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Vets Agent Explains SS Credit for Military Service

Jun 29, 2015 09:02AM ● By Pamela Johnson
From The Veterans Desk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Agent Orange Benefits Update:  Bi-partisan legislation introduced in the Senate in March aims to extend VA benefits to "blue water" Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange, despite never having set foot on land.                                          
 The bill would allow for those veterans who served up to 12 miles offshore to qualify for VA health care and disability benefits for illnesses linked to Agent Orange exposure. If passed, the legislation could affect hundreds of thousands of veterans who served aboard aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers and other Navy ships in Vietnamese waters during the war. Studies have shown that these veterans may have suffered exposure to the herbicide through contaminated water sources on ships, by direct transport of the chemical or though proximity to Agent Orange drop sites.      

VA To Expand Choice Card Eligibility: The Department of Veterans Affairs announced in late March it would work to expand eligibility under Veterans Choice Program, which has initially shown minimal participation for users. Instead of measuring the 40-mile distance "as the crow flies" or in a straight line, as originally directed by Congress, the VA will now measure the mileage as driving distance. The change is expected to double the number of eligible veterans and will be implemented in the weeks ahead.  
Receiving Social Security Credit For Military Service: If you served in the military between 1957 and 1977, your earnings are covered. Social Security will add these extra earnings to your earning record when you file for retirement or disability benefits.                                                                                                                                           

If you served between 1957-1977 you are credited with an additional $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay. You do not need to take any action before applying for your benefits; you will be asked for your DD214 at that time. If you are already receiving benefits you should go to the Social Security Office to update your records.  In all cases, the additional earnings are credited to the earnings you average over your working life-time, not directly, not directly to your monthly benefit amount. Veteran Service Officer, Bob Greenhalgh at 1-774-292-2437. 




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