[veterans] From the List Moderator
As moderator I'm a bit behind keeping you informed. I didn't realize we had so many members until I looked at the numbers in the membership list today. Thank all of you for joining and please don't hesitate to post if you have something you want to say.
1. VA and SGLI Insurance Hoax: Yes it's making the rounds again in fact it just never seems to stop. However if you get a message telling you about a dividend coming to you from VA or SGLI insurance based on when you were on active duty just trash it and tell whoever sent it that it's a hoax.
The government has never paid any dividends on these policies and never will as they are all term insurance and what the service member paid was only a small part of the actual cost. The VA has spent quite a bit of money and so has every branch of service answering letters from active duty, vets and their families wanting to know how to claim their dividend.
This has been going on since the end of WWII when some dishonest insurance salesmen sent out letters to vets telling them they were going to get a dividend and they would help them file a claim.
They then sold insurance to a lot of these vets telling them they would get the money they paid them back when the government sent them their check. Yes people bought it just as they seem to be doing now only in greater numbers since the advent of the net, free email and the estimated over 2 million veterans using the Internet.
So if you see one trash it and pass the word along, there ain't no dividend! Anyway come on, our government giving money back? Unheard of!
2. Another rumor going around is the email telling people they must register with the VA by a certain date or lose all of their VA benefits. This one just like the insurance scam has even been ran in newspapers and magazines. Again another hoax that is giving the VA headaches. No you don't have to register by some date and no you won't lose what little benefits there are left.
However, the VA would like you to register as soon as possible but it's up to you. If you do need to use the VA in the future they will register you then, however it just might be a good idea to do it before an emergency comes up.
It's very simple just bring in your DD214 to the nearest VA center, fill out a form, have a short interview to verify the information, get your picture taken and you are done. It took me about 30 minutes for the whole process at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. I would really plan on a minimum of an hour though.
After it's over you don't have to worry about proving to the VA or anyone else you are a vet. You get a very nice card just a little larger than a credit card with your picture and vitals on it and a barcode so the computer knows who you are. And the card comes in handy. Two days later I was trying to cash a check at a large department store and the fellow asked for two picture ID's. I only had the new VA card and my retired military ID with me. I showed him the VA card and the guy smiled took down my info from it pushed back my military ID card and said "hey, this is good enough for me." Thanks for all you have done.
So if you have the chance get one. If you don't have your DD214 then get a copy right away you never know when you will need it and then get your card.
If you need the DD214 go to http://vets.com/inside/sf180.htm and get the form you need to apply for a copy. If you need to find the nearest VA center then go to http://vets.com/inside/va.htm and download the VA benefits manual. It has all of the VA facilities listed with name, location and phone numbers.
However to get back to the mandatory registration it's just not true. Pass this on please. The VA gets itself into enough trouble on its' own it doesn't need help.
By the way the VA site http://www.va.gov has items posted about this if you want to check on it. So does http://www.vnis.com Veterans News and Information Service.
Thanks for your time. As soon as I have something new I'll pass it on.
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