• Department of Ohio AMVETS

Officer Question and Answer for AMVETS Members


The Ohio AMVET magazine for the Fall Issue 2016 was all about AMVETS member boot camp, where officers took your frequently asked questions and wrote them down with the answers. You can view the magazine here. However, there were so many questions, that not all of them could fit inside the magazine. All of the questions are posted here. If you have any other questions, please follow the chain of command on who to ask for help. If you need the State officers, their information can be found here. Enjoy!

General

Q: What is the split on gaming?

A: The split on gaming is 75% retained at the post and 25% goes to the charity.

Q: Can we release or let any employee go?

A: Yes, Posts can release or let employees go. An example to say is, "we no longer need or require your services."

Q: What are the responsibilities of post trustees?

A: The general responsibility is to oversee the operations of the post canteen.

Q: How do I get a new membership card?

A: Go online www.amvets.org under Forms and resources. Print the form, pay your $5.00, and send to address on the form.

Q: When is our revalidation due?

A: The revalidations are due July 15th of every year.

Q: When are 990’s due to the IRS?

A: Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF must be filed by the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of your organization's accounting period.

Q: Can our post break the agreement with the Attorney General involving the mandatory Charity?

A: No, that agreement is in affect till December 31, 2017. At that time, you can select a charity of your choice.

Membership

Q: When I log in with my membership number and password, the system won’t let me add new members, pay for members, access the roster, etc. How can I get this fixed to make sure I can process membership online?

A: The membership website (www.amvetsmembers.org) is run by Harry Neal, the National Membership Director, and his team. If you are having issues accessing information within the website, you can call Mr. Neal at 301-683-4020 to get the issue resolved.

Q: I have a member of my post who joined last year under the Veteran’s Day free membership promotion, but the roster shows that s/he is good through 2017. Why is this?

A: If the new member had already turned in dues

Q: I have a member of my post who owes multiple years of dues. What are the member’s options?

A: There are many reasons that member might miss paying a year or more of membership, but what matters is that the member would like to rejoin AMVETS. In order to rejoin AMVETS and not pay past dues, posts should, with the member’s permission, enter him/her as a new member.

Q: How can I access my post roster?

A: Post rosters can be found by going to www.amvetsmembers.org, signing in with your membership number, and then selecting “Member Roster” in the orange pane on the left hand side of the page. Select your post number to download the roster, which is in an excel document. More information on accessing your post roster will be presented at the Fall Conference, and a training PowerPoint will be posted to the Ohio AMVETS website following the conference.

Q: Why is AMVETS encouraging posts to process membership online instead of mailing in the papers?

A: There are many advantages to the post to log their membership online. The first advantage is the money saved that would usually be spent on postage, paper, and ink from printing and mailing in D&R forms, new member forms, replacement card forms, etc. The second advantage is that there is no delay. If a new member wants to join, the post can add the member and pay dues that same day and the new member is immediately in the system.

Programs

Q: What do I report?

A: EVERYTHING… Almost every post activity that raises money or is on behalf of veterans falls under one or more of the Programs categories. Simply look at the drop down menu on the Programs Reporting page and pick the one that closest matches what the program you are putting on aligns with.

Q: Who do I report?

A: EVERYONE…. All AMVETS, Ladies, Sons and Juniors who volunteer for your programs can be reported on the AMVETS Programs reporting page.

Q: Can I report our hours for our Monthly Meetings?

A: NO…. Post meetings, Department meetings and conferences, National meetings and conferences ALL DO NOT count as program hours.

Q: I don’t have a computer or internet access, how do I report?

A: You can fill out a paper hard copy and mail (or fax) it to Department Headquarters or you can call Department Headquarters directly. Or (preferred method) call Andy McElrath 3rd Vice, and he can help get your programs reported.

Judge Advocate

Q: What type of violations goes to the post three member disciplinary panel and not directly to the BOT (Board of trustee’s) or the Executive board?

A: Any Violation that would constitute a Canteen or Club room Violation. A Canteen or Club room violation is the infraction of any rule you that is posted in the canteen which governs the conduct of all people using to Canteen. Example- Dress code, Foul Language, fighting, etc. (Minor Violations)

Q: What is a three member disciplinary Panel?

A: This is a panel of three members assigned by the BOT (Board of Trustees) to hear Canteen violations. They should be veterans in good standing. They should not be officers or BOT members nor should they be Sons or Auxiliary members. The panel is usually chosen at the first meeting after elections by the new BOT, and usually serves a 1 year term or a term decided by the BOT.

The three member Panel hears the charges and can make recommendations for acquittal or punishment to the BOT. The BOT makes the final decision on punishment or acquittal based on the recommendation of the panel, and sends the verdict or acquittal to the accused by certified mail. The only time the BOT would hear the case is if the member would appeal the panel’s decision.

Q: What type of Violations go to the post Executive board and not to the BOT?

A: Any Violation that is not a canteen violation such as Conduct unbecoming an AMVET, Theft, Dishonesty (ect). Even if these violations occur in the canteen.

Q: Can a Veteran member write up a Son or Auxiliary Member?

A: Yes, if a member witnesses a subordinate member violating canteen rules. The subordinate member should be written up in the usual manner, sending the complaint to the Chairman of the BOT for review if found to be proper it would then be heard by the three member panel.

If the violation is more serious (conduct unbecoming, theft ) the complaint should be sent to the Post Commander who reviews it then sends it to the subordinate organizations Executive board for consideration and possible charges through the subordinates Executive board.

Q: Can a Son or Auxiliary members write up a Veteran?

A: Yes, but with restrictions. A canteen Violation would be written up in the form of a letter of complaint and sent to the Chairman of the BOT for investigation. However the complainant is to be a witness only. Charges must be filed and signed by a Veteran. If the violation is of a more serious nature such as conduct unbecoming an AMVET, assault etc.. A subordinate member must direct their letter of complaint to the post Commander & Executive Board who reviews the complaint and hears the charges. Again Charges must be signed by a Veteran.

Q: Does the BOT or Eboard of the post have to honor discipline handed out by subordinate organizations to its own members?

A: It depends on how the subordinate organization writes the disposition of the punishment it hands out. If the subordinate organization states in its disposition that they are giving its member a canteen suspension. That wording would not be correct and need not be accepted by the BOT. (As only the BOT can issue canteen suspensions)

If a subordinate organization wishes to include a canteen suspension in its disposition they must state in their disposition that they are suspending the membership privileges of the offending subordinate member. They must also state that the subordinate member is NOT in good standing with the subordinate Organization during the term of the suspension.

If worded in this manner, the post BOT must keep the offending subordinate member out of the Canteen until the subordinate organization places the member back in good standing or the suspension period ends. This is required by State Law as part of the posts liquor license.

Q: Does a PAID visitor (guest list, Commanders guest list, Veteran Supporter, etc. have any rights of membership of any AMVETS organization?

A: No! They are a guest only, they have no rights under the CBL or UPCBL and are automatically suspended.

Q: Can a Commander, Trustee or Canteen Manager suspend a member or Subordinate member from the Canteen or the post without a hearing?

A: NO! Not without proper charges and a proper hearing. To suspend, Ban or Bar someone from the post or canteen without a hearing is improper and could lead to charges of conduct unbecoming against the barring officer, Trustee or manager.

Q: Can a member who is running for a post Officer position be disqualified from running due to past conduct or charges?

A: According to the Dept. CBL article XX section 2 “all questions affecting the eligibility for office and the conduct of post officers shall be determined by the post involved and shall be the final authority ” take the question to a membership meeting let the members decide”.

Q: How can a trustee be removed from their position?

A: With a 2/3 vote at any regular meeting per Article XXI section 3 of the Dept. UPCBL. Per Article XXI section 3 of the Dept. UPCBL. Any trustee who is absent for three (3) consecutive meetings of the board of trustees without just cause shall be automatically removed from office. (no vote required)

Q: What should a member do if they feel they were not given a fair or proper disciplinary hearing.

A: Appeal to the next higher authority. (ie) Post to District, District to State, State to National.

Service Officers

Q: Am I eligible for VA benefits?

A: The best way to determine whether you’re eligible for Veterans benefits is to speak to a Veterans Service Officer. Veterans Service Officers can explain eligibility requirements for various state and federal benefits. If you decide to apply they can help you though the entire claims process.

Q: How do I apply for VA Healthcare?

A: You must bring in your DD214 to the nearest VA medical center to apply. Be sure to have your financial information available in order to complete the form. All benefits are based on the previous year’s income and non-reimbursed medical expenses.

Q: Why use a Veteran Service Officer?

A: We’re Free! It is always important to meet with a Veteran Service Officer prior to filing a claim, so they can assist you in putting together a claim packet that has the best chance of success. These services are free of charge.

Q: Will my spouse get benefits if I were to pass away?

A: This depends on several factors. There are a couple of different programs available for widowers, but they are on a case by case basis. Contact your local Veteran Service Officer and they should be able to determine what benefit is best to apply for. Understand that not every widow will be eligible for VA benefits.

Q: I appealed a decision made by the VA for my claim, how long will I wait until there is a new decision?

A: Unfortunately, appeals can take anywhere from 3-8 years.

Q: I am already receiving VA Disability Compensation, and my conditions have worsened. What steps do I take from here?

A: Contact your local Veteran Service Officer. As your service connected conditions worsen, you need to file a new claim for increase on the service connected conditions. Sometimes a Veteran might develop a new condition because of an already service connected condition, and the Veteran can then add the new condition.

Q: How can I get a copy of my DD 214 or Military Records?

A: You can access the National Archives website at http://www.archives.gov/ and use the eVETRECS online form and then either fax or send the signature page in to the National Archives. You can also download an SF-180 form and fill that out and then mail or fax to the National Archives.

Q: How do I get a copy of my Service Treatment/Health Records from my Military Service?

A: Download a SF-180 form and fill out completely. In the comments block state you are asking for your Service Treatment Records. Mail this form to Veteran Affairs at this address:

Department of Veterans Affairs

Records Management Center

ATTN: Release of Information

P.O. Box 5020

St. Louis, MO 63115-5020

Q: How can I get my records from my service in the Ohio National Guard?

A: The Ohio National Guard has an archivist in Columbus. Fill out an SF-180 and email it to her at Jeanette.Carter5.nfg@mail.mil . She will send any records that are on file with her.

Q: How do I apply to make corrections or changes to my DD 214?

A: To change or correct Military Records use DD Form 149 and submit to the relevant service branch. To apply for a review of discharge or dismissal use DD Form 293 and submit to the relevant service branch. Each service branch has their own correction board which convenes and makes decisions for that branch.

Q: Is there any assistance available for my father who is a World War II vet living in a nursing home?

A: Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and are not paid without eligibility to Pension.

Q: Can I work while receiving a Pension?

A: Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime veterans. Any income that you receive including Social Security will offset your pension income. Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit.

Q: How can I file for my GI Bill?

A: By Ohio State Law each public University and College are required to have a Veteran Liaison to assist you with applying for your GI Bill. You can also call 1-888-442-4551 for assistance.

Q: Is there legal assistance available?

A: The Department of Ohio Veteran Service Commission provides a legal assistance project called Operation Legal Help Ohio. This phone number is 1-877-759-6182.

Q: Where can I find these answers and more information about my benefits?

A: The Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors Handbook provides these answers and more. This Handbook can be found on line at, http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp. This Handbook is update yearly to ensure veterans, dependents and survivors know what their health care benefits, non health care benefits and burial and memorial benefits are.

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