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«U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Program Support Center Human Resources Service Division of Commissioned Personnel 5600 Fishers Lane, ...»

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DEERS is a data system which contains essential data on all eligible beneficiaries under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program. All initial applications for dependent ID cards must be accompanied by legal documentation of the dependent's relationship to the officer. A dependent may initiate an application for an ID card, but the application form must be signed by the officer (unless deceased or incapacitated). Criteria for eligibility and documentation required are detailed in INSTRUCTION 2, Subchapter CC29.2, CCPM.

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DEERS must be notified of all changes in dependents' eligibility status, including marriages, births, divorces, and deaths. The officer is responsible for notifying the designated issuing official for his/her organization of such changes, and for providing an updated DD Form 1172.

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The benefits listed above are provided to PHS officers, often on a space available basis, as a reciprocal privilege. These are NOT rights or entitlements! Abuse of these benefits means embarrassment for the Service, officer and dependents, loss of privileges for the officer, and possibly loss for fellow officers as well. Observe the rules and regulations as well as the customs and courtesies. The use and operation of these facilities are regulated by the Department of Defense with local control. Therefore, while usage is generally the same for all stations, the local commander may limit or restrict access as deemed necessary. If an officer needs assistance at a military facility, a point of contact may be the provost marshal the protocol officer or the officer of the day.

Automobiles should be registered on a military facility. This makes entry much easier. For registration, officers will need proof of insurance, title, and registration. Uniforms and military courtesy are very important on base. It is a means of enforcing discipline and building pride in the military services.

When an officer wears the uniform on base, he/she must wear it correctly.

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A valid ID card is required for dependents and officers not in uniform. Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (COSTEP) officers and officers on short tours may need a copy of their current personnel orders in addition to an ID card.

These facilities are for personal (family) purchases and legitimate gifts only. Purchases cannot be made for friends or extended family members.

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These are the supermarkets for the military facilities. The commissary privilege is a benefit of the service member, but this benefit is extended to dependents in the sponsor's household so that they may shop on behalf of the service member. Savings are similar to discount food stores. There are usually several "specials" which are excellent bargains. The commissaries are crowded on weekends, and especially so on and just after paydays. Baggers work for tips in the commissary system.

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Most military facilities have a Federal credit union which is available to any Federal employee.

These offer the standard services - loans, checking, savings, etc.

PHS also has credit unions at major installations; the PHS Federal Credit Union in the Parklawn Building accepts any commissioned officer as a member. It can be reached at (301) 881-1870. Ask your fellow officers about credit unions near the duty station.

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This benefit is the ability to travel on military flights on a space-available (Space-A) basis. This privilege has very definite rules and regulations which must be followed to assure continued access. Space-A is a recreational program and officers and dependents are absolutely forbidden to use it if the officer is on a temporary duty (TDY) assignment. COSTEP officers are not eligible to travel on Space-A flights. Conforming to grooming standards is necessary;

however, neatly trimmed beards are permitted.

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Most military installations have a variety of recreational facilities available for the personnel stationed there. These are usually also available to PHS officers. Facilities may include theaters, swimming pools, bowling lanes, sports equipment rentals, youth centers, recreational information/ticket offices, etc.

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There are several military facilities which provide rest and recreation opportunities for PHS officers. These include wilderness camps, waterfront sites, and other vacation-type facilities.

These are located in various areas of the country, and are listed in several publications.

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The most frequently used club is the Officers' Club. As the name implies, this facility is for officers. Enlisted personnel are not usually permitted to use the facility. Likewise, officers are not usually expected in Non-Commissioned Officers' Clubs or Enlisted Men's Clubs. This does vary from one installation to another. Small installations may only have one club for all personnel.

As a rule, the Officers' Club (or Mess as it is sometimes called) is more formal in atmosphere and behavior. Usually dress codes are enforced in the evening and on weekends.

These facilities may be "open" or "closed." Open facilities are available for all officers. Closed facilities are accessible only to members or to members of another Officers' Club.

Officers' Clubs generally have a lounge, a formal dining room, meeting rooms, party rooms, and other similar features.

Special events are frequently held for members. Check cashing services are usually available for members and are generally more liberal in maximum limits.

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Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) and Visiting Officers' Quarters (VOQ) are available on a space-available basis to PHS officers. These rooms may consist of a single room with a bed, or a suite with kitchen facilities. These rooms are usually inexpensive.

Temporary Family Living (TFL) and Temporary Military Living (TML) quarters are designed for families. PHS officers and their accompanying dependents may use these facilities, which usually include two or more bedrooms and a kitchen area. They are reasonably priced compared to commercial housing. Stays are usually limited.

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The death benefits for commissioned officers include personal assistance for the family from DCP. The person responsible for this activity is the Survivor Assistance Officer (SAO), available at (301) 594-3389, and by Fax at (301) 594-2711.

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Current PHS officers can qualify for benefits under one of three educational assistance programs, depending upon the date that the service member initially entered on extended active duty for other than training purposes.

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PHS officers who entered on active duty between January 1, 1997 and June 30, 1985, are covered by the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). This is a “two for one” matching program under which the government matches two dollars to every dollar contributed by the service member (up to $2,700) for a maximum benefit of $8,100. This benefit can be obtained in maximum monthly amounts of $225 for 36 months or $300 for 27 months based on full-time student status.

- 40 Commissioned Corps Officer’ Handbook, 1998 s PHS officers who entered on active duty on or before December 31, 1976, are covered by the Old G.I. Bill. Although this program ended on December 31, 1989, PHS officers who qualified for this program and who remain on active duty, and meet certain criteria, can be eligible to have any unused entitlement under the Old G.I. Bill rolled over to the Montgomery G.I. Bill without cost to the officer. These officers are eligible to receive the full amount under the Montgomery G.I. Bill and half of what they would have received under the Old G.I. Bill for their unused entitlement.

3. Housing Loans

Until the Persian Gulf era is ended by law or Presidential Proclamation, PHS officers qualify for VA guaranteed home loans after being on active duty for 90 days.* The VA can guarantee up to $50,750 of a loan made for the purchase of a home for residence. As active-duty Uniformed Service members, PHS officers can usually obtain lower interest rates and in some instances can negotiate a loan with no down payment. Local realtors or the nearest VA facility can provide more information. *(Note: Normally, Uniformed Service members must be on active duty for 180 days before being eligible for the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program.)

4. Insurance Programs

PHS officers are eligible for coverage under Servicemembers’Group Life Insurance (SGLI).

Officers are automatically covered by term insurance in the amount of $200,000 at the time of their call to active duty. On or before their first day of duty, members can decrease the amount of coverage, decline coverage, or increase the coverage to a maximum of $200,000. The cost of the coverage is $.85 per month per $10,000 coverage and is available in increments of $10,000.

Coverage of $200,000 is at a monthly cost of $17.00. The members participate only through payroll deduction.

Upon separation or retirement, SGLI may be converted to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI). Conversion must occur within 120 days, and coverage is a maximum of $200,000.

This is 5-year renewable term insurance.

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After separation or retirement from active duty, an officer may seek to establish "service connection" with VA for medical conditions incurred or aggravated while on active duty.

Service-connected conditions may entitle the officer to medical care and/or disability compensation from VA.

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Since April 22, 1976, PHS has been covered by the SSCR Act. The SSCR Act provides protection to members of the Uniformed Services. The SSCR Act does not protect dependents of officers.

Provisions do not apply to dependents or non-official activities conducted in the State of assignment

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Upon call to active duty, officers must complete Form DD 2058, "State of Legal Residence Certificate." This establishes the domicile of the officer. Domicile is the place regarded as the officer's permanent home. Under the SSCR Act, PHS officers do not lose their domicile by taking up temporary residence elsewhere as a result of compliance with official Personnel Orders. Officers are free to establish a new domicile upon reassignment.

A State (other than a home State) or locality cannot tax a commissioned officer's income merely because the officer resides and/or performs duty in that State. Income other than the officer's PHS pay and allowances may be subject to income tax in the State where assigned. Also, income sources from the officer's dependents are not covered by the SSCR Act.

Legal domicile is determined by the officer and the State tax authorities concerned. Relevant factors include where the officer votes, auto title, auto registration, driver's license, and payment of State income tax. Officers should make sure that all indicia of domicile point to one State. Failure to do so may result in taxation by more than one State.

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Leases covering dwelling and/or professional space rental may be terminated by the lessee by notice on call to active duty by PHS. This authority does not apply for transfers after entry on duty. Obtain the "transfer under Uniformed Service orders" provision in any lease agreement.

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---------------------------------------------------------------------------A. HEALTH CARE ENTITLEMENT FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES PERSONNEL Title 10, U.S. Code, Chapter 55, Section 1074, entitles PHS officers to health care from any Military Treatment Facility (MTF). Presentation of the green Uniformed Services Active Duty Identification (ID) Card allows the officer access to these services. Health care services may be supplemented by other resources in accordance with Uniformed Service policies and procedures. Refer to CCPM Pamphlet No. 65, “Information on Health Care Services for Active-Duty Officers of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” for more detailed information.

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