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Author Archives: Charlie Hollins

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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Beneficiary Beware: Identifying and Reporting Scammers

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently reported that scammers have taken to email in order to extract private information and money from unsuspecting Social Security beneficiaries. In some cases they may entice someone by offering to increase payments in exchange for information, whilst in other cases they will…  
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2020 Federal Poverty Level Figures Announced!

The updated Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) have recently been announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and went into effect as of January 15. Although the figure is somewhat abstract as a concept it plays a huge role in determining eligibility for a good number of federal…  
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Any Requests? Let MDBCN Know What’s on Your Mind

As is always the case the new year will bring with it some changes and the sense that more can be made. We know those new figures for work incentives such as the Trial Work Period and Substantial Gainful Activity heralded by Social Security back in October will now come…  
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Social Security Proposing Changes to Continuing Disability Reviews

Citing a need to tighten up its efficiency in identifying medical improvement of those receiving SSI and SSDI the Social Security Administration recently published its proposal to make changes to its policy on conducting Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR). CDRs are the agency’s way of checking in with beneficiaries every so…  
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Social Security to Extend Opening Hours

Social Security recently issued a press release that will bring, if not joy, then at least a little relief to its millions of customers. Back in 2012 the  agency instituted a policy of closing to the public their field offices each Wednesday afternoon, but as of January 8, 2020 all…  
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