February 2023 Council and Chapter News

February 2023 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here. Send updates about your affiliate’s activities to blaird@moaa.org for possible inclusion in future editions.


Final Call to Apply for a 2023 Community Outreach Grant

Each year, The MOAA Foundation awards Community Outreach Grants to MOAA councils and chapters providing services to local military and veteran families — either directly or through partnerships with other community organizations — in one of 10 areas of critical military and veteran family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and crisis relief.  This year’s grant application closes Feb. 28. Councils and chapters interested in applying can find grant criteria, reporting requirements, and the application at MOAA.org/communitygrant.


It’s Time to Sign Up for the MOAA Insurance Plans Advertising Program

MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by AMBA Administrators Inc., is proud to support MOAA councils and chapters and is continuing the advertising program. A digital and print-ready advertisement promoting MOAA Insurance Plans will be available by request until May 31. If a council or chapter would like to place the advertisement online or in a newsletter or other publication, they will be provided a copy of the advertisement and a payment of $100. Click here to learn more.


Did You Know? Request a Visit From National MOAA

You can request a visit to your council or chapter from a representative from national MOAA. We are committed to make these visits every year to councils and every two to three years for chapters. These visits are a great opportunity to exchange best practices and allow for a tailored approach to national-level programs and resources. They have also taken on more significance as the associated trip reports are now included for consideration in the annual Levels of Excellence Award recognition program. If you are interested and due for a visit, apply at this linkNote: Please coordinate all invitations to MOAA staff and board members through this link, rather than directly with the requested visitor.


Surviving Spouse Corner: Survivor Benefit Plan Update

The final phase-in period of the elimination of the “widows tax” is here. These are some details you should know.


By Nancy Mullen, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member


The FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act terminated the so called “widows tax,” allowing eligible military surviving spouses to collect the full Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) in full, with no offset (no reduction) after a three-year phase-in period. We are now entering the third and final phase. What happens now?


Survivor benefits. DIC, SBP, and the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) were increased by the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 8.7% with the January 2023 payments. Beginning Feb. 1, 2023, eligible surviving spouses will receive their full SBP payment from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and their full DIC payment from the VA without offset. The SSIA payment will stop, as this payment essentially becomes part of the full SBP payment. If you recall, the SSIA was a temporary solution to the offset, which is no longer necessary due to the aforementioned legislation. Although the SSIA goes away, the total these surviving spouses receive in their name will not be less than what was received the month prior for these specific benefits. There is no change to DIC other than the COLA increase.


Child Option Annuitants. Beginning Feb. 1, 2023, the annuity will transfer to the servicemember’s surviving spouse provided they are an eligible spouse and have completed the appropriate paperwork for the transfer. If the surviving children are currently receiving the annuity, they have been receiving the full SBP, plus COLA increases, so what they receive in January 2023 will be the amount the eligible surviving spouse will receive. If the surviving children have already aged out of the program, the SBP will be recalculated to incorporate all prior years’ COLAs. You can read more by clicking here or here. You will be able to sign up for MyPay once the annuity transfers to you by clicking here. Please note that recent changes in the SBP law do not impact the retiree child option SBP election, only that for the post-9/11 active duty child option election that was primarily made due to the SBP-DIC offset rules.


Eligible surviving spouses should have received a letter from DFAS in late 2022 detailing the background of the change, an example calculation, and a personalized SBP estimate. (Please note these were estimates only.) Find additional details about these updates from DFAS and MOAA. Be sure to follow the MOAA Surviving Spouses and Friends Facebook page as well.


Please note this article is not intended to address all possible scenarios. And remember, military retirees who previously opted out of SBP will soon have a second chance to enroll. Click here to read a recent MOAA article on the topic.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Upcoming Events

Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. Eastern for a discussion about chapter communications. Join here at the time of the meeting. (ID: 212 921 310 225 Passcode: XRmPn3)


Mid-South Leadership Training Workshop: This in-person workshop will include council and chapter officers from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee and is open to the following officers from those affiliates: council and chapter presidents, membership chairs, legislative chairs/liaisons, and surviving spouse liaisons. Additionally, the virtual council president and presidents of virtual chapters may designate up to two members of their respective affiliates from the listed states to attend the workshop. The registration deadline of Feb. 6 is rapidly approaching. Register now.


Find a complete list of Council and Chapter Affairs events online.


From the Field

MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities. 


Since 1996, the Sunflower (Kan.) Chapter has annually recognized University of Kansas ROTC students with $2,000 scholarships. In September 2022, the chapter again presented four ROTC students with scholarships for their outstanding performance in the academic year. The students were nominated by their professor of military service to receive the award.  


The Arizona Chapter again partnered with the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce (SWVCC) for its annual Army-Navy football game party and fundraiser. The chapter and SWVCC each raised over $700 through the purchase of game squares and raffle tickets.


The Florida Council of Chapters is hosting its 46th annual convention May 19-21 in St. Augustine, Fla. The event includes the Slammer & Squire Charity Golf Tournament May 19. Learn more and register at https://moaafl.org/Convention.aspx.


Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA

Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Newsletter Template includes information, articles, and helpful tips from national MOAA that already are formatted for inclusion in your newsletter. The content is updated every month to ensure you are receiving timely, relevant information.   


National MOAA Travel Schedule

Here are the councils and chapters MOAA leaders will be visiting over the next few months.


Contact the associated chapter if you would like to attend any of the following scheduled visits:

  • Feb. 2, Northwest Florida Chapter, Fort Walton Beach, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Feb. 7, Heart of Illinois Chapter, virtual, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 8, Lake & Sumter Counties (Fla.) Chapter, TBD, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president, Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Feb. 11, Cape Coral (Fla.) Chapter, Cape Coral, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president, Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Feb. 17, Tampa (Fla.) Chapter, Tampa, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 24, Mid-South Workshop, Birmingham, Ala., Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 4, Pennsylvania Council of Chapters, virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 9, Coastal Carolina (N.C.) Chapter, Virtual, Col. Peter K. Kloeber, USAF (Ret), MOAA board of directors (BoD) 
  • March 9, Luke (Ariz.) Chapter, Sun City West, Gail Joyce, MOAA BoD 
  • March 9, Northeastern Wisconsin Chapter, Green Bay, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 9, South Georgia Chapter, Valdosta, Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 16, Dover (Del.) Chapter, Dover, Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 18, Greater St. Louis Chapter, Des Peres, Theodore J. Janosko, USA (Ret), MOAA BoD
  • March 21, Jayhawk (Kan.) Chapter, Lawrence, Gail Joyce, MOAA BoD
  • March 22, Sunflower (Kan.) Chapter, Overland Park, Gail Joyce, MOAA BoD
  • March 26, Wichita (Kan.) Chapter, Wichita, Gail Joyce, MOAA BoD 
  • March 30, Greater Cincinnati Chapter, Covington, Ky., Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO, and Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA


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Donate to the MOAA Scholarship Fund and The MOAA Foundation at the link below.

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