CANDOER Retirement Group

A World-Wide Organization

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement

Useful Information

From time to time I post information on the CANDOERs Blog that is useful to retirees in the future, but as the page is up-dated the information is erased and therefore no longer available. From now on that useful information will also be posted on this page, for long-term reference.

1.   New Retiree's ID Card Procedure

The Department has implemented a new retiree visitors ID card. Russ LeClair has sent me the State telegram outlining the new procedure on how to obtain the new ID card. Thanks, Russ!

P 291336Z JUL 08

E.O. 12958: N/A

1. The Bureau of Human Resources (HR) and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) are pleased to announce a new procedure for the issuance of identification cards to retirees.

2. Starting August 4, 2008, DS will issue all retiree ID cards. These cards will look like other State Department badges. Retirees with the new cards will have the same privileges as those with the current retiree ID card:

-- A retiree ID card, exclusive of any other form of ID, can be used to obtain a HST/SA-1 Retiree Visitor Pass (RVP);

-- As currently in practice, the RVP provides a retiree with limited unescorted access to HST's Foggy Bottom and 1st floor service areas, as well as the 3rd floor Library during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, except holidays;

-- The same privilege applies at SA-1's HR/RET offices, Medical suites and service areas.

-- Retirees can continue to sign in their legal spouse and or dependant(s). User instructions are printed on the back of the RVP.

3. Retirees who have in their possession an HR/RET-issued retiree ID card may go directly to HST DSIS Office in Room B-237, to complete Form DS-1838, at which time they will be processed for and issued the new retiree ID card.

4. Retirees without an HR/RET-issued retiree ID badge must complete Form DS-1838 at the Office of Retirement (HR/RET), 2401 E Street NW, Room H-620, SA-1, Columbia Plaza, Washington, D.C. 20522. A retirement counselor in HR/RET must sign off on the form to certify your status as a retiree. Then, you will be able to be processed for and issued the new retiree ID card from the DSIS office in HST, Room B-237.

5. Retirees must provide two forms of identification to the DSIS officer [Note: IDs that are typically used are a valid (not expired) DOS Personal ID Card, a state driver's license and/or U.S.Passport]. The ID card will be issued with an expiration date of 5 years.

6. Minimize considered.


2.   Obtaining a lost birth certificate for a dependant born overseas.

How to Apply for a Certified Copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Submit a signed and notarized written request including all pertinent facts of the occasion along with a copy of the requester's valid photo identification. Only the subject, parent, or legal guardian may request a birth record. The following information must be included in the request:

General Information

`Date of request
`Purpose of request
`Document Requesting (Certificate of Birth, Report of Death, Certificate of Witness of Marriage, or Certification of No Record)
`Number of documents requesting
`Current mailing address and daytime telephone number

Facts of Birth, Death, or Marriage

`Name (at birth/death/marriage)
`Name after adoption (if applicable)
`Date of birth/death/marriage
`Country of birth/death/marriage
`Father's name
`Father's date and place (state/country) of birth
`Mother's name
`Mother's date and place (state/country) of birth

Passport Information

`Passport used to first enter the U.S.
`Name of bearer
`Date of issuance
`Passport number
`Date of inclusion (if passport was not issued to the subject)

Current passport

`Name of bearer
`Date of issuance
`Passport number


Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) - $30.00 - ONE REPLACEMENT ONLY (Request for a FS-240 must include the original FS-240 or a notarized affidavit attesting to its disposition.)

For the following documents, the fee is $30.00 for the first copy and $20.00 for each additional copy:

`Certificate of Birth (DS-1350)
`Report of Death
`Certificate of Witness to Marriage
`Certification of No Record
`Check or money order must be signed, dated, and made payable to "Department of State."
`Remittance must be payable in U.S. dollars through a U.S. bank.
`Do not send cash.

Additional Requirements

`Notarized signature
`A copy of a valid identification of the requester, such as a driverís license, military ID, or passport.
`If you possess a Report of Birth/Death or Certificate of Witness to Marriage, please enclose a copy to aid in our file search.
`If you are requesting an amendment or correction to a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please include certified copies of all documents appropriate for effecting the change (i.e., foreign birth certificate, marriage certificate, court ordered adoption or name change, birth certificates of adopting or legitimating parents, etc.). The original or replacement FS-240, or a notarized affidavit concerning its whereabouts also must be included.


U.S. Department of State
Passport Services
Vital Records Section
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20522-1705

Turnaround Time

Most consular vital records must be retrieved from off-site repositories, including the National Archives. Thus, the time it takes varies greatly based on the type of record and date of occurrence, making it difficult to give a definite timeframe. However, in most cases, turnaround is four to eight weeks.

Expedited Service

Overnight delivery can save about ten days processing time, but there is no way to reduce the retrieval time. Overnight return via Federal Express is available for an additional $16.25 or the requester may provide a pre-paid air bill for the carrier of choice.

Additional Information

The Vital Records Section can be reached at (202) 955-0307.

Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at or to call us toll free at 1-866-300-7419.

3.   A Survivors Booklet

Since co-founding, with Babe Martin, the CANDOER organization in 1995 I have received requests from members for assistance when a spouse dies. With a memory shorter than my hair this has led to my repeatedly having to research information.

In a conversation I had with Milt Aldridge he informed me that REFCOM had ran into the same problem and that they had compiled a survivors booklet for use by their members. Milt forwarded the booklet to me to put up on the CANDOER web site for our membership to use.

The booklet was geared toward GS retirees and had no information for FS retirees. Tom Murphy volunteered to assist me in adding the information needed for the FS retirees. Murf's input was invaluable to me in making the necessary changes to this document for the information needed by FS retirees.

This guide should not be consider absolutely all inclusive because every individual situation will be somewhat different depending on the family situation, state of residence, and many other factors. However, it is an excellent starting point. It is intended for printing on three-ring binder paper so that it can be placed in a three-ring binder, and additional pages inserted as warranted for any special situation.

This guide is written as if the deceased and the survivor are one entity. As you work through it, some items are for the individual, whereas other items are for the survivor. For example, in one area the individual is asked what type of funeral is desired. In another section, items for the survivor are listed as things to do after the funeral. The more each knows about the other, the higher probability of things being done as one desired and needs.

We would suggest that this guide be copied and then a copy be completed for each person. This will help if future events dictate necessary changes.

Also, this survivor guide should in no way be considered as a replacement for competent legal advice. Legal advice is different for each individual state based on the specific state laws for wills, power of attorney, and other related issues.

If you have additional items that you think should be included, please share them with us, and they will be passed along.

Any changes or additions you feel should be made, to this booklet, please forward them to me at:

Because the booklet is 28 pages long I have not included it as a web page. It may be downloaded in one of two formats; a Microsoft Word document or and Adobe PDF format. Both will allow you to print the document yourself.

Survivors Booklet dated 01-28-10 (Word)
Survivors Booklet dated 01-28-10 (PDF)

4.   NARFE Survivors Guide

This information can be read or printed and contains all of the vital information necessary to report a death to OPM as well as a sample letter and personal family information that would be beneficial to surviving family members. Survivors Guide

5.   Vets Aid and Attendance

Regardless of your personal status, consider passing this along to all veterans, families of veterans or individuals with veterans in their family.

"Aid and Attendance" is an underutilized special monthly pension benefit offered by the Veterans Administration for veterans and surviving spouses who require in-home care or live in nursing homes.

To qualify, a veteran (includes the surviving spouse) must have served at least 90 days of active military service,one day of which is during a period of war, and must be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

The veteran's benefit is $18,234 annually (paid monthly) and increases to $21,615 if a veteran has one dependent. The surviving spouse alone is $11,715 annually. For more information, call 1-800-827-1000.

Visit (type "Aid and Attendance" in the search block), or contact your local VA office. Apply on-line at

- The information is about VA pension benefits and the program does exist. It does provide benefits to low income veterans and spouses.

- Unlike typical disability compensation, this is an income based program. There are three links to VA's websites for this program. There are certain caveats to the program; VA provides clear instructions regarding what items are considered countable towards income and what is not included.

- The second website link provides details the requirements for VA pension; you referred to these requirements in your original email.

- This program provides an alternative to claimants who may not otherwise be able to receive disability benefits.

- The final website indicates how VA calculates for this benefit. It is complicated to explain in an email but if someone needs a better explanation or help with applying for the benefits, they can get help from The American Legion.

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