Debt plan would tamp down COLA

Military retirees, Social Security recipients and others drawing federal payments were tempted to grumble at Congress or the White House when the past two Januarys brought no cost-of-living adjustment. The real culprits were a deeply distressed economy, which drove prices down, and a logical process, set up 40 years ago, to track inflation and adjust […]

Federal program aimed at helping homeowners with mortgage payments

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Alisa Boswell Eastern New Mexico residents may soon benefit from a new federal loan program called The Emergency Homeowner Loan Program. The program is geared toward low-income homeowners who are struggling with mortgage payments. It grants loans ranging from $35,000 to $50,000 per homeowner. Kim McGrigg, spokesperson for Money Management International, one of the multiple […]

VA issues first payments to caregivers

American Forces Press Services WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs officials will send out more than $430,000 in stipend payments in July to nearly 200 family caregivers of veterans. These family caregivers were the first to complete their caregiver training under the program of comprehensive assistance for family caregivers. The first payments to 96 recipients […]

Military update: Retroactive payments awarded

The Department of Veterans Affairs published its final regulation Aug. 31 for compensating Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia, or their surviving spouses. Veterans diagnosed with these diseases only will have to show they stepped foot in Vietnam sometime from Jan. 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975, to qualify for […]

VA officials to begin recovery of GI Bill advance payments

Courtesy of American Forces Press Service from a Department of Veterans Affairs news release. WASHINGTON —Veterans Affairs Department officials are beginning the process of recovering advance payments made available during the fall 2009 semester to veterans and servicemembers who applied for education benefits. “The advance payments were a huge success and helped thousands of student […]

Local schools unaffected by GI Bill slowdown

Staff and wire reports Staff and wire reports Although many universities and colleges are still waiting for tuition payments for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who attended school last fall under the new GI Bill, representatives of local institutions say they’re not having a problem. The Veterans Affairs Department says the number of veterans with claims […]

Software glitch delays GI payments

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Amanda Collier started college last August armed with a certificate of eligibility to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits that her dad, a Coast Guardsman of 22 years, had earned and transferred to her. Next week Amanda will take final exams for her first semester at the University of Central Oklahoma. […]

Press release: More than $18 million in CRP payments going to New Mexico farmers

ALBUQUERQUE – Salomon Ramirez, State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in New Mexico today announced that USDA has almost completed issuing over $18 million in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments to eligible producers in New Mexico. More than $1.7 billion in CRP payments are being made on 31 million acres across the country. […]

Payments more of burden than help

By Paul Gessing: Guest columnist In case you haven’t heard, there will be no cost of living increase for Social Security recipients next year. This has spurred outrage and consternation on Capitol Hill. After all, seniors vote in large numbers and are a politically powerful voting bloc, so efforts to placate senior citizens are usually […]

Another gaffe in retro pay project

By Tom Philpott: Syndicated columnist As many as 39,000 disabled military retirees have been left out of the VA Retro Pay program by mistake, say officials at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) who are calculating the amount of money owed. This latest and perhaps most serious gaffe in the problem-plagued VA Retro Pay […]

May 26, 1939

About 750 farms in Roosevelt County had not signed estimate sheets to receive payments from the Triple A for the year 1939. If the sheets were not signed by June 1,

Press release: USDA says MILC payments on way to dairy farmers

ALBUQUERQUE – Brenda Archuleta, Acting Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in New Mexico announced today that because of low dairy prices across the country, producers participating in USDA’s Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program will soon begin to receive payments. “As a result of low dairy prices, we will soon begin distributing MILC […]

Payments coming from your pocket

By Tibor Machan: Freedom New Mexico columnist It was as if President George Bush became Santa Claus. An MSNBC anchor announced the president signed into law a bill that extends unemployment compensation payments to jobless Americans and said, without flinching, this is “good news.” Only mainstream nonpartisan media can carry this off. For starters, extending […]

VA vows timely GI Bill payments

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist The new Post-9/11 GI Bill, which on average will double the value of education benefits for eligible veterans, will be launched on schedule next August and begin making payments to students and colleges next fall. That’s just as Congress intended, says a senior Department of Veterans Affairs official. Keith M. […]

Raise, ‘Wellness’ plan get OK

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Military members will get a 3.9 percent pay raise in January. But the fiscal 2009 defense authorization approved by Congress on Saturday does not include a House-passed plan to set military pay raises through 2013 a half percentage point higher than private sector wage growth. The new defense bill will […]

Senate passes $286 billion farm bill

Staff and Wire reports WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill with an election-year expansion of subsidies for growers and food stamps for the poor. The bill, passed on a 79-14 vote, expands subsidies for wheat, barley, oat, soybeans and several other crops and creates new grants for vegetable and […]

Retro pay reaches $31,000, averages $1,500

By Tom Philpott : Military Update Two months into a year-long review of pay records and disability compensation histories for 140,000 military retirees have produced a total of $45 million in back pay to 31,000 disabled retirees, say officials in charge. The lump-sum payments average about $1,500. Ten retirees have received more than $25,000 each, […]

Distributing retroactive pay complicated matter

By Tom Philpott: Guest Columist The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have worked out a plan for sharing the cost and the task of delivering about $500 million in back pay to more than 100,000 military retirees with VA-rated disabilities. The retroactive payments are owed to nearly half of all recipients of Combat-Related Special […]

Officials want to raise TRICARE co-payments and fees

By Tom Philpott : PNT columnist Defense Department officials say it’s time users of military health care pay a greater share of rising medical costs, perhaps through higher co-payments and enrollment fees that haven’t been raised since TRICARE, the military’s managed care program, began a decade ago. In an interview, Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., assistant […]

Bill would benefit Cannon

Davis Arkin If Jose Campos gets his way, some big smiles will be seen on the personnel at Cannon Air Force Base. Campos, a House of Representative member whose district includes both Curry and Roosevelt counties, said on Monday afternoon that he is putting together legislation that could significantly benefit Cannon. The bill has not […]