Yes – he skipped Brigadier General) and his appointment as the 24th U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains. Say a prayer for Father Hurley, and for all our military chaplains of all faiths and services.
Finally, please remember to thank a Veteran or an active duty Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman or Coast Guardsman. They are a constant reminder that our cherished freedom is not free.
J J Kelly