Frequently asked questions
WHEN ARE MY BPA FEES DUE?
Dues are payable annually. BPA operates on a calendar year (January – December). Dues must be paid no later than March 31st of any given year. Payments received after that date may be subject to a late fee of 5% of the dues that are due based on the level of membership category. Failure to pay dues by June 1st of any given calendar year places a member on “inactive status” and subject to membership revocation if they remain unpaid by August 1 of any given calendar year.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY LOCAL AND STATE DUES?
Each local and state-chartered chapter of the BPA is responsible for the dispensation of dues collected for operations and other expenses. These are determined by each chartered chapter and may vary in amounts as required by such chartered chapters. The national office provides no accounting relative to local and state chapters except for the receipt of the annual charter fees for such chapters to continue their affiliation with BPA.
DOES BPA GIVE ANY DISCOUNTS RELATIVE TO DUES?
Yes, frequently when members attend conferences if they pay the next year’s dues during the actual conference itself, they receive a discount with the amount varying on their category of membership. Example: If you attended a BPA sponsored event in 2015, you are eligible for a discount of 20% for 2016 dues at the level of an active regular member. Percentage discount amounts vary based on your membership category.
IS IT JUST BETTER FOR ME TO WAIT UNTIL CONFERENCES TO PAY MY DUES FOR ANY GIVEN YEAR AND SAVE?
No, it is not better because members received discounts for attending BPA sponsored activities. This discount does not apply if you are not a dues paid member at the time you register to attend a BPA conference, etc. and therefore, at the time of registration, you must pay the fee of a non-member which is substantially higher than those paid by members. The best formula is to pay your dues for the next year at a BPA sponsored event and get the discounts all year long and well into the next year.
DO I GET A DISCOUNT IF I AM RETIRED OR NOT IN FULL-TIME PRACTICE ANYMORE?
Because BPA dues are already deeply discounted as compared with other medical professional associations, no discount is given at this time for retirees or those not in the full-time practice regardless of their type of membership.
ARE DUES REFUNDABLE IF I DECIDE AFTER I HAVE PAID THEM THAT I NO LONGER WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF BPA?
No, dues are non-refundable period.
I JUST WANT TO PAY MY LOCAL OR STATE CHAPTER DUES AND NOT MY NATIONAL DUES. AM I STILL CONSIDERED TO BE A BPA MEMBER?
No, paying national dues is a requirement to be a member of BPA whether or not you make a decision to pay local or state dues. National dues must be paid first for you to be considered a member of the Association. National dues are paid directly to the national BPA office and are not to be paid to your local or state chapter affiliations.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY MEMBERSHIP IS REVOKED FOR NOT HAVING PAID DUES?
If your membership is revoked for not having paid dues by April 1st of any given calendar year, then you will have to reapply for a new membership altogether and may be subject to payment of all back dues owed from the time of the said revocation. This is in addition to bringing your dues current with the new application process.
I HAVE BEEN PLACED ON “INACTIVE" STATUS. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If a member has been placed on “Inactive Status” due to failure to pay dues by March 1st of any calendar year, then to become active again, all dues plus prevailing accrued interest charges must be paid in full by April 1st of that calendar year. Failure to do that by this deadline subjects a member to having their membership revoked. If there is a hardship reported, then a review of that member’s status and prior service to the BPA will be taken under consideration on a case by case basis. Special consideration may be given to an individual member who finds that they are in such a situation.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR REINSTATEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP?
A new application must be completed with a copy of your current medical or professional license (for physicians and other licensed non-physician members). The form for this process can be downloaded from the BPA website, printed out and mailed with the license and payment to: Black Psychiatrists of America – Executive Director, Address: 1629 K Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20006. We recommend that documents be sent via registered mail to guarantee receipt.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE?
Members are required to notify the BPA office at the address listed above of any move or relocation guarantee receipt of materials. Likewise, if a member changes their email address or phone number, BPA must be notified. Failure to do so may create difficulties with you receiving timely materials that require action, including payment of any dues or fees.
DOES THE NATIONAL OFFICE COLLECT DUES FOR LOCAL AND STATE CHAPTERS?
No, it is the sole responsibility of local and state chapters who are chartered chapters of BPA to collect all local chapter dues. The national office has no involvement in the collection of local or state dues. The national office only receives national dues that are payable annually, as previously stated.
HOW DO I BEST MAXIMIZE MY BPA MEMBERSHIP?
Member participation is critical to the survival of the BPA and needed to maintain viability as well as relevance. BPA has several committees that encourage active member participation. Joining a committee is the best way to truly maximize your BPA membership and have a direct vested stake in the overall progress of the Association. A list of the various committees is available for participation either as a chairperson or an active committee or sub-committee member and can be found in your membership handbook. Please review the handbook and make a decision today to join a committee of BPA. Also, attending BPA sponsored events (conferences, forums, seminars, fundraisers, and special events) facilitates networking as well as offers excellent opportunities for referrals and research activities with member colleagues nationally and globally as well.
WHY DO I NEED TO EVEN CONSIDER JOINING A LOCAL OR STATE CHAPTER?
Local and state-chartered chapters have different priorities based on their respective communities. Mental health advocacy at the local and state level is critical. There is strength in numbers and greater ability to have your voice heard relative to the provision of mental health services, city and state legislative actions affecting your patients, health insurance and parity issues with regards to reimbursements and funding for research activities.
I DO NOT LIVE IN THE USA. ARE THERE DUES ADJUSTMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL MEMBERS?
BPA has deliberately kept its annual dues lower than the majority of other professional associations. The structure of these lower dues is well within the means of mental health professionals working and residing in most countries, including those of developing nations. Therefore, the dues for US members, as well as our international members, are the same. However, being a member does permit international conference attendees to receive deeper discounts for attendance at such conferences and events when they are given within their respective countries than US-based members.
IF I BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL MEMBER, WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES FOR ME?
BPA works directly with various health ministries across the globe in assisting them in education and advocacy for parity of mental health services with governments as it relates to funding for treatment, research, and quality service delivery. Membership in BPA assists its international members in providing the backing of an internationally recognized professional association that works on behalf of its members for policy creation and implementation relative to mental health across varying underserved and underrepresented groups worldwide. Additionally, the networking relationships that are forged through BPA membership are priceless and provide opportunities for mutual collaboration, research, teaching, and treatment. Not to mention the creation of life long friendships with professional mental health colleagues nationally and internationally.