The maritime industry and those who make a living from it are aware of the STCW date of February 1, 2002. However, there is another concern affecting mariners that centers on this date.
Able Bodied Seaman who want to sit for a mate's license should think about doing it as soon as possible. If you plan to use qualifying sea time before August 1, 1998 you should sit for or at least apply for your third mates license before February 1, 2002. If you wait until after that date you may have to comply with a comprehensive program of training that could cover up to 17 subjects and total as many as 900 hours. In addition to this, a practical demonstration of skills assessed and documented by a designated examiner will be required before you can sit for the exam. The urgency to apply before February 1, 2002 is compounded, because after this date the third and second mates exams will be combined, so you will have to prepare for both exams.
This information is based on recent meetings and correspondences with the U.S.C.G., but remains preliminary and subject to change. Despite this if you are thinking of upgrading now is the time!!!
The new fiscal year for your annual allowance started on August 1, 2001. The new fiscal year brought an increase in the benefit with a new maximum now of up to $2000 per year for your medical, dental, and health plan needs. The Welfare Plan would like to offer a few hints on how to make submitting your claims easier and more efficient.
Your claims need to be sent to the correct address. Please mail to the SUP Welfare Plan-450 Harrison St.- San Francisco, CA-94105. Do not send your claims to the Pension Office.
Make sure you include your Social Security number with every claim.
Please do not let your medical and dental claims accumulate and then send them all in at the end of the fiscal year. You may send your claims as you acquire them.
Cash receipts with "received from" and the "amount paid" cannot be paid. We need documentation of the service provided that states you as patient, the date of service and amount paid.
Please call the Welfare Plan if you have any questions.