Are you any military officer, service member or any veteran? Are you in search for a great benefit service for you and your family? Military.com is a great place for you. Free membership of this web portal connects veterans, service members, and military families to every benefit of service like government benefits, discounts, mentors, scholarships, lifelong friends, great stories of military life or missions etc. Military.com was founded in 1999 to alter the way for thirty million Americans associated with military like services to stay informed and connected. Nowadays it is the greatest veteran and military membership organization with more than 10 million members. Members of Military.com can share stories, news from the front lines, insider tips, and distinctive segments of military life including the risky stuff of war.
You can join this web portal very easily without any cost. Visit www.military.com and click on “Join now for FREE” and you will be directed on the registration page. Fill the required field of the registration and click on “Join Now”. And then you will be able to get all the services provided by the site.
This web portal provides the sections of benefits, news, entertainment, travel, shop, finance, careers, education etc. This article is all about the benefits provided with this site. Military.com/Benefits include TRICARE, Housing Allowance (BAH), Military Pay, VA Benefits, Military Report, MIL Advantage Blog, Veteran State Benefits and Pay Calculator.
Inclusive health care coverage is one of the most important benefits which you can receive by being a member of the military community. Service members can get access to a strong network of Military Treatment Facilities. In addition, TRICARE is also included which is the health care program from Department of Defense for uniformed Active Duty service members, Activated Guard and Reserves, retired service members, as well their families, and survivors. TRICARE’s health care programs include TRICARE Dental, TRICARE Pharmacy with retail and home delivery, and TRICARE for Life. TRICARE for Life is a program for military retirees who are Medicare eligible.
TRICARE assembles the health care resources of the Air Force, Army & Navy and provides them with civilian health care professionals’ networks to offer high quality service and better access. This health benefit program is for all 7 uniformed services: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Public Health Service, as well the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. People who are DEERS registered service members are only eligible for military health care benefits.
Active Duty, Guard and Reserve service members will get registered in TRICARE Prime automatically. Though retirees and military dependents have to select the TRICARE option which best suits their desires.
TRICARE is a very confusing military benefit as selecting the right TRICARE Plan is a complicated and discouraging task. There are 3 main coverage choices provided by TRICARE for health care.
1) TRICARE Prime: In this health coverage, MTFs (Military Treatment Facilities) is the primary source of health care. All active duty service members have eligibility for TRICARE Prime. They have to complete and submit an enrollment form to choose Prime as their coverage plan. There is no enrollment fee for active duty families to activate TRICARE Prime. However, there is a requirement of paying an annual enrollment fee for the military retirees and their family who want to enroll in TRICARE Prime. Primary Care Manager will be provided with TRICARE Prime, who will supervise & coordinate your care, refer you to specialists if necessary, maintain your health records.
By using TRICARE Prime, users will receive most of health care from Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs), in company with Preferred Provider Network (PPN) which is a Civilian Medical Provider contracted with TRICARE. Point of Service (POS) Option is provided with TRICARE Prime which permits the enrollees to search and get non-emergency health care services through any civilian provider which is TRICARE authorized. However, it is very expensive to receive care at outside of TRICARE Prime with Point-of-Service Option. There are many other advantages of TRICARE Prime including away-from-home emergency coverage, guaranteed appointments, lowest cost for treatment amongst 3 options and no balance billing.
2) TRICARE Extra: This is a much loved coverage choice which saves money. There is no requirement of any enrollment or any annual fee. In this program, you will get a discount on cost sharing while you will get care from a TRICARE Extra network provider. You can use TRICARE Extra on a case-by-case basis by the use of network providers, without enrollment. There is a requirement of yearly deductible for outpatient care, likewise TRICARE Standard. No requirement of deductible while using retail pharmacy network. The deductible and cost sharing work of TRICARE Extra is same as TRICARE Standard but co-payment is 5 percent less than TRICARE Standard. TRICARE Extra is not offered to overseas and active duty service members.
3) TRICARE Standard: This is a fee-for-service option. This TRICARE option offers most flexibility to TRICARE-eligible recipients. With this option, beneficiary gets an opportunity to seek any TRICARE-authorized provider. TRICARE Standard is not offered to active duty service members. This option shares most of the costs of essential medical care from civilian providers while MTFs is unavailable. Beneficiaries can select to use TRICARE Standard, if they are pleased with the treatment they receive at present from a specific civilian provider which is not in the TRICARE provider network. Some beneficiaries, particularly retirees below age 65 and their families who stay in regions where no availability of TRICARE Prime network, then TRICARE Standard is their only choice.
TRICARE also provides Survivor Benefits. If the sponsor dies on active duty, then eligible surviving family members are permitted to continue receiving TRICARE health care benefits. During the 3 years after the death of a sponsor, surviving spouses and children having age of 21 or below are eligible for TRICARE Prime without copayments and enrollment fees. During the survivor benefit period of 3-year, surviving family members will be protected from necessity of paying unaffordable expenses of above $1,000 per economic year, for TRICARE acceptable charges for covered services. However, if surviving family members are enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote for Active Duty Family Members, then they will lose eligibility for that program at the death of sponsor. As well, surviving family members who are not registered in TRICARE Prime may make use of TRICARE Standard or Extra, but are conditional on the suitable annual deductible requirements and active duty cost-shares for each program.
TRICARE for Reserve and Guard
Members of the National Guard and Reserve are jointly named as the Reserve Component or RC. Some members of RC, who had got orders for being separated from active duty for above 30 days in favor of an emergency operation, are eligible for “early” TRICARE dental and medical benefits on either: 1) 90 days before they report to active duty, 2) the date their orders were issued. There is a requirement of registration and TRICARE eligibility in DEERS, to get this early TRICARE benefit.
Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP)
TAMP provides transitional TRICARE coverage for some separated active duty members and their family members who are eligible. There are 4 categories of TAMP; 1) involuntarily separated members and their eligible family members; 2) Separated Reserve Component members for a contingency operation and their family members; 3) Members separated from active duty for contingency operation and their family members; 4) Members separated from active duty for a contingency mission and their family members.
Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP)
Service members and their eligible family members can select to enroll in CHCBP after the eligibility for TAMP expires. CHCBP offers an adapted health plan like TRICARE Standard for a certain time limit, to former service members who pay periodical premiums. There is necessity for eligible persons to register in the CHCBP within 60 days after expiration of eligibility for TAMP military health care or after separation from active duty.
TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) Program
This is a new premium-based health care program for children having age of up to 26 who are dependent on adult. TYA offers medical and pharmacy coverage, but it does not offer dental coverage. This TYA coverage can be received after “regular” TRICARE coverage eligibility ends at age of 21.
2, Housing Allowance (BAH)
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for military service members is dependent on pay grade, geographic duty location, and dependency status. The aim of BAH is to offer uniformed service members with a precise and reasonable housing compensation on the basis of housing costs in regional civilian housing markets. This service will be payable while government quarters are not given. The military BAH rate is also utilized to verify the housing stipend per month for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. BAH tables are released annually between 15th December and 1st January.
Now BAH rates make the zero out-of-pocket expense possible for service members who live in civilian rented housing, according to the DoD. The BAH rates are directly associated with the rising cost of the regional rental housing markets since 2008. Generally BAH rates either increase or remain stable, but there may be some regions where the rates decrease because of a decreasing regional rental market. Though individual rate protection will be applied, which averts the decrease of a BAH rate until the standing of a service member remains unchanged. The service member who is already receiving BAH can get any available BAH increase, however no decrease. While the new BAH rates apply, rate protection gives surety that the service member’s distinctive out-of-pocket costs may be less, but never more.
3, Military Pay
At present, the military compensation system has more than seventy separate types of pay from basic pay to special pay to retired pay and allowances. Generally, year on year military pay increases are associated with the increase in civilian wages. Besides military basic pay, allowances, and benefits, armed forces members may also get incentive pays and special pays based on their location or career field. Special pays include sea pay, hardship duty pay, special assignment pay, foreign language pay, and flight pay. Special pay is not like military allowances as it taxable if the member is not earning the pay when in an elected combat zone.
A 1.4% pay raise was applied for service members on 1st January, 2011. You can check pay and allowances of this year by visiting Military Pay Calculator. There are some factors that affect your pay including the Annual Pay Raise, Promotions, Increasing of BAH, Increasing of BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence), Increasing of Cost of Living Allowance etc.
Hardship duty pay
This is a supplementary compensation which is payable to service members who are assigned in locations where living conditions are significantly below that the conditions in the continental US. Hardship duty pay will be provided on the basis of Location, Mission and involuntary extension. The Hardship Duty Pay will be given at a monthly rate of $200 for involuntary extension of duty.
Career Sea Pay
Career Sea Pay is also an additional compensation which is payable to an active duty service member who are assigned for sea duty. The Career Sea special pay will be given at a monthly rate which ranges from $70 to $730. The actual Career Sea Pay rate is depending on number of Sea Duty years and rank.
Flight Pay is another specific type of special pay. This pay is special incentive or compensation which is provided to service members who execute different military flight related duties. The Flight Pays which are currently available for military service members include Aviation Continuation Pay, Aviation Career Incentive Pay for Officers, Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay and Career Enlisted Flyer Incentive Pay. The actual payment amounts, qualifications and eligibility for these distinct aviation incentives are decided by regulations and policies of each individual service.
Military Advance Pay
The intention of advance pay is to provide funds to service member to fulfill unusual expenses occurrence to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). This advance pay can be utilized only to meet the financial burden of a PCS, but not to cover other allowances and entitlements like travel allowances, overseas station housing allowance and dislocation allowance.
Military Pay Allotments
Military Pay Allotments are also provided here in which specific amount of money from your pay will be designated for automatic distribution for you like setting aside funds for family, paying life insurance premiums and paying off a loan from the military. Discretionary and non-discretionary are the 2 types of allotments. Discretionary allotments are designated for up to six distribution and non-discretionary allotments are for any number of distribution.
4, VA Benefits
Besides the benefits and pensions which you are getting due to both private and public employment, you may also receive some specific benefits on the basis of your military service. There are number of programs that are operated by the Department of Veterans Administration to provide medical, financial, and other supports to veterans. There are four major veteran benefit programs including Veteran’s pension programs, Disability compensation, Education Programs and Free or low-cost medical care via VA hospitals & medical facilities. There are also benefit programs relating to Job Training, Counseling, Housing and Home Loan Guarantees, Small Businesses and business loans, Franchise Opportunities, Burials and Memorials and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Support.
Eligibility for nearly all VA benefits is dependent on release from active military service in which the meaning of active service is full-time service as a member of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, the Environmental Services Administration, Public Health Service, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. General and honorable releases make a veteran eligible for most VA benefits. Bad conduct and dishonorable releases issued by general courts-martial may not get VA benefits.
To apply for a VA benefit, there is a requirement of submitting a copy of your service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215, or a WD form) which includes your type of discharge and service dates, or provide your full name, dates of service, military service number and branch.
VA Benefits will be provided to the family on veteran’s death. In this case, some documents will be required for claims process; the documents include 1) marriage certificate of veteran for claims of a surviving spouse or children; 2) birth certificates or adoption papers of children to determine children’s benefits; 3) birth certificate of veteran to determine parents’ benefits; 4) death certificate of veteran if the veteran did not die in a VA health care facility.
Veteran’s Pension programs
The intention of this program is to provide a Pension to a wartime veteran having a limited income and Veterans, who are no longer capable to work. These Pensions are called Disability Pension and Veterans Pension for 65 or older Veterans.
Veteran Disability Compensation
This program is intended to provide monthly benefits for military veteran having a service-related disability. These benefits are given to veterans who have diseases or injuries which occurred on active duty, or were ruined by active military service. They are also given to some veterans who are disabled from VA health care and they are tax-free. These benefits will be given at a monthly rate over $3,100.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
SMC is a fiscal compensation in addition to the ordinary VA Disability Compensation and it is provided to veteran who gained the loss, or loss of use of extremities or specific organs as a result of military service. The disabilities which can be considered for SMC are loss or loss of use of foot or hand, loss of sight of an eye, paralysis or immobility of a joint, loss or loss of use of a reproductive organ, deafness of both ears, loss or loss of use of both buttocks, inability to communicate by speech, etc.
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
VETS is an independent agency which is created to help veterans doing the shift from military to civilian life by training the veterans for good jobs, finding good jobs for them, and protecting the employment and reemployment rights of Veterans, National Guard Members and Reservists. VETS provides training and employment services via joint working arrangements and offers finances to the states under particular grant agreements to support 2 national programs: the Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) Program and the Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP). DVOP provides job placement and training opportunities for veterans with disabilities related to service, or other severe employability obstacles. The intention of LVERs is to conduct active outreach programs with local social services and counseling agencies, employers, community and veteran unions, organizations, to enable veterans to be familiar with and to get the services of their eligibility.
Veteran State Benefits
Veteran benefits are also offered by many states which include home loans, scholarships and educational grants, discounts or special exemptions on taxes and fees, free fishing and hunting privileges, and more. Each state deals with its individual benefit programs. You can take a view of your state benefits here, by just clicking on the link of your State Department of Veterans Affairs.
5, Military Report, MIL Advantage Blog & Pay Calculator
Military Report is the Military’s largest benefit update which is provided weakly on the site for the service members to be informed. MIL Advantage Blog is the program to provide daily advantageous blogs for service members. Pay Calculator is provided on the site for service members to calculate their gross monthly pay by location, rank or duty, to see how much they will make at their subsequent duty station, to check out their longevity rise, and find out the worth of their next promotion.
Visit the official site to get the detailed information about all the benefits provided by this portal.