Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.
Kudos on a Successful Virtual Storming the Hill!
Thanks to the grassroots advocacy efforts of MOAA councils and chapters, the association contacted 100% of congressional offices during the month of May, urging elected officials to direct DoD to not only pause but also halt and fully reassess plans to reform and reduce military medical capacity. During this Virtual Storming the Hill event, MOAA sent over 19,000 letters to 435 districts and 50 states, held 253 storming meeting appointments via virtual meeting platforms, and shared an educational video garnering nearly 18,000 views on Facebook.
Virtual Council and Chapter Visits From National MOAA
National MOAA strives to visit every chapter at least once every four years and every council annually. Though many visits have been curtailed due to recent travel restrictions, until we can get back on the road, a national MOAA representative can virtually meet with council and chapter leadership, address your members, and/or address council conventions through one of many virtual meeting tools. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule.
MOAA’s Legislative Update Webinar
COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of most, if not all, retiree appreciation days (RADs) across the country. MOAA’s Legislative Update is always the highlight of RAD presentations. Join MOAA July 15 from 2-3 p.m. as our financial and benefits experts provide details about the latest Capitol Hill happenings involving your earned benefits.
Did You Know? Nominations for Chapter-Level Awards
Chapter members and leaders can nominate someone through MOAA’s Awards Form site portal for the following awards: Leadership Award, President’s Award, and Outstanding Service Award. To submit a nomination, visit MOAA.org/awards-application.
Surviving Spouse Corner: Taking Control of Finances
Being prepared with key information before losing your spouse can reduce your stress after they’re gone.
By Cindy Bondi, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member
When I think back to before my husband’s passing, I remember how out of touch I felt about our financial situation. He paid the bills; handled the banking, investments, and insurance policies; and collected tax information. It is not that I could not have taken over the finances after his cancer diagnosis, but it was one of the last functions that he was able to carry out, even in his weakening condition. I could not take that control away.
What I did begin to do behind the scenes was make lists. My first concern was his passwords, not only for his computer but also for all the banking and service websites. He managed to keep a record for me, along with updated changes, on a thumb drive.
Second, the bills were a concern. I requested that even though he was paying them online, I would prefer to get a hard copy in the mail for all bills and end-of-year tax statements. That way, I would be assured not to miss a bill payment, and I would be better prepared for the next tax season should I need to take over.
Third, some bills were being paid directly on our credit cards. This was not as much of a concern to me because most charges have phone number to call if anything questionable appears on a statement.
I gave him a few tasks to work on, for which he was happy to comply. He made calls to, for example, the Gas and Light Co., to inform them that he wanted my name to be put on the accounts along with his.
Credit cards we had been using were issued in both of our names, but I was only an authorized user, rather than a joint account holder. This caused an automatic closing out of the credit card after notification of my husband’s death. This chaos could have been avoided had I been a joint account holder.
DD-214 Forms are requested after a death, and so getting it ahead of time and storing it in an accessible location is helpful. A safety deposit box is not accessible during the weekend and so is not the best location to store.
One of the first lists I made during this time contained the names and phone numbers of a handful of people in my life who could spread the word for me to other friends and relatives.
My lists could go on and on, but I want to stress that no matter how prepared we are to lose a spouse, it is always an unavoidable process to get through all the paperwork.
Watch: MOAA Chapters Receive COVID-19 Grants to Help Those in Need
The MOAA Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has awarded grants to 11 MOAA chapters to help those who need help because of the pandemic. However, the needs continue to increase. Watch the video below or at this link to see what the needs are and how your generosity can help.
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.
Florida Chapter Member Inducted Into OCS Hall of Fame
Flagler County (Fla.) Chapter member 1st Lt. Raymond A. Parker, USA (Ret), was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Ga., May 4. He is a Vietnam veteran and received the Silver Star for valorous actions taken July 4, 1970. In addition to being an active member of his chapter, he also has been involved with The Disabled American Veterans and the OCS Alumni Association.