Resource for VA Benefits Information

Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of benefits and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Some of these benefits may be utilized while on active duty. These benefits are codified in Title 38 of the United States Code.

For years the VA has printed benefit booklets and distributed them to the bases for Transition Workshops. Within the last couple of years they have stopped providing the booklets, but you can download the current print version online.

2016_federal_benefits_for_veterans_coverThis booklet contains a summary of these benefits. Click on the image at left to download a PDF copy of the 2016 version of the Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors. You can also view the online version by going to http://www1.va.gov/OPA/publications/benefits_book.asp.

For additional information, visit www.va.gov.

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Sesame Street Helps Military Families

SesameStreetMilitaryFamiliesAs a military member, you experience frequent change. Whether that is in the form of relocating to a new assignment, multiple deployments, or transitioning out of the service, these changes can be difficult on even the strongest member. If you have a family, it is important to remember that they too are affected by these changes.

In times of stress it is important to maintain everyday routines, keeping lines of communication open and reaching out for help if needed. These strategies will not only help the individual, your partner, but also your young family members.

Sesame Street has been committed to meet the needs of American military families for 11 years now. Recently they announced the release of Sesame Street for Military Families: Transitions. The Department of Defense (DoD) assisted the Sesame Workshop in conducting research on this effort by organizing focus groups with transitioning families in 2015 at installations across the nation. They were also informed by extensive research and recommendations from parents and caregivers plus child development and military advisers.

The Sesame Street for Military Families website offers materials to help parents and kids cope with the unique military lifestyle. Below are a small list of some resources that Sesame Street has made available, for FREE, featuring the characters your kids have come to love and materials for parents to help them cope.

Resources:

Looking for a job? Plan on attending the Black Hills Veteran’s Job Fair – Wednesday, June 24

2015VetsJobFair_400The Airman and Family Readiness Center along with Hero 2 Hired, ESGR and the SD Department of Labor are pleased to announce the 2015 Black Hills Veteran’s Job Fair.

This event will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at Western Dakota Tech (WDT) from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. This event is open to active duty, veterans, spouses, and work ready dependents.

We will have local and national employers and helping agencies signed up. You do not have to register to attend.

You can view the updated list of employers at the following link:
http://jobs4ellsworth.com/eap/jobfairs/

Looking for your DD Form 214 after separation/retirement?

DDfm214It used to be that after you retired or separated from the military, your DD Form 214 (which is the key to all your future veteran benefits) used to be mailed to you after your official retirement/separation date at an address you specified on your DD 214 worksheet.

Apparently this process changed back in late 2013, but has only now come to light. We received the following information from myPers – Total Resource Center as of 22 Oct 2014 after we asked for clarification on the process last week.

  1. In an effort to minimize costs and utilize existing technology, as of 1 December 2013, the hard copy DD Form 214 (copies 1 and 4) will no longer be mailed out to members. Since October 2010, separating or retiring individuals could electronically access and print their DD Form 214s. Eliminating the need of mailing paper copies reduces money spent on a redundant process.
  1. During separation and retirement processing, members will receive instructions on how to access, review and print their DD Form 214 as needed. Copies 1 and 4 are housed on the secure server in the vMPF for a period of 60 days past the official retirement/separation effective date.   After the 60 days, members are able to obtain copies from the eBenefits website, http://www.ebenefits.va.gov.
  2. Members with an approved retirement or separation should retrieve a USERID and password allowing access to the AFPC Secure application. This can be done while still on active-duty by using your CAC and either entering the AF Portal using the AFPC Secure link. Once at the site, utilize the “Update/Delete Password” tab to generate a new USERID/password. While on terminal leave, the member will be able to access the worksheet and be able to retrieve their DD Form 214 when completed.
  3. Those who are not able to use their CAC should contact the A1 Service Desk at 1-800-525-0102, (option “8”) or dial DSN 665-5004 and they will provide assistance in obtaining a USERID/password.

Air Force members should refer any questions about your DD Form 214 to AFPC.