What Is Different About The Electronic Edition
In 2020, the Army added an electronic only edition during August of each year. The February, May, and November editions are still distributed in both hard copy and electronic versions. Fiscal constraints prevent printing four editions each year.
You can download the electronic edition on your iPhone, iPad, and Android phone using the free Army Echoes apps in the App Store and . Electronic editions include links to additional information on external websites and to email addresses for RSOs and other resources.
The Army Echoes Blog keeps electronic subscribers updated between editions with three posts per week.
Contact Us About Military Release And Severance Pay
Questions about military pay after release, payment of Canadian Forces’ Severance Pay , T4s and Relevé 1s, Military Personnel Records Resumés and other pay related issues may be sent to the Release Benefits Administration office via email to the .
Please include the following information in the subject line of your email:
- Component – Reg Force or Res Force
- Service Number, Surname and Initials
Example: Reg Force D11 222 333 Cpl Smith JJ change of address
Your email should provide as many details as possible, including a daytime telephone number, so that we can respond to your request as soon as possible.
You can also contact us by mail at:
Release Benefits Administration
How Would Someone Know If Their Ex
You can send a letter to the Office of Personnel Management. For identification and verification purposes, you should list the Social Security number of the Service Member and Spouse/Former Spouse, the date of birth of both the military spouse and former spouse and essentially say, I need statements from the TSP account for this military member for purposes of my divorce. Heres my divorce case number.
The Office of Personnel Management will reply back and send a letter back with those statements that youre requesting, or they will response back that no account exists.
Note: A subpoena is not required and in fact, if you send a subpoena, the Office of Personnel Management wont reply back with the records. Theyll reply back with a letter that essentially states: We do not respond to subpoenas because we are Federal Agency and do not have to respond to State Court Subpoenas.
Here is some suggested language:
SENT VIA FACSIMILE 703/592-0151 AND US MAIL
TSP Legal Processing Unit
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Va Disability Compensation Benefits
Veterans who have a service-related injury or illness may be entitled to VA disability compensation. Its a tax-free monthly benefit.
Visit VA.gov to learn:
Which conditions qualify you for benefits
How the claims process works
How to appeal a decision you disagree with. The process changed in February 2019.
Survivors of veterans may receive compensation benefits in certain situations.
Preparing For The Unknown: What You Can Do To Prepare For A Military Veteran Or Retiree Death
While its hard to consider your death or that of a loved one, being prepared can ease some of the burden while you or your loved ones grieve.
Start by getting your files together, these files might include:
- Military documents: Retirement orders or separation papers, medical records and any phone numbers for the local/nearest military installation that will be able to help.You can use this file to store any retired/separation pay information from DFAS. Include any VA claims that might still be pending, along with the address for the VA office that is proecessing your claim.
Also, consider providing the following information:
- Deductions being made from your benefits
- The name, relationship and contact information of your beneficiary
- Annuities: Keep information about any survivor benefit plans in this file. If you or your dependent need to obtain additional information on annuity claims, reach out to DFAS.
- Personal and financial documents: Include documents like marriage certificates, divorce decrees, adoptions and naturalization papers. Insurance policies including life, property and accident insurance. Also include records of your state, federal and property taxes, tax bills and deeds. Keep a list of all bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, any securities owned, charge accounts and credit cards with account numbers and billing addresses.
Servicemembers Should Also Know About The 10/10 Rule And A 20/20/20 Rule What Are Those
Regarding the 10/10 rule: When a Service Member divorces or enters into a legal separation judgment, the former spouse must have at least 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of military service, in order to be eligible to receive direct payments from the military as a property award from the family court.
It is important to note the 10 years runs not from date of marriage to date of separation, but from date of marriage to date of divorce. So if you are close to 10 years, the parties in a family law action might want to consider stretching out the final divorce date/legal separation date, in order to meet the 10/10 rule.
If the service member is active duty , the 10 years is 10 actual years of military service. If the service member is in the reserves , then the requirement is 10 good years of service. A good year of service is defined as a minimum of 50 drill points being earned for a reservist .
It is important to note that even though the military might not make direct payments to a former spouse who does not meet the 10/10 rule-that does not mean the military spouse does not owe the money. The property right still exists, whether or not the Military will facilitate direct payments and the Military member may be required to make payments directly for the property rights of the former spouse.
Insufficient Or Unsuccessful Funds
HNFS charges a $20 administrative fee for declined enrollment fee payments. This fee is billed along with the outstanding payment amount.
Payments received are applied first to the $20 administrative fee and then to the outstanding enrollment fee. Failure to pay both the administrative fee and outstanding enrollment fee within 30 days of the account’s paid-through date will result in disenrollment.
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Change Your Address With Mypay
myPay is the Defense Accounting & Finance website where active duty, guard, retirees, and dependents can update their address as well as do almost anything pay related.
To change your address, go to the the myPay website and:
1. After logging in, find the Correspondence Address link on the Main Menu2. Enter the correct address3. Save your changes and close the screen or use the link at the top of the page in the gray bar to return to the main menu4. Your account will be updated in three to seven business days
New Address: Defense Finance And Accounting Service
Military retirees and annuitants corresponding with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will use a new address beginning May 1.The old addresses in London, Ky., have been used for years but are being discontinued and will be replaced by addresses in Indianapolis to help speed up receipt and customer service.
The new mailing addresses will be:Retired Pay correspondence:Defense Finance and Accounting ServiceU.S. Military Retired Pay 8899 E 56th Street Indianapolis IN 46249-1200Annuitant Pay correspondence:Defense Finance and Accounting ServiceU.S. Military Annuitant Pay 8899 E 56th StreetIndianapolis IN 46249-1300 Current phone and fax numbers are not changing
Military retirees and annuitants can use the mailing address to submit any of the following information:Written requests for 1099R Forms Change Survivor benefit Plan information /Correct a 1099R Establish a Retired Pay accountManage Arrears of Pay Beneficiary designation Manage allotments / Report a retirees deathReport a Survivor Benefit Plan beneficiarys death Submit a retiree or annuitant change of addressStart/change Direct Deposit / Start international Direct Deposit
The DFAS website provides information and links to anyadditional paperwork that might need to be submitted or by phone .
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Contact The Veterans Administration
Most deceased veterans are eligible for a free marker or headstone from the Veterans Administration and can be buried in a national cemetery. The VA may also help cover a burial allowance of:
- Up to $300 for a non-service-connected death
- Up to $2000 for a service-connected death
You can use this allowance to cover funeral expenses.
Depending on the benefits program that the veteran and survivor are a part of, additional benefits may be available. To find out what additional benefits may be available to you, reach out to your local Veterans Service Office.
In order to start this process with the VA, you will need copies of:
- The veterans DD Form 214
- Your marriage certificate if applicable
- The veterans death certificate
For more information on eligibility requirements, benefits and how to submit your application, visit the VAs burial benefits website.
Contact The Casualty Assistance Office
The casualty assistance office is in charge of taking requests as well as scheduling military funeral honors for the veteran who died. Funeral honors details will perform military rites for veterans, retirees and current service members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
to find your local casualty assistance office.
The Casualty Assistance Office will require a copy of the completed DD Form 214.
In addition to funeral honors, the casualty assistance office may be able to help the family cope with the loss of their veteran, understand their entitlements and apply for various benefits.
Most often, funeral directors request a local veteran organization to provide funeral honors, but if specific arrangements are requested, talk to your Casualty Assistance Office about these requests.
The Casualty Assistance Office will need the following information in order to assist you:
- Full name, rank and social security number of the deceased service member
- Branch of service and component
- Date and place of death
- Circumstances of death
- Name, address and phone number of the funeral home that is handling the details
- Location, date and time of the memorial service at which the military honors are needed dont stress if you dont have this information yet, youll still want to call to give them the information mentioned above and call back with these details once you know.
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What Are The Methods For Dividing Retirement Pay
There are three ways the military will accept a military division order. You can write a percentage, you can write a dollar amount, or you can write a hypothetical award.
A percentage can be stated in traditional form or by use of a formula that converts to a percentage like the Time Rule Formula. For example:
Participants Accrued Benefit shall be allocated:
If we plug in data points it might look something like this: 20 years of service earned during marriage divided by 30 years of total service equals 66% states as a percentage, and if you multiply that by 50%, the resulting percentage would be 33% of total monthly benefits.
In addition to percentage , the Military accepts a dollar award to pay a former spouse on a monthly basis. However, for Military plans-be careful using a dollar amount because the military has regulations in place that state if a dollar amount is used, cost of living adjustments are excluded .
For example, if you wrote into an order: Former Spouse is awarded $500 a month, plus proportional cost of living increases, the military would only pay $500 a month and ignore the rest regarding the cost of living.
This is a different procedure than many litigants are used to with private plans-where if you write something the Plan does not agree with, the Plan will reject the entire order and tell you to re-write it to fix the sections the Particular Plan does not agree with. The military will just process parts of the order.
What Is The Frozen Benefit Rule
The Frozen Benefit Rule changed the definition of disposable pay after the December 23rd of 2016.
Under the old definition of disposable pay, Parties/Attorneys could agree to a time rule formula, whereby any enhancements to the Plan due to pay raises/promotions would be shared proportionally with both parties.
Under the new definition of disposable pay, for Military Members that divorce or legally separate prior to retirement, those enhancements are not shared.
This means the military requires former spouses share in the plan benefits to be valued at the lower rank and pay grade of the military member at the date of divorce . This translates into less money being paid to the former spouse.
This new law is counter to California law, which follows a Marital Foundation Theory-meaning retirement benefits are valued at the time of retirement with all enhancements proportionally split.
The thought behind Marital Foundation Theory is that an employee spouse would not have been able to receive those enhancements from pay raises and proportions later in their career, without first building the foundation of their career early on-a foundation that was built partially during the marriage. Therefore-the marriage should receive part of those enhancements.
You mentioned California law, which is primarily where you have practiced. Do most other states also look at it from the same perspective in terms of that Marital Foundation Theory that you were referring to?
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What The Evidence Must Show For Secondary Service Connection
In order to support your claim for compensation based upon an additional disability that was caused or aggravated by a service-connected disability, the evidence must show:
And How Are Military Disability Benefits Handled In Divorce
They are always treated as separate property. Even if the pension plan is waived to receive the disability benefits, pursuant to the Supreme Court Case of Howell vs Howell, the service member does not have to reimburse his/her former spouse for any loss due to the waiver because that-in effect-would mean the disability payments are being divided. Therefore, disability waivers can often times cause a reduction in former spouses monthly payments-and the former spouse is just out the money.
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I Received A Letter From The Va Regarding My Claim
- Within approximately 60 days of filing a claim you will receive a one page letter letting you know that the VA received your claim. Call if this letter does not arrive within 60 days.
- VCAA Letter/Duty to Assist – This letter discusses what evidence, if any, the VA needs for your claim. Call/make an appointment with your service officer to go over this letter as failure to provide the information the VA is requesting could result in a denial. This letter typically contains forms and may contain language seeking as if the VA is requesting information they already have. Your service officer will go over this letter and help you with anything that needs to be done.
- Rating Decision and/or Award letter – Make an appointment as soon as you receive your rating decision and/or award letter. Your service officer will go over the information with you and discuss options with you. Note your rating decision and award are time sensitive documents.
Federal Va Benefit System
The Federal VA benefit system is a legal system based on the Code of Federal Regulation 38 sections 0-17. In order to qualify for benefits, veterans and family members must file a claim against the United States proving they are eligible for these benefits through the submission of legal, military, medical, and other evidence.
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What Is A Compensation And Pension Exam
This exam, often called a C& P Exam, is set up by the VA and is a VERY important element in your case. This exam is by a VA Medical Professional and/or Provider who examines you and provides a detailed report to the VA Regional Office and becomes part of the evidence for your claim. Failure to report for your exam will result in a denial of your claim. Call the number given to you if you need to reschedule.
How soon will I hear about my case/how soon will my case be settled?
You may anticipate a letter from the VA within 6-8 weeks upon filing a claim acknowledging receipt of your claim. If you do not receive this letter, contact our office right away.
You will receive another letter letting you know what the VA has received and what else, if anything, the VA needs for your claim. Contact your Veteran Service Officer to go over this letter.
Depending on the complexity of your case, the VA case load an many others factors it is impossible to predict with accuracy the time it takes to complete your claim. Once the claim is decided, the VA will mail you a Rating Decision. Call your Veterans Service Officer to go over this decision and he/she will discuss with you your options at that time.
The time for settlement of a case depends on many factors such as complexity and type. Thus, one claim may take a few months while others may take a year or more.
How The Va Determines The Disability Rating
When disabilities are found to be service-connected the VA assigns a disability rating based on the Code of Federal Regulation 38 sections )-17. The rating is changed if there are changes in the condition. Depending in the disability involved the VA assigns a rating from 0% to as much as 100%. The VA uses a schedule for evaluating disabilities. This is published as Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 4. The following is considered when determining the disability rating:
- Nature and symptoms of the condition
- Severity and duration of the symptoms
- Impact of the condition and symptoms on employment
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