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Author Archives: Charlie Hollins

Social Security Announces 2021 COLAs

The Social Security Administration has just announced the 2021 Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA) for Social Security and SSI recipients. Across the board there will be a 1.3% increase in income. This means that for SSI recipients the individual monthly maximum income will now be $794, while a married couple…  
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Still Waiting on Your Stimulus Check? IRS Looks to TAS to Get That to You

It was as long ago as the end of March that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was tasked with the admittedly monumental challenge of distributing Economic Impact Payments (EIP), more commonly known as the stimulus payments, to all eligible adults and their dependent children. Since then they have handed out…  
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The Latest on Stimulus Checks and Unemployment

We are in something of a lull as the first round of federally funded financial assistance prompted by COVID19 has come and gone. Most eligible Americans will have received their $1,200 stimulus check, although there are still plenty who are in limbo in that regard, and the last of $600…  
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SSA Red Book Updated for 2020

Social Security recently published the long-awaited 2020 version of their Red Book. This handy publication that clearly describes itself in its sub-heading of “A Summary Guide to Employment Supports for Persons with Disabilities under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs” is available in PDF,…  
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A Quick Look at How To Qualify for SSDI

Before you set off on that rather arduous trek that is the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it’s certainly worth making sure that you’re heading out on the right path. If you don’t meet all of the following criteria then your application will be over before it’s…  
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Haven’t Received Your Economic Impact Payment Yet? A Prepaid Debit Card May Be on Its Way

The US Department of the Treasury announced this week that in order to speed up the process for distribution of the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to the population some four million individuals will be receiving prepaid debit cards instead of the paper check they may have been expecting. Stopping short…  
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Update on Economic Impact Payments

The Social Security Administration recently issues some updates on the schedule of the much sought-after Economic Impact Payments that have begun to be issued around the country. These updates concern recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security retirement and survivors benefits who did not…  
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Maryland Food Stamp Recipients Receiving Increased Allotments

Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) has joined other agencies both federal and state in responding positively to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this case it has increased its funding of the officially titled Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but more commonly known as food stamps, by a healthy $66 million….  
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CMS Announces Changes to Medicare During COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting some of its regulations regarding Medicare services so as to counter a number of the issues that we are all undergoing at the present time. As we are now severely restricted in where we…  
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EID Premiums Suspended Until Further Notice

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has made the generous decision to suspend the charging of premiums for those who participate in the Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) program. This order went into effect on March 30 and covers premium payments as of March 1. The suspension is expected to…  
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Another Day, Another Social Security Benefits Scam Revealed

It would appear that the coronavirus outbreak has given certain individuals pause for thought. The thought being “How can I use this crisis to wring some money out of Social Security beneficiaries?” Yes, once again the Social Security Administration has been obliged to make everyone aware of a new scam….  
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Recovery and Wellness Programs: Access Meetings and Resources On-line

The current unpleasantness has caused all of us to adapt our ways as we endeavor to carry on and function under these new restrictions. The loss of a freedom to meet with others in person wherever we choose has, for most of us, and each to varying degrees, caused disappointment…  
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Social Security Field Offices Suspend In-Person Services

In line with much that has happened around the globe Social Security announced and promptly carried out its plan to close its doors to the public at each field office in the country. As of March 17 there’s been no chance to address staff in person but that doesn’t mean…  
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Social Security Publishes New 1619(b) Threshold Figures

Social Security has made public the new threshold figures for 1619(b) and it’s good news for working Marylanders on SSI. The new limit is set at $41,157 which compares favorably with other states and sees a small but potentially crucial increase on last year’s threshold of $40,869. For a full…  
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Update on the Fight Against Social Security Scams

In a concerted effort to make the public aware of a recent spate of scam calls and emails (see the blog on Beneficiary Beware for more details on those scams) Social Security recently launched a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign headed by the agency’s commissioner, Andrew Saul. The concise 60…  
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