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Patriot Plan: Benefits of the New Patriot Plan

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.

3. Protections

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 activeEnd

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