SUBJECT: Patriot Plan
ISSUE: Benefits of the New Patriot Plan
1. Introduction: The Patriot Plan is a package of additional benefits and protections for service members created by Governor Pataki’s Executive Order Number 125, dated 24 March 2003, and his signing into law on 3 July 2003 a bill passed unanimously by the legislature. The majority of the provisions apply only to residents of the State of New York.
2. Purpose: This memorandum outlines the benefits and privileges provided under the Patriot Plan. It provides general information on eligibility for benefits and, where possible, provides points of contact from which to obtain information regarding a specific benefit.
a. Freedom from discrimination based on military service. Any discrimination based on military status constitutes a violation of an individual’s civil rights, now actionable under New York State Human Rights Law. All service personnel, state and federal are covered. POC: New York State Division of Human Rights at (718) 741-8400.
b. Prohibition against soliciting or requiring waiver of Civil Relief Act rights. It is a misdemeanor to solicit, require, demand or otherwise request a waiver of a right provided under the State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. All service personnel and their dependants are covered. POC: DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
c. Extension of State Civil Relief Act benefits to dependants. The protections of the State Civil Relief Act have been extended to include dependants of a person in military service. These benefits include stay of court proceedings, freedom from foreclosure, restraints against eviction, reduced interest rates on loans and the tolling of the Statute of Limitations during the period of military service. All service personnel and their dependants are covered. POC: DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
d. Life insurance not to lapse for non-payment of premiums. Life insurance policies will not lapse for nonpayment of premiums for a period of two years following the period of active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States. This applies to Reserve Component personnel called to active duty with the Armed Forces of the U.S. It does not encompass State Active Duty (SAD). POC: NYS Insurance Department, Legislative Affairs at (518) 473-0785 / DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
e. Protection against enforcement of storage liens on household goods. Prohibits the foreclosure or enforcement of any lien for storage of household goods, furniture, or personal effects of a person in military service during such person's period of active duty military service and for three months thereafter. All service personnel and their dependants are covered. POC: DMNA State Family Readiness Program Office at (518) 786-4656 / DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
f. Professional liability insurance protection. Professional liability insurance for persons ordered to active duty is suspended, upon request, for the period of military service plus 30 days. This is applicable to federal and state active duty. It does not encompass AT, IDT, or AGR service. POC: NYS Insurance Department, Legislative Affairs at (518) 473-0785 / DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
g. Prohibition against foreclosure of mortgage. Prohibits the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property for nonpayment of mortgage during the service member's period of service, or within six months thereafter. The property must have been subject to the mortgage prior to the call to active duty. Applies to personnel on federal or state active duty and their dependants. POC: DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
h. Adverse Credit Reporting. Adverse action in future financial transactions, including adverse credit reporting against an individual who has previously obtained a stay, postponement or suspension of obligations under the Civil Relief Act, is prohibited. Applies to personnel on federal or state active duty and their dependants. POC: DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541/ NYS Division of Human Rights at (718) 741-8400.
4. Education Benefits
a. Military Enhanced Recognition, Incentive and Tribute ("MERIT") Scholarship Program. MERIT Scholarship program makes scholarships available to military personnel, their spouses, children and financial dependents for military personnel who are residents of New York State and have either died, been declared missing or become permanently and severely disabled during active duty. Applies to personnel injured or disabled on federal or state active duty; however, death or disability of a service member must have been incurred in a combat theater or combat zone of operations or while training in preparation for duty in a combat theater. POC: NYS Higher Education Services Corporation at (518) 474-5642 or www.hesc.org / DMNA Government and Community Affairs at (518) 786- 4580.
b. Educational leave of absence to perform military duty. Refund or credit for tuition. Students are entitled to a leave of absence from institutions of higher education during periods of military service and for one year after completion of service. During the leave of absence, a student’s educational status and financial resources are preserved and the student has the option of requesting a refund or credit of tuition and fees. Applies to federal or state active duty. POC: NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), Programs, Policy and Institutional Review at (518) 473-3986 / DMNA Government and Community Affairs at (518) 786- 4580.
c. Constructive credit for military training towards civilian professional accreditation. Programs and training offered by the military to be recognized as equivalent training for the purpose of professional licensing. Applies to training received through both military service with the United States or military service with the state. POC: Applicable service education office / NYS Education Department, Division of Higher Education at (518) 474-6000.
d. Renewal of temporary teaching certificates. Fees waived for the renewal of a temporary teaching certificate or license that lapsed while the applicant was deployed. Applies to personnel called to federal active duty if deployed to a combat theater or combat zone of operations. POC: NYS Education Department at (518) 474-6000 / DMNA Government and Community Affairs at (518) 786-4580.
e. Right of dependent students to continue to attend public school attended prior to relocation caused by military service. A child who is relocated due to a parent or guardian’s active military service will be allowed to attend the public school that he/she attended prior to the relocation. Applies to personnel on federal or state active duty, other than for training. POC: Superintendent of local school district / DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
5. Financial benefits
a. Termination of motor vehicle lease contracts. Permits individuals who enter into a car lease prior to entering active military service to break the lease upon entry into active service. Must have entered state or federal active duty, other than for training, subsequent to entering lease. Also applies to spouse as co-signer of lease. POC: DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
b. Maximum rate of interest. The Patriot Law extends the 6 percent interest cap on debt incurred prior to entering active duty. This applies to federal active duty, other than for training. POC: DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
c. Suspension of repayment of public retirement system loans. Permits a public retirement system, at its discretion, to suspend the obligation to repay any loan while a member is absent on military duty. Applies to federal and state active duty. Authority expires on 3 July 2004. POC: NYS Office of the State Comptroller, Councils Office at (518) 474-4044 / DMNA Government and Community Affairs at (518) 786- 4580.
d. Supplemental military leave for state employees. Supplemental military leave benefits have been extended through December 31, 2004, to state employees who are ordered to active military duties relating to the war on terrorism and military action in Iraq. Applies to federal and state active duty. POC: State Agency Human Resource Office / NYS Department of Civil Service, Attendants and Leave Unit at (518) 457-2295.
e. Bulk rate telephone services. Bulk rate telephone services will be provided through an independent telephone service provider. The service will provide reduced “bulk” telephone rates to participating military personnel. All military personnel and their dependants are eligible. Must be resident of NY State. POC: DMNA Government and Community Affairs at (518) 786- 4580.
f. Extension of deadline to pay real property taxes. Localities are permitted, at their discretion, to extend the payment period for any tax owed on real property. Eligibility is limited to a person who has been ordered to active military duty, other than for training, for a period beginning with a declaration of war by Congress or during any periods of combat designated by presidential executive order or during hazardous ("imminent danger") duty. This benefit is contingent upon the passage of a resolution by the effected municipality authorizing the extension. POC: Local property tax office / DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
6. Professional Licensing Benefits
a. Waiver of professional continuing education requirements and extension of professional licenses. Any professional license, certificate, or registration that expires while the holder is engaged in active military service shall be automatically extended for the period of active service plus 12 months after the end of the service. Professional continuing education requirements are suspended for the duration of the individual's military service. Applies to federal and state active duty, other than for training. POC: Appropriate licensing authority / DMNA Legal Affairs Office at (518) 786-4541.
b. Extension of certification for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and other first responders. Certifications for EMTs, advanced EMTs and certified first responders who have been ordered to active military duty, other than for training, may be extended by the Department of Health. The period of extended certification is the entire period of active duty, plus 12 months. Applies to federal and state active duty, other than for training. POC: NYS Department of Health at (518) 486-9002 / DMNA Government and Community Affairs at (518) 786-4580.
7. Miscellaneous Benefits
a. Free Hunting and Fishing Licenses. NY residents who are drilling Reservists and drilling Organized Militia members are eligible. Active Component personnel are eligible provided they are not stationed within the state and have not spent more than 30 days within the state during the calendar year. POC: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Sporting License Help Line at (866) 472-4332 or at www.dec.state.ny.us
b. Free Empire Passports to New York State parks. Allows for free 2003 Empire Passport for personnel called to federal of state active duty in response to an emergency during the period 11 September 2001 to 31 December 2003. POC: NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation at (518) 474-8081 or at www.nysparks.com/passport.
c. Free access to video teleconferencing centers (VTC). For use between deployed service members and their families. Service member must be on federal active duty. POC: DMNA Office of Administrative Support at (518) 786-6197 / NYS Office for Technology at (518) 486-9200.
d. Free Internet access at public libraries. To be used for communication between deployed active duty military personnel and their families. The deployed service member must be a resident of the State of New York and must be deployed to a combat theater or combat zone of operations. POC: Local public library / NYS Department of Education at (518) 474-7196.
e. Extension of driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations. Driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations that would otherwise expire during period of active duty may be extended. Applies to federal or state active duty relating to the war on terrorism and military action in Iraq. POC: NYS Division of Motor Vehicles at (518) 474-1352 or at www.nysdmv.com/license.htm#military
f. Veteran’s Health Care Information Program. POC: NYS Department of Health at (518) 486-9002 / DMNA State Surgeon at (518) 786-4610.
g. Supplemental burial allowance. The allowance is a state allotment of not more than $6,000 paid to the surviving spouse, domestic partner, adult children, parents, or other family member of the deceased, based on who paid the cost of the funeral and burial. To receive the benefit, the deceased must have been killed on federal active duty in combat or duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger. POC: NYS Division of Veterans’ Affairs at (518) 474-6784 / DMNA Casualty Affairs Officer at (518) 786-4608.