G-1 launches new 'My Army Benefits' site
February 20, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 20, 2009) - The Army's G-1 staff launched a redesigned Web site last week that consolidates all Army benefits information at one location and includes calculators that Soldiers can use.
The <a href="http://MyArmyBenefits.us.army.mil"target=_blank> MyArmyBenefits.us.army.mil</a> site has calculators that allow Soldiers to see how much money they can expect to receive upon retirement or how much their family would receive if the unthinkable happens.
"Soldiers owe it to their family to let them know they will be taken care of if something happens," said Lt. Col. Jay Carlson of G-1, the program manager for the site.
The site also lists information on 150 different benefits ranging from child care to education assistance. Fact sheets are provided on a variety of family services, recreation programs, Space-A travel, Army Emergency Relief, health care, spouse employment assistance and many other programs.
In addition, there are 54 state and territory fact sheets that break out different benefits for Soldiers who live in each state.
"The state (and) territory benefits page is helpful because all I had to do was click on my state on the map and I could see all the benefits my state offered," said Staff Sgt. Michael O'Brien. "Also it lets you estimate your retirement pay which is a cool thing to know."
The retirement calculator allows Soldiers to figure out what their benefits will be under the three different retirement systems: High Three, Final Pay and REDUX.
"MyArmyBenefits is the Army's one-stop official resource for all benefits information," Carlson said.
Until now, there was no one place to go for benefits information, according to Carlson, who explained that the info was "disseminated through a broad variety of channels."
Benefit resource locators are part of the site, along with special Wounded Warrior and Casualty modules.
The Survivor Planning Calculator provides a personal report projecting lifetime Social Security and survivor's benefits. The report also factors in the Thrift Savings Plan, Servicemembers Group Life Insurance, or SGLI lump-sum payments and other benefits.
The benefits calculator provides a vehicle to assist Soldiers and spouses as they plan for the future, giving them peace of mind, Carlson said.
Personal data for the calculators is drawn from the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System known as DEERS.
The calculators, including one for disability benefits, require Soldiers to log in using their Army Knowledge Online password.
The only weakness of the site, according to one of its designers, is that the calculators currently are available only to active-duty Soldiers. However, Carlson said plans are underway to develop benefits calculators for National Guard and Reserve Soldiers as well.
Other sections of the site already address reserve-component Soldiers. One is the Deployment Planning Toolkit. This section provides information on mobilization and deployment support, family assistance, pay and allowances, and programs such as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Sgt. 1st Class Pete Mayes said he was impressed with the site.
"I'm scheduled to deploy downrange sometime this year," Mayes said, "and this would be a great benefit to my wife and daughter."