By Michael Baadke
The next semipostal stamp from the United States Postal Service will raise funds to combat Alzheimer’s disease. The net proceeds will be distributed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Postal Service announced Oct. 2 that the new stamp will be issued in November, but no date or location was announced, and no preliminary stamp design was revealed.
The Alzheimer’s semipostal will be the first in a series of five stamps to be issued over a 10-year period, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years.
A Post Traumatic Stress Disorder semipostal stamp will be issued in 2019, according to the Postal Service. The subjects for the next three semipostals in the series have not yet been determined.
These five semipostal stamps are being issued under the authority granted by the Semipostal Authorization Act (Public Law 106-253), which grants the USPS discretionary authority to issue and sell semipostal stamps to advance such causes as it considers to be “in the national public interest and appropriate.”
Semipostal stamps currently sell for 60¢, and are valid for first-class letter mail, which requires a 49¢ payment. The additional funds collected, known as a surtax, are donated to a designated cause.
The new stamp will be the fifth U.S. semipostal stamp issued since the first, supporting breast cancer research, was issued July 29, 1998 (Scott B1).
It was followed by the Heroes of 2001 semipostal in 2002 (Scott B2), the Stop Family Violence semipostal in 2003 (B3), and the Save Vanishing Species semipostal in 2011 (B4).
A Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp with a modified design was issued in 2014 (Scott B5).
The previous semipostals were all issued after laws were passed by Congress and signed by the president mandating a new stamp.
The Alzheimer’s semipostal is the first to be issued under the new USPS discretionary program.
Alzheimer’s Awareness was the subject of a 42¢ postage stamp issued Oct. 17, 2008 (Scott 4358). Though it addressed the subject of Alzheimer’s as part of the USPS social awareness stamp program, it did not raise funds to fight the disease, as the new stamp will.