By MOAA Staff
A new MOAA weekly video series looks to bring the association’s advocacy agenda to an expanded audience with a user-friendly format, while helping introduce viewers to the inner workings of Congress and the benefits expertise offered by MOAA staff.
The MOAA Advocacy Update launched this summer and has already covered priority MOAA topics such as the fight to restore the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for servicemembers to 100% of rental and utility costs, detailed the potential effects of a government shutdown on your service and benefits, and covered potential changes to survivor compensation. Viewers can see the entire series library, including new episodes, via a playlist on MOAA’s YouTube channel (subscribe at this link).
“We saw the need to ensure we’re connecting with our community in a whole bunch of different ways,” said Cory Titus, MOAA’s director of Government Relations for Servicemember Compensation and Veteran Benefits, who is featured in several videos alongside fellow series creator Jen Goodale, director of Government Relations for Military Family and Survivor Policy. “We wanted to offer short, actionable snippets about what’s happening on the Hill.”
Viewers can find links to issues featured in the video on the YouTube page, or can check out recent videos via MOAA’s Legislative Action Center and click the MOAA logo at the top of the page for a full list of action items.
“We know time is limited,” Goodale said. “Time is our most precious resource. If we can get the information to you in about five minutes, it’s a win for everybody.”
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Along with updates on legislation and links to help members reach out to their lawmakers, the video series will explain a bit about the behind-the-scenes work to protect earned benefits via often-complex legislative processes, including the ongoing construction of the final FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“We all have the Schoolhouse Rock version of what happens, but the reality of it is, it’s a lot messier. It’s not as linear as you might think,” Titus said, noting that less than 5% of bills introduced in Congress become law.
The series also will touch on new and existing benefits programs, with appearances by MOAA benefits experts discussing deadlines, application procedures and changes, and other important information. A recent episode featured discussion on the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act and a recent deadline for some veterans to receive backdated benefits.
MOAA Premium and Life members have access to benefits experts and other exclusive resources, such as benefits webinars and publications, which can further assist them in navigating an often-challenging process.
“Benefits counseling is one of the No. 1 things people come to MOAA for,” Goodale said. “The benefits process can be cumbersome. Why not join MOAA and have an opportunity to connect directly with one of our experts in that area?”
Experts may fill in gaps regarding benefits for those who’ve been out of uniform for longer periods, Titus noted.
“I remember when I was getting out, they had the Transition Assistance Program, and it was one week where they just blasted you with a whole bunch of information,” he said. “You gather and collect what you think is important at that time, and a few years later, a different thing that you may not have been paying attention to becomes really important.”
Subscribe to MOAA’s YouTube channel and be notified each week when a new edition of The MOAA Advocacy Update is released.
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