Compton: Veterans may now shop in new Seabee Web store

By George Compton
Saturday, April 19, 2008

I would like to thank the Seabees for allowing me to attend their annual ball. It was a great evening, and the location, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, was pure genius. Getting the chance to interact with such dedicated young Seabees, most of whom were younger than my uniform, was certainly the highlight for me.

In support of the completion of the new Seabee Museum, I would like to remind all veterans of the Seabee Museum Gift Store’s new shop online feature at

Q. What is the status of the phaseout of the SBP/Social Security offset?

A. For widows of retired military members, the offset of Survivor Benefit Plan annuities by Social Security benefits ended on April 1.

SBP payments now should reflect 55 percent of the member’s retired pay instead of 50 percent.

The FY Defense Authorization Act phased out the age-62 benefit reduction over a four-year period. Look for the increase on the annuity to be paid on May 1.

Q. I am being placed on the Temporary Disabled Retired List at a rating of 30 percent. Can you explain how much I will be paid per month?

A. Even though you are rated 30 percent, you will be paid 50 percent of your base pay. You will have a re-evaluation at a year to 18 months to see if your condition has stabilized. If your condition has improved, you could be retained in the service. If your condition is still at least 30 percent disabling, you will be permanently retired. At that time, your pay will be based on the percentage of disability. You will have the same benefits as other retirees (i.e. commissary, health). If the evaluation of your condition is then rated at less than 30 percent, you will be separated with severance pay based on rank and time in service.

You also need to file a claim with the VA for that condition and any other medical conditions that were not considered in your “Fit for Duty” evaluation.

Your rating from the military will never change, but if your condition becomes more severe your VA rating can increase.

Also, depending on rank and time in service, VA compensation could be paid at a higher rate than retired pay.

— George Compton, retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the County of Ventura, Human Services Agency. Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033; phone number: 385-6366; fax: 385-6371; or e-mail: [email protected].