TRI-CITIES VFW Post 6872 3400 County Rd 920Burleson, Crowley & JoshuaTexas Veterans Legislative News APRIL 2009 Compiled by Hal Cleveland 817-295-7466 firstname.lastname@example.org
2008-2009 VFW 6872 & Ladies Auxiliary Leadershipwww.vfw6872.org VFW Post Commander David Bowers 817-368-6415 Sr. Vice Commander Andy Asberry 817-558-3932 Quartermaster Larry Seaton 817-645-2436 Chaplain Henry Spells 817-999-6179 VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Jan Seaton 817-645-2436 Sr. Vice President Pat Cooper 817-517-5857 Secretary Alta Lee Fulch 817-297-1605
Quote of the Month “Leadership is action, not position.” Donald H. McGannon
VFW Legislative Alert Last months legislative alert concerning the administration’s plan to bill insurance companies of disabled veteran’s for their service connected injuries caused the President to rescind that part of the budget within 48 hours. Uniting to communicate with our legislators goes to show what can be achieved when we all work together for a common goal. Lets continue to prove that veterans are not their own worst enemy.
Tax Withholding Reduction (Single or Duel income Families) Explained • The tax reduction (up to $400 for singles or up to $800 for couples) applies to “earned income” – in other words, people still earning a paycheck from an employer. Payroll taxes will be reduced & at the end of the year, receive a tax credit for the reduced amount. Thus you will be paying fewer taxes now (this translates to more pocket money) & you won’t owe the tax later. • Each wage earner in the family may have this reduction applied to them by their employer. However, the duel income family can apply only one tax credit at the end of the year for up to $800 per joint tax filing.
Tax Withholding Reduction for Retirees • Retiree checks are not eligible for the program. However, retiree checks use the same tax withholding tables a paychecks. So retiree checks will reflect the tax withholding decrease. This means you will need to increase your withholding to compensate for the withholding reduction or be ready to possibly owe more taxes when you file your 2009 income tax returns.
Tax Withholding Reductions for Retirees Who Draw Social Security and/or VA Disability Compensation • These retirees drawing Social Security and/or VA Disability Compensation, will receive a one-time lump sum amount of $250 in one of your monthly checks in the next few months. If you also work & receive either VA or SS checks, this means you will receive the payroll tax withholding reduction AND the $250 lump-sum, HOWEVER the $250 will be subtracted from your payroll tax withholding credits. • Clear as mud, huh? Just don’t expect to get the deduction AND the lump sum without the IRS calling for the $250 back when you file your income taxes in 2009.
Public Law 110-329 Expands Enrollment for Priority 8 Veterans • On June 15, 2009, 266,000 additional veterans are expected to be enrolled thru FY2010. • Veterans whose incomes do not exceed the VA Means Test threshold or the Geographic Means Test threshold (which ever is applicable) by more than 10 percent can enroll in the VA system. • The VA has developed a calculator that will help veterans determine if their income makes them eligible for enrollment. • Follow this link to use the calculator. http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/apps/enrollmentcalculator/ • To learn more about the plans for implementation and other issues follow this link: http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/ • If anyone meets the income criteria they would be enrolled even if the numbers exceed the 266,000 target.
Access Your DD-214Online The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214's online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov • There are 4 steps that you need to accomplish to navigate the system & it will guide you through the steps & tell you exactly which step you are on. • Print, sign and date the signature verification area of your customized form. This is important because the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires that all requests for records & information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed & dated by the veteran or next of kin. • Mail or fax your signature verification form to us, & we will process your request. You must do this within the first 20 days of entering your request, or your request will be removed from the system.
Vet Corps Bill is on its way to the President for Signature • HR 1388 creates a volunteer program aimed at helping those who have served in the military who may require assistance for themselves or their families; to recruit & mobilize veterans to meet the needs of their fellow servicemen & women. • Collectively, Veterans Service Organizations, VA & others are to provide education, job training & mentoring. VFW plans to work closely with Congress & the Corporation for National Community Service which is responsible for administering the program, to make sure that adequate funds are provided & allocated properly.
Status on Selected Bills in Congress • S 546, finally allows concurrent receipt for all military retirees (Medical Retirees Chapter 61 with less than 20 years & longevity retirees with service connected disabilities of 10%-40%); has 25 co-sponsors; Companion bill HR 333 has 59 co-sponsors. • HR 303, the concurrent receipt bill; has 45 co-sponsors. • HR 1695 lowers the age when Reserve or Guard start collecting retirement pay from 60 to 55 has 1 cosponsor. • HR 270 allows Gray Area Retirees to continue to purchase TRICARE Reserve Select until they turn 60; has 40 co-sponsors. • HR 775 would end the SBP/DIC offset. It is already up to 185 co-sponsors. S 535, the Senate version; has 24 co-sponsors.
The Following Bills will be Considered by the US House of Representatives HR 1377, expands veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility; has 2 cosponsors. HR 1171, Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009; has 4 cosponsors. HR 1513, Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009; has 10 cosponsors.
House Votes To Raise Widows' Allowance • Military widows have asked Congress for years to end the offset in Survivors Benefit Plan (SBP) payments that occurs when widows also qualify for VA Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC). • Currently, about 33,000 of widows in receipt of DIC lose their entire SBP as a result. • SBP is paid for by the military retiree & surviving widows don't understand why they lose SBP annuities that they believed were secured for them. • If it passes muster & becomes law, it will be another bone tossed by the Congress.
Selected U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives Contact Information Senator Kay Bailey HutchisonSenator John Cornyn LB 606 Occidental Tower 10440 N. Central Expressway 5005 LBJ Freeway Suite 1160 Suite 1150 Dallas, TX 75231 Dallas, TX 75244 (214) 361-3500 Tel. (972) 239-1310 Tel. (214) 361-3502 Fax (972) 239-2110 Fax Representative Joe Barton (TX-6)Representative Chet Edwards (TX17) 6001 W. Ronald Reagan Memorial Hwy 115 S. Main Street Suite 200 Suite 202 Arlington, TX 76017 Cleburne, TX 76033 (817) 543-1000 Tel. (817) 645-4743 Tel. (817) 548-7048 Fax (817) 645-4796 Fax
Selected Texas State Senator and Representative Contact Information State Senator Kip Averitt (Dist. 22) P.O. Box 12068 400 Austin Avenue Capitol Station Waco, TX 76701 Austin, TX 78711 (254) 772-6225 or 772-6229 (512) 463-0122 (254) 776-2843 (Fax) (512) 475-3729 (Fax) State Representative Rob Orr (Dist. 58) Room E1.410 210 West Ellison Capitol Extension Burleson, TX 76028 Austin, TX 78701 (817) 295-5158 (512) 463-0538 (817) 295-5319 (Fax) (512) 463-0897 (Fax)
Refer Questions & Recommendations to: Hal Cleveland 224 S. Scott St. Burleson, TX 76028-4856 email@example.com 817-295-7466