American Legion eager to work with new VA Secretary
Posted on January 11th, 2017
WASHINGTON (January 11, 2017) – National Commander Charles E. Schmidt of The American Legion issued the following statement concerning President-Elect Trump’s selection of Dr. David J. Shulkin to lead the department of Veterans Affairs:
“My staff and I have worked closely with Dr. Shulkin and believe he has improved the Veterans Health Administration in the short time he has been at the helm. I met with him just last month and believe he is deeply committed to improving VA care and all of the services that VA provides to veterans. If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shulkin will continue to find The American Legion to be a resourceful and knowledgeable friend with nearly a century of experience as an advocate for America’s veterans. While The American Legion believes in a strong and robust VA, friends tell each other the unvarnished truth. When VA serves veterans well, we will say so. When it doesn’t, we will demand fixes. The American Legion has a team of Washington-based staff, and expert volunteers from across the nation, who are eager to meet with Dr. Shulkin to discuss ways to modernize an antiquated appeals system, decrease wait times for health care and hold poor-performing VA staff accountable. We believe that Dr. Shulkin shares our goals.”
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,000 posts across the nation.
Veterans Awareness Walk Information – Registration Deadline Extended
Posted on December 2nd, 2016
WE HAVE EXTENDED THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE TO JANUARY 20th!
Please join the American Legion Department of Texas as National Commander Charles E. Schmidt leads us in our second Veteran Awareness Walk, which will be held during the upcoming Midwinter Conference on January 27, 2017 at American Legion Post 76, more information and registration forms can be found under the Convention tab on the Midwinter page.
The purpose of this Walk is to raise public awareness about the crucial issues facing America’s veterans and their families. An estimated 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Traumatic brain injuries have become a signature wound of the Global War on Terrorism and up to 20 percent of the men and women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are believed to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Veterans still have difficulty receiving health care in a timely manner and too many still have to wait years to have their disability claims resolved. We believe in a strong VA health care system, one that is worth preserving. We owe it to those who served our country to never forget the sacrifice and devotion of veterans and their families.
We are walking for those who have marched for freedom. Many are no longer able to do so for themselves.
Support American Legion Charities Inc. through your purchases on smile.amazon.com
Posted on December 2nd, 2016
It is now possible to support American Legion programs through donations made while shopping on Amazon. American Legion Charities Inc. is now one of the charities available to donate to through AmazonSmile (https://smile.amazon.com/).
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at www.smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.
Simply go to smile.amazon.com, sign into your normal Amazon account and then type in “American Legion Charities Inc” in the search box when the prompt comes up. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes or service charges. From time to time, Amazon may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services, or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations.
Only purchases at smile.amazon.com – not at www.amazon.com or through the mobile app – support any charities.
Legion leads memorial inventory effort
Posted on November 18th, 2016
National commander calls on members to document, photograph and upload into database all local military, veteran and war monuments and memorials.
American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt is calling on all posts, districts, counties, areas, zones, departments and affiliates of the organization to help build an unparalleled database of memorials and monuments that honor U.S. military service and sacrifice. The database and uploading instructions can be found at www.legion.org/memorials on the Legion’s national website.
“As The American Legion nears its centennial year, one aspect of our organization’s rich legacy is universal – ‘to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars,’” Schmidt said, quoting from the Preamble to The American Legion Constitution. “We know that in virtually every corner of the country, and beyond our shores, American Legion Family members have paid tribute to military service, honor and remembrance by carving out sacred spaces in their communities to ensure that the price paid for freedom is not lost on future generations.”
Schmidt said the Legion’s memorials database project is a great opportunity to involve the entire American Legion Family, youth groups such as Boy Scouts, local civic organizations, schools and others. “It is especially important to assess the conditions of these memorials – whether it’s a plaque in the park listing a county’s war dead or a well-known community statue or plaza. What better way to commemorate the Legion’s centennial than to spruce up, repair and revive awareness to those who served before us, whose memorials and monuments may be showing the effects of age and weather? It’s also the perfect time for communities to reacquaint themselves with the meaning of their memorials.”
The American Legion Memorial Inventory Project is not focused on any one war era. “We know that American Legion posts care for memorials ranging from the Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism, all around the world,” Schmidt said. “We also are well aware that some of them have come under attack because they may contain some religious symbolism or language, and The American Legion steadfastly opposes removal or revision of such monuments. In order to ensure their continued respect and protection, we have a responsibility to index them and bring attention to their original and intended meaning.”
The web platform – easily accessed and used from a smartphone or electronic tablet – asks for the location of the memorial, a description of it, date of installation if known and a rating of its condition. Uploaders are also strongly encouraged to take photos of the memorial and post them onto the database. Once a submission has been made, it may take a couple of days before it appears, following review.
The American Legion is also working with the United States World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library to document monuments and memorials dedicated specifically to World War I, thousands of which were erected by the early American Legion. The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program includes a matching-money grant opportunity for applicants. More can be learned about that project at www.worldwar1centennial.org/100-cities-100-memorials-home online.
The American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution 10 during the Oct. 12-13 meetings in Indianapolis to encourage all American Legion posts, American Legion Riders chapters, American Legion Auxiliary units and affiliated groups to participate in the Veterans Memorial Identification Project and build the national database.
“This is who we are in The American Legion,” said American Legion 100th Anniversary Observance Committee Chairman Robert W. Spanogle, a past national commander and past national adjutant of the organization. “This memorial identification project will be a major benefit for researchers, students, educators, the media and travelers who need to understand the story of our nation as told through the military experience and immortalized in every community. We have a sacred obligation to keep these memories alive, recorded and in the best possible condition.”
VA Announces Community Care Call Center to Help Veterans with Choice Program Billing Issues
Posted on May 17th, 2016
WASHINGTON – Veterans can now work directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing. In step with MyVA’s efforts to modernize VA’s customer-focused, Veteran-centered services capabilities, a Community Care Call Center has been set up for Veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. Veterans experiencing these problems can call 1-877-881-7618 for assistance.
“As a result of the Veterans Choice Program, community providers have seen thousands of Veterans. We continue to work to make the program more Veteran-friendly,” said Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health. “There should be no bureaucratic burden that stands in the way of Veterans getting care.”
The new call center will work to resolve instances of improper Veteran billing and assist community care medical providers with delayed payments. VA staff are also trained and ready to work with the medical providers to expunge adverse credit reporting on Veterans resulting from delayed payments to providers.
VA is urging Veterans to continue working with their VA primary care team to obtain necessary health care services regardless of adverse credit reporting or debt collection activity.
VA acknowledges that delayed payments and inappropriately billed claims are unacceptable and have caused stress for Veterans and providers alike. The new call center is the first step in addressing these issues. VA presented The Plan to Consolidate Community Care in October of 2015 that outlines additional solutions to streamline processes and improve timely provider payment.
For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA’s progress, visit: www.va.gov/opa/choiceact . Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program can call1-866-606-8198 to find out more about the program, confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment.
PAID UP FOR LIFE PRICING Effective June 1, 2016
Posted on May 10th, 2016
The following is provided for your information:
As most of you are aware, the membership dues increased $5 in January of this year 2016. Also part of the resolution to increase dues stated that the PUFL rates would remain the same until June 1, 2016 at which time the Finance Commission would adjust the rate to reflect prudent actuarial assumptions. Last week at the National Spring meetings in Indianapolis, based on a report from actuaries McCready and Keene, Inc., the Finance Commission set PUFL pricing effective June 1, 2016 as follows:
|PAID UP FOR LIFE PRICING EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2016|
|This table is used for all paid-up-for-life pricing for posts’ dues rates of $48 or less. For alll dues rates $48.01 and higher, telephone customer service at 317-860-3111 or 800-433-3318.|
If you have members interested in buying a PUFL, I recommend they do it prior to the new rates effective June 1, 2016.
LegionCare program now improved!
Posted on September 14th, 2015
The Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) is pleased to announce some important changes to the LegionCare program just revealed at the 97th Annual American Legion National Convention earlier this month.
The first of these exciting updates – starting for enrollments after 1/1/2015, anyone enrolled in LegionCare will be covered for as long as they remain a member of The Legion Family. No need to re-enroll every 5 years!
The second change, and what we think is the most important – All “Legion Family” members – Legion, senior ALA, and senior SAL – in good standing are now eligible for the coverage. The Legionnaire Insurance Trust has been working hard to provide valuable benefits to your entire family and we look forward to continuing to serve veterans’ insurance needs.
Those “Legion Family” members stopping by our booth were able to enroll in the LIT’s LegionCare program and have their coverage become effective immediately, but this opportunity is not restricted to just those who were at the National Convention. Every eligible “Legion Family” member may enroll, but the member must sign-up to be covered. Please keep the momentum going after the convention and spread the word about these exciting changes to LegionCare.
Reminder about LegionCare:
What is LegionCare? LegionCare provides up to $1,000 of 24 hours accidental death coverage to an enrolled member. And if an enrolled members suffers a covered loss while performing “official Legion Family business”, there is an additional $4,000 benefit* –bringing the total to up to $5,000.
How do I enroll? Just go online to www.TheLIT.com/No-Cost-LegionCare and fill in the requested information. By enrolling on-line, your coverage will begin immediately and you will get an e-mail confirmation within minutes. Those without access to the internet may enroll by calling the LIT’s toll-free number – (800) 235-6943 – and our customer service area will process your enrollment over the phone.
Don’t delay – sign-up today!
National PUFL Application Processing Change
Posted on March 4th, 2015
MEMO: To All Posts Adjutants
MEMO FROM: Jack Querfeld, Director, Internal Affairs Division
SUBJECT: Paid-Up-For-Life Application Processing Change
In January 2014, National Headquarters introduced a new simplified pricing structure for its Paid-Up-For-Life (PUFL) plan which also included the ability for a member to apply online for lifetime membership. This was done with the intent of simplifying the entire process for the member.
Beginning July 1, 2015, National Headquarters will no longer accept PUFL applications that were previously distributed in bulk to Departments or Posts. This includes any PUFL application reflecting a rate chart with the effective date of October 2009 or earlier.
All PUFL applications must be submitted to National by one of the three methods noted below. We will continue the policy of notifying the Post and Department when a member applies for a lifetime membership; this provides the opportunity for the Post to challenge the application, if necessary.
ONLINE APPLICATION: The member accesses the PUFL page on National’s website at www.legion.org/pufl to obtain a rate quote and/or submit an electronic application. Once the rate quote is received, the member can opt to apply online which will cause their record information to appear for confirmation purposes. Once confirmed and the payment information is completed, the member selects the Submit button to complete the application process. NOTE: If the member doesn’t have internet access, either themselves or through family/friends, this process should be performed by the Post or the Department. A quick link to the PUFL application website has been added to myLegion for Posts and Departments.
PRINTABLE APPLICATION: The member accesses the PUFL page on National’s website at www.legion.org/pufl to obtain a rate quote and/or print an application. Once the rate quote is received, the member can opt to print a paper application to complete and mail to National Headquarters. The application will be pre-filled with the member’s ID Number, Name, Address, Birth Date and the total cost of the PUFL membership. (If any of the member’s information needs to be updated, it can be noted on the application.) The member then simply mails the application and payment to National Headquarters at the address shown on the form. NOTE: If the member doesn’t have internet access, either themselves or through family/friends, the application should be printed by the Post or the Department and forwarded to the member for completion. A quick link to the PUFL application website has been added to myLegion for Posts and Departments.
CALL A CUSTOMER SERVICE SPECIALIST: Any member can speak to one of National’s Customer Service Specialists by calling our toll free number at 800-433-3318. They’re happy to answer any questions…print and mail a PUFL application…or even take the application over the phone. However, this should not be considered the primary procedure since all members, Posts, and Departments have the same ability.