LVMAC Tidbit: VA Offers Some Debt Relief When Natural Disasters Occur

September 18, 2020
The VA announced this week its commitment to extend debt relief to veterans impacted by natural disasters. The department recognizes veterans and their beneficiaries are negatively impacted by the wildfires and hurricanes prompting the offering of financial-debt relief. This includes the suspension of debt-collection actions for up to 90 days or extending repayment terms on preexisting VA debts, whichever the veteran prefers.

To request assistance for VA financial debt relief, contact the VA Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648.

Source:  VVA Web Weekly, 16 Sep 2020


As of 16 September

LVMAC Tidbit: COVID-19 Affects Property Tax/Rent Rebates in a Good Way

May 19, 2020

Gov. Wolf, Treasurer Torsella Announce Property Tax/Rent Rebates Arriving Early to Help Seniors, Others During COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor Tom Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced that many older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will receive early rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

It is something worthwhile for veterans or their widows/widowers who are homeowners or renters to check off to help get them through these trying times when needed.  It is not always chump change; and you may be more eligible than you might first suspect (don’t assume age is the only criteria).  For details and how to apply, if you have not: click here.


As of 20 May 2020


LVMAC Tidbit — Department of Banking and Securities Offers Financial Management Conference

May 22, 2017

Register for 9 June Event Now

Although originally created to address a Pennsylvania Guard “Family” need, the program has application to veterans and their families as well.  In fact, the Pennsylvania’s Department of Banking and Securities is offering the event to both groups.   Click here to go directly to the registration site.  After attending, give us your feedback.  Perhaps an event can be arranged in the Lehigh Valley in the future, if we hear good words about it. Read the rest of this entry »

LVMAC Tidbit — IRS Launches New Website for Veterans

August 11, 2016

Source: Information for Veterans

IRS LogoAs of 18 July, the Internal Revenue Service has launched a new site titled “Information for Veterans.”  “The page is designed to provide timely, federal tax-related information to veterans about tax credits and benefits, free tax preparation, financial education, and asset-building opportunities available to veterans,” according to the VVA Weekly Newsletter of 11 August.

Nothing really that exciting or new from what we have provided on our Answers Desk site, but does provide in one place useful links related to money matters or the lack of it.


As of 11 August 2016





Forward Observer — Honey, The “In-Laws” Are Back! The Consumer Credit Association (Payday Lenders)

June 5, 2013

LVMAC Poster Art 2005Editor’s Note:  Kerry Smith, a Staff Attorney for Community Legal Services of Philadelphia was the speaker at our March Council Meeting.  Ms. Smith, at that time, explained the harm of such lending legislation and how other states which have passed such wish they could turn back the clock.  She urged the Council to stand up for our veterans and oppose any such legislation.


Uninvolved Veterans, Get Off Your Derrieres and Protect Your Comrades

The Pennsylvania Council of Chapters, Military Officers Association of America, strongly opposes Senate Bill 975, the Micro Loan Program, recently introduced on May 31, 2013 to legalize payday lending in Pennsylvania at 300% interest on a two-week loan.  We agree with them.  The bill,  which will result in such usury despite possible good intentions, has surprisingly made it out of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee by a narrow 8 to 6 voting margin and is now on the floor of the Senate for a vote in a few more days.  PA MOAA Payday Ltr 2013 Revised

Since the possibility exists for our legislators to fail to take — or are not given — the time to completely read the bills they vote upon on a Senate or House floor (let alone reflect upon their possible unintended consequences), your timely action could make the difference in their decision-making. Read the rest of this entry »

Forward Observer — Pending Payday Lending Legislation: A Debt Trap for Military Veterans

April 15, 2013

Kerry Smith, Community Legal Services Warns of the Danger

LVMAC Poster Art 2005Kerry Smith, Staff Attorney, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, a leading advocate for low income residents in the Philadelphia area, spoke to the Council at its 20 March business meeting as a member of a coalition of over 90 organizations – including the Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley, MOAA of Pennsylvania, the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania; and the Council of Churches, AFL-CIO and AARP of Pennsylvania – who have concerns about the recent lobbying to allow payday lending in Pennsylvania, which is currently illegal. Read the rest of this entry »

LVMAC Tidbit — The COLA Increase for 2013

January 4, 2013

Since we have been asked, the President’s signing of the 2013 National Defense Act last November authorized veterans to receive a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase of 1.7% in their compensation and pension payments.  The same applied to survivors enrolled in either a pension or dependency and indemnity compensation program, and also to Social Security recipients and military retirees (except 2012 retirees and REDUX retirees). Read the rest of this entry »

LVMAC News — Thrivent Foundation Wishes to Work with LVMAC

October 8, 2012


Newspaper Logo 70%Messrs. Rick Baldwin, Community Engagement Coordinator, Tom Knauer and Michael Colson, the regional point of contact, of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans addressed the Council at its 26 September business meeting.  Although there is no chapter specific to the Lehigh Valley, there are about 107,287 members in 53 chapters throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Consequently, it might play a huge role to the benefit of veterans in our valley.  This is what their talk centered around. Read the rest of this entry »

LVMAC Tidbits

November 12, 2011

COLA Is Coming for 2012

For 2012, the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase will be 3.6% for most military retirees, for military survivor benefit plan and social security recipients, and for those drawing VA compensation (to include DIC) – a welcomed increase after two years without one.  The President signed the last of the necessary legislation on 9 November — the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 (S. 894).  This dispels a local rumor that spouses and children receiving dependency indemnity compensation (DIC) would be forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »

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