Assistance available for China Lake retirees

The Retired Activities Office has provided services to military and civilian retirees since it was established 30 years ago. The office is currently managed by Eva Bien, retired China Lake human resources director, and staffed with volunteers who are retirees from China Lake employment.

The office provides assistance to retirees when they experience life events such as marriage, divorce, death and remarriage. Because of the demographics and backgrounds of the volunteers, most of the services provided were to civilians in recent years.

The RAO is also able to provide assistance to retired military and family members. Scott Wood, retired command master chief from San Diego, joined the RAO staff after working as a volunteer in the San Diego RAO.

Through him, the RAO program can provide a link between local retirees and the military communities as well as other government agencies that provide assistance.

Civilian Services:

1. Notification to Office of Personnel Management to initiate the process for the survivor to file claims for death benefits.

2. Assistance in updating retirees’ files with OPM to account for changing life events.

3. Referrals if appropriate..

Military Services:

1. Assistance in preparation of claims such as the Survivor Benefit Plan, unpaid compensation, all types of life insurance and death benefits under the civilian retirement system if applicable.

2. Referrals to Fleet & Family Support Center, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Medicare, Social Security, other military services and legal aid.

3. Briefings on the Survivor Benefit Plan, dependency indem-nity compensation, disability, and educational opportunities (GI Bill).

4. Pre-legal guidance on retirees’ rights under the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protec-tion Act (PL97-252), and on the Board of Corrections of Naval Record.

Look for our annual retiree appreciation event and the updated 2012 retiree/alumni phone book planned for late fall of this year.

The RAO asks that you provide your updated data for the phone book by calling 760-939-0978 or sending the information to by Aug. 30.

Story First Published: 2012-08-14