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Flags should remain at half-staff to honor the late President Gerald R. Ford for 30 days following his death on Dec. 26.

Special extra earnings for military service

The Social Security online system has posted information regarding extra earnings for military service from 1940 through 2001.

The information appears under the retirement planner section.

Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1940 though 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings may help you qualify for Social Security, or an increase in the amount of your Social Security benefits.

Special extra earnings are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Social Security cannot add these extra credits to your record, until you file for Social Security benefits.

Note: These special extra earnings are not granted for inactive duty training.

How to get credit for special extra earnings?

The following information only applies to active duty military service earnings from 1940 through 2001. Here's how the special extra earnings are credited:

  • Service in 1978 through 2001: For every $300 in active duty base pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, and did not complete at least 24 months of active duty, or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social security for details.
  • Service in 1957 through 1977: You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
  • Service in 1940 through 1956: If you were in the military during this period, including attendance at a service academy, you did not pay Social Security taxes. However, your Social security record may be credited with $160 per month in earnings for military service from Sept. 16, 1940, through Dec. 31, 1956, under the following circumstances:
  • If you were honorably discharged after 90 or more days of service
  • Or you were released because of a disability or injury received in the line of duty
  • Or you are still on active duty
  • Or you are applying for survivors' benefits and the veteran died while on active duty.

You cannot receive credit for these extra special earnings if you are already receiving a federal benefit based on the same years of military service.

There is one exception: If you were on active duty after 1956, you still can get the special earnings for 1951 through 1956, even if you're receiving a military retirement based on service during that period.

In January 2002, Public Law 107-117, the Defense Appropriations Act, stopped the special earnings that have been credited to military service personnel. Military service in calendar year 2002 and into future years no longer qualify for these special extra earnings.

New seniors program

A new seniors program, available through co-coordinated efforts of the Visiting Nurses Association and the American Legion Post 62 at the Shadow Mountain complex, begins this month.

Every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the VNA has reserved the Legion Post room for senior programs. To qualify you must be ARRP aged (50 years plus) as a senior. They will run a full day program. The schedule will be found in the Monday paper under the Aging Well Events heading.

It will list the times and various programs provided for the week. This is its Wellness Wednesdays under its Aging Well Program.

Part of the program is a senior swim at the shadow mountain pool facilitates, which runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday called senior open swim. It will cost $3 per session, for those more than 55 years old, in order to cover the cost of providing a lifeguard. Contact the American Legion for punch cards at 824-3625.

Watch the Monday paper for the schedule and programs. The project co-coordinator is Kathy Vanatta, who can be reached at the numbers in the paper, 871-7676 or 824-8233.

For info on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay Street, west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot. Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108.

Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only.

Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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