MyLegion System Maintenance

Posted on June 30th, 2015

The national membership database will be offline for the Legion and Sons of The American Legion membership rollover process on Tuesday, June 30th beginning at 2:30pm (EST) until Wednesday, July 1 at approximately 7:00 am. During this time, Legion membership online renewals will not be available to users. Other popular features on legion.org such as the Post Locator, Online Donations, and Department Service Officer lookups, including mobile apps will remain available.



Department Headquarters closed for July 4th observance

Posted on June 30th, 2015

In observance of July 4th, the Department Headquarters will be closed on Friday, July 3rd. We will return on July 6th, we wish you a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend.



Exciting Announcement from the Legionnaire Insurance Trust

Posted on June 18th, 2015

We are excited to announce two great changes to  LegionCare , your No-Cost AD&D Program

Starting right now and for enrollments after 1/1/2015, anyone  enrolled in LegionCare will be covered for as long as they maintain  their membership in The American  Legion. This new “one and done” approach will save from needing to re-enroll every 5 years. The LegionCare program will continue to cover you for $1,000 of AD&D coverage plus provide the added benefit of up to $5,000 if the accidental loss occurs when on “official Legion business.” *

We want you to know too,  LegionCare is now available to all members of the Legion Family including the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion members 18 years and older. 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.

To enroll, please visit www.TheLIT.com now.



2015 ALR Rally Postponed

Posted on May 20th, 2015

Waco Post 121 announced today that due to safety concerns for all American Legion Riders members the 2015 ALR Rally will be postponed until August 21 – 23, 2015. Watch for more details to be provided.



ALR Letter from State Commander Sparks

Posted on May 20th, 2015

The following letter was sent to all Posts and ALR Chapters within the State of Texas.

American Legion Riders:

In light of the recent tragic event involving motorcycle clubs in Waco, Texas, I want to remind everyone that The American Legion Riders (ALR) is not a motorcycle club. The ALR consists of motorcycle enthusiasts who are members of The American Legion Family working to support our veterans, their families and communities.

ALR spends many hours working various events to provide funds for veterans and veteran families in need.   One major event is the annual “Legacy Run” which collects money to provide scholarships for dependent children of parents who have lost their life in service to our country since “9-11”.   To date millions of dollars have been collected for this great program.

Unfortunately many people immediately link a person on a motorcycle with a motorcycle club.  We must continue to educate our communities that the ALR is present in communities to assist our veterans and their families, not to create turf battles or wage conflicts with others.

It is therefore important that when you are wearing your ALR vests you are representing The American Legion.  Please represent us appropriately.  I also recommend that when representing the American Legion that you steer clear of MC Clubs and areas were they congregate.

I also ask that any ALR rally being planned in or near the Waco area, be cancelled or at least rescheduled until later in the year.  Tensions are high, and all motorcycle riders will be under close scrutiny by law enforcement agencies.  Let’s do our part in keeping the American Legion Riders and The American Legion’s good name clear of any involvement or perceived involvement with any motorcycle club.

You are veterans or family members of veterans and you joined the American Legion because you are proud to be Americans and proud to serve as Legion members.  Let’s keep that momentum going.

I appreciate all of the good work you have done over the years and hope you continue to do so.

For God and Country,

 

Lynn E. Sparks

State Commander



VA changes filing forms effective March 24, 2015

Posted on March 25th, 2015

As of March 24, 2015 the VA will no longer accept informal claims for VA benefits or a claim for benefits on VA Form 21-4138. As with most government agencies, all claims must now be on the specified form for the claim. The following would be a good start to let the Post Service Officers know what will be required in the future:

 

  1. VA Form 21-0966 “INTENT TO FILE A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION AND/OR PENSION, OR SURVIVORS PENSION AND/OR DIC” This now becomes the informal claim that we used to file on the VA Form 21-4138 or by any other form of written communication to the VA indicating and intent to file a claim for VA benefits.

 

  1. VA Form 21-526EZ “APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND RELATED COMPENSATION BENEFITSThis is an application that will be used to file the initial claim for compensation or a claim for increased or secondary compensation disability benefits.

 

  1. VA Form 21-527EZ “APPLICATION FOR PENSION” This is the form that will be required for nonservice connected pension (NSCP) applications only. Once we have received this form, it will be forwarded to the Pension Maintenance Center (PMC) in St. Paul MN

 

  1. VA Form 21-534 EZ “APPLICATION FOR DIC, DEATH PENSION, AND/OR ACCRUED BENEFITS” This is the application to be completed by the survivors of a deceased veteran seeking to get death benefit and/or the final payment during the veteran’s month of death.

 

  1. VA Form 21-0958 “NOTICE OF DISAGREEMENT” This is the appropriate application for filing a notice of disagreement with any rating decision. The VA will no longer accept the VA Form 21-4138 in reference to indicating intent to file a notice of disagreement (NOD).

 

  1. VA Form 21-4138 “STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM” This form is only to be used as supporting documentation in reference to one of the aforereferenced forms being submitted. This form can be used for buddy statements, expounding on a reason for a NOD, providing clarification information regarding disability speaking claimed, etc., but this form is no longer being accepted by itself as a claim for benefits.

 

  1. VA Form 21-22 “APPOINTMENT OF VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATION AS CLAIMANT’S REPRESENTATIVE” This form must be the October 2014 version of the form as the VARO does not accept earlier versions. Please note that if item 12 is not checked on the form the VA will not allow us to review documentation in VBMS. Therefore, the Post Service Officers must make sure that this item is checked. Additionally, we would prefer to have item 14 checked as well. This would allow the DSO to effectively engage in all aspects of advocacy.

 

Should you have any additional questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact our Department Service Officers.



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.

 



2015 National Convention Information

Posted on February 6th, 2015

The 2015 National Convention will be held in Baltimore, MD, from Aug 28th to Sept 3, 2015 and the registration fee is $25.00 per individual.

We will be staying at the Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel and our room rate is $154.00 per night, with 2 people per room. $10.00 for each additional person, the Tax rate is 15.50% so the total daily room rate price is $178.00

The Housing deadline will be MAY 15, 2015. After that date we cannot guarantee you will be in our hotel. If you think you are going to attend please submit your housing form to us by the deadline. All registration forms can be found on the National Convention page of the Department Website.

The Texas Party will be held on Sunday, August 30th at 7pm at TBA, the cost is $40.00 per person. Tickets need to be order by May 15th to provide head count for buses and food. (Must have a 100 people to hold event)

The National Commanders Dinner tickets cost $45.00 per person and tickets need to be pre-order. Please contact the Department Adjutant by May 15th to order tickets.



Renew your membership online

Posted on September 16th, 2014

Your annual dues help support the programs of The American Legion in your community, state and nation. American Legion programs and service include: Troop Support, Child Welfare Foundation, American Legion Baseball, our Department Service Officers, Family Support Network, Veterans Job Fairs and many other programs.

To renew your dues, simply click on the “Renew Your Membership Online” button at the right top of this website. You can also set up your dues to be automatically paid each year while you are on the renewal site.

Thank you for your continued support of The American Legion and ensuring that we remain the most powerful voice in American on behalf of our veterans, our servicemembers, their families and in communities across the nation.



IRS revises position on DD-214 requirement

Posted on December 11th, 2013

The American Legion recently reported that the Internal Revenue Service was fining Legion posts – up to $1,000 per day – for not keeping records of veterans’ DD-214s, the separation document given by the military to prove honorable service, or other valid documentation. The Legion felt it was being wrongly targeted, resulting in the passing of three resolutions during the organization’s national convention in Houston that called upon Congress to look into the IRS’ field investigations into Legion posts, while lawmakers wrote letters to the IRS asking why inspectors were asking posts to provide discharge papers or service records during reviews of their tax-exempt statuses.

The IRS has now revised its position on the DD-214 requirement in section 501(c)19 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Effective immediately, DD-214s are only required if an agent “possesses information that contradicts documentary information provided (by the veterans service organization) or if the organization fails to satisfy a reasonable request…”

If an agent requires proof of membership eligibility, he or she will first request four sets of documents before requesting DD-214s or other discharge documents.

Read the revised guidelines at www.legion.org/documents/legion/pdf/dd214irs.pdf