VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW District Four, Dept. of Oklahoma, PRO/Editor
DEERS and Your Income Tax Reporting 11/15/2016
When you do not have your family enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System(DEERS) A database of information on uniformed services members (sponsors), U.S.-sponsored foreign military, DoD and uniformed services civilians, other personnel as directed by the DoD, and their family members. You need to register in DEERS to get TRICARE. (DEERS), the Department of Defense (DoD) cannot accurately report your healthcare coverage to the Internal Revenue Service.
Starting last year, the DoD reported health care coverage of its service members and their dependents to the IRS. This report allows the IRS to determine which families had minimum essential coverageBasic health care coverage that meets the Affordable Care Act requirement. If you don’t have coverage, you may have to pay a fee for each month you aren’t covered. (MEC) as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
For tax purposes, individuals and family members are identified by their Social Security Numbers (SSN). If a sponsor receives a letter indicating that their SSN or a family members’ SSN needs to be updated in DEERS please follow the instructions in the letter to ensure your information is correctly reported to the IRS. Those who have not met the MEC requirement will be required to pay a fee for the number of months each family member did not have coverage. If your family information is not reported accurately in DEERS, then your IRS information will be reported incorrectly.
Make sure you go to the right place if you have questions about any required forms you might need. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy members, retirees and annuitants serviced by Defense Finance and Accounting Services can opt-in to receive their IRS Form electronically via myPay or call 1-888-332-7411 for assistance. Active duty members and active reservists of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can call 1-866-772-8724 or visit their Pay and Personnel Center page. Non-active duty Coast Guard, NOAA, Public Health Service (PHS) retirees, annuitants and former spouses can call 1-800-772-8274. Active Public Health Service members can call 240-276-8799, email the PHS pay center at email@example.com or fax an email to 240-276-8817.
Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs Representatives will not be available for Southeast OK for a couple of weeks. If you have an open benefit claim with a time sensitive issue to be discussed, please email Catherine or Steve. You can also telephone the VA Regional Office for claim information 1-800-827-1000. Steve Webb will return to Hugo on 11/29 and Antlers on 12/1. Catherine Meredith will return to Idabel on 11/30.
BA Blue Star Mothers Are asking for your HELP
The Broken Arrow Blue Star Mothers have received a letter of request from the USO for our assistance. There are deployed Service Members in Iraq that do not have basic supplies. BA Blue Star Mothers have been called upon to take some of these Service Members under our care. We will be sending boxes to many of them. There are 3 Military Bases listed on the request with a range of Fifty to 1,500 US Personnel on each base. Any help you can provide is gratefully appreciated. We will need money for postage as well as items for the boxes. Please see the included Needs List for the items to be shipped in the care packages. Help support the Blue Star Mothers Mission to Support Our Troops – Until They All Come Home All proceeds help purchase items that are sent in our Freedom Boxes to our deployed soldiers. Please visit our website and our Facebook page for more information on our Mission and our Chapter. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact: Susan Thesenvitz – 918-808-0747 – firstname.lastname@example.org
The list includes, Ez Mac & Cheese (not bowls); Pasta read to eat; soups (pop up lids) ready to eat; Chicken, Tuna, Salmon pouches; Canned/dried Fruit (small can) pop top; Beef Jerk-Slim Jims (small or individual); Vienna Sausage (Small can); Peanut butter (Individual – not in jars); Breakfast/Granola Bars; Crackers (Cheese or Peanut Butter); Pop Tarts; Sun Flower Seeds or Trail Mix (individual packets); Coffee, Powder Drink Mixes, Candy (all individual packets); Baby Wipes (Resealable Packets) unscented; Foot powder and Hand Sanitizer (Travel Sized); Eye Drops, Dental Floss & mouthwash (small sized); Sunscreen and Chap sticks; Tooth brushes and Tooth Paste (travel sized); Disposable Razors; Socks (Black Crew); Odor Eaters; AAA & AA Batteries; and Zip Lock Bags of any sized.
For drop off points please contact Susan Thesenvitz at 918-808-0747.
And if you really want to help the veterans around here please volunteer to drive the VA Shuttle van.
Congress Advances Veterans’ Bills: In its first week, back from the election recess, Congress has advanced several veterans’ bills to expand the Veterans’ Oral History Project to gold star families, require VA to improve the Veterans Crisis Line to ensure no crisis call goes unanswered and improve VA’s Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program. H.R. 4511, the Gold Star Families Voices Act and H.R. 5392, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act now await the president’s signature. Stay tuned to this column and the Action Corps Weekly for updates on these bills and other important veterans’ legislation.