SERVICES OFFERED TO ACTIVE, RESERVED, RETIRED, RETURNING FROM DEPLOYMENT VETERANS PEACEFUL MINDS-A WELLNESS CENTER FOR COMBAT VETERANS
VETERANS SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE:
1-800-273-TALK, Veterans Press 1
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION APPLICATION for HEALTH BENEFITS Update:
The VA recently partnered with the Army at Camp Shelby, MS, to test and launch a streamlined version of its on-line application for VA health benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ) for service members returning from deployment. VA will introduce it at demobilization sites nationwide by early spring 2012. The on-line application is used to enroll in the VA healthcare system, which has more than 1,000 sites of care across the country. It will reduce the paperwork and speed the process. Enrollment for VA health care is done as part of a service member’s demobilization. The online form allows the application to be completed during a regularly scheduled briefing for all service members on VA benefits. Recently discharged combat Veterans are eligible for five years of cost-free care and medication for conditions potentially related to combat service. For more information, service members may contact VA at 1-877-222 VETS (8387) or visit the VA Health eligibility website www.va.gov./healthbenefits.
Medicare Eligible Vets: If you are a Veteran with Medicare eligibility you have the following options for health care:
If you have or can bet both Medicare and Veterans benefits, you can get treatment under either program. When you get health care, you must choose which benefits you are going to use. You must make this choice each time you see a doctor or get health care, like in a hospital. Medicare cannot pay for the same service that was covered by Veterans benefits, and your Veterans benefit cannot pay for the same service that was covered by Medicare. You do not have to go to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital or to a doctor who works with the VA for Medicare to pay for the service. However, to get services paid by VA, you must go to a VA facility or have the VA authorize services in a non-VA facility. For more information on Veterans’ benefits contact Northport VA Hospital at 631-261-4400 or contact the national VA information number at 1-800-827-1000 or www.va.gov
EYEGLASSES FOR RETIREES:
If you are retired military and eligible for other medical services, you are authorized to receive the following quantities of Standard Issue spectacles per year:
Standard Issue eyewear Choices and Sizes:
• One clear pair of Bifocals/Trifocals (Multi-focals)
• One tinted pair of Bifocals/Trifocals if prescribed by your Optometrist/Opthalmologist
If you choose not to request Bifocals/Trifocals, you can receive:
• One pair of Distance Vision and one pair of Near Vision spectacles
• One pair of Distance Vision tinted spectacles is authorized if prescribed by your Optometrist/Opthalmologist
If you are more than 50 miles from a military health clinic with optometry services, you may follow the instructions to order your glasses at www.med.navy.mil/sites/nostra/order/Documents/DD771
You must have a DD771 form for each request for eyewear. Send the following information to NOSTRA:
• One copy of the completed DD771 form;
• Your mailing address and a daytime phone number and e-mail address if available;
• Orders are subject to DEERS eligibility check.
You may submit your order for eyewear by e-mail, fax or standard mail.
• Fax your order to 1-757-887-4647. Make sure you write “Retiree Order” on the fax.
• Call NOSTRA Customer Service at 1-757-887-7611/7152/7299/7476 right after you send your fax to insure they receive it and that all information is included to fabricate your orders or
• Standard Mail to NOSTRA, 160 Main Road Ste 350, Yorktown, VA 23691-9984.
VETERANS TAX CREDIT
The IRS released the guidance and forms that employers can use to claim, the newly-expanded tax credit for hiring Veterans. The VOW to HIRE HEROES ACT OF 2011, enacted Nov. 2011, provides an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to businesses that hire eligible unemployed Veterans and for the first time also makes the credit available to certain tax-exempt organizations. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per Veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. The amount of the credit depends on a number of factors, including the length of the Veteran’s unemployment before hire, hours a Veterans works and the amount of first-year wages paid. Employers who hire Veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum credit. Normally, an eligible employer must file Form 8850 with the State workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. But according to today’s guidance, employers have until June 19, 2012, to complete and file this newly-revised form for Veterans hired on or after November 22, 2011 and before May 22, 2012. The 28 day rule will again apply to eligible Veterans hired on or after May 22, 2012. In effort to streamline the certification requirements, IRS has clarified and expanded upon 2002 guidance to facilitate employers’ use of electronic signatures when gathering the Form 8850 for transmission to State workforce Agencies. The IRS expects the Department of Labor to issue further guidance to the State workforce agencies providing further clarification. For more Information contacted Department of Labor at 1-800-HIRE 992 or www.labor.ny.gov, slick on businesses then slick hiring incentives.
EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITEC), sometimes called EIC is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earned. It is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families, if you earned less than $49,078 from wages, self-employment or farming last year you may qualify. For more tax guides and tips, visit the Military.com Tax Center at www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes.
TRICARE DENTAL PROGRAM UPDATE
Effective May 1, MetLife becomes the dental carrier for the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP). MetLife will provide dental coverage to over 2 million family members of uniformed service active duty personnel, members of the Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve, eligible family members and survivors. Beneficiaries will have access to Met Life’s network with over 161,000 dentist access points, and this number continues to grow. NOTE that the change to MetLife is for the TDP program only. The Active Duty Dental Program will still be administered by United Concordia® and the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program coverage will remain under Delta Dental. MetLife will distribute program information, provider network details beginning in first quarter 2012.
FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION’S SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MILITARY CHILDREN PROGRAM
The Defense Commissary Agency operates nearly 250 commissaries on military installations around the world. The program is open to currently enrolled or college-bound children of active duty, reserve or retired military commissary customers. A minimum of one $1,500.00 scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location where applications are received. People can obtain more information about the program and can pick up applications at their local commissary or download the application from the scholarship program’s website www.militaryscholar.org./sfmc/index.