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SSA Overpayments? Go On-line to Pay Them Off


Included in a newly updated Social Security publication on overpayments was a two-line addition recording a new option for paying the agency back. Yes, you can now clear your debt on-line by going here https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/834689469 Once there you’ll be asked to report your Remittance ID which can now be found at…  
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Spotlight on Homelessness and Social Security


Yvonne Perret, the Maryland-based founder of the SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery (SOAR) program recently published a blog on Social Security’s website that is well worth the read. The blog shares some factual insights into the challenges faced by homeless individuals and also provides pointers on the services that are…  
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Social Security Looking for Feedback to Move Forward


Under the regulations of 2018’s Evidence Act the Social Security Administration, as a federal agency,  is required to seek public input into how they are doing and as to how they can improve policies and procedures. The SSA has put out a request for information from you that will be…  
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SSA’s New Webpage Looks to Help Those Helping Others


A recent press release by the Social Security Administration announced the creation of  a new webpage dubbed “People Helping Others” that will serve as the hub for all manner of questions regarding SSA and SSI benefits. The page is primarily addressed to those in the community who are trying to…  
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Updated BPQY Handbook Released


In what would seem a confirmation of long term plans regarding the new BPQY (Benefits Planning Query) and the deletion of the IRS records(see the March 26, 2021 blog for more details) Social Security has published a 2021 edition of the BPQY Handbook. This year’s edition shows a sample BPQY…  
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Maryland Employment Network Is Hiring!


We’re happy to announce that our colleagues at the Maryland Employment Network are looking for a bright and energetic individual to join their team as a full time Employment Specialist. The ideal candidate must have: Extensive experience and success in providing employment services to individuals with disabilities. Strong communication skills…  
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SSA Resumes Hearing Request Dismissal Policy


Early in March Social Security made it be known that they would once again allow hearing requests to be dismissed out of hand if the claim is not made in a timely manner or if the claimant fails to appear for the scheduled hearing. This decision reverses the temporary suspension…  
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BPQYs Lose IRS Records of Yearly Earnings


A significant change has been made to the Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) with the deletion of the ‘IRS Recorded Earnings (Yearly)’ section. The change has been caused by a new regulation that mandates that a fee must be charged to gain the IRS information. In an act of some nobility…  
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Still Waiting on Your Stimulus Checks? Consider the Rebate Recovery Credit


The IRS have issued the second wave of stimulus checks,  officially known as Economic Impact Payments (EIP), and are in the process of delivering a third in the amount of up to $1,400 to eligible individuals and families. If you feel you’ve missed out or didn’t receive the full $600…  
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Social Security Seeking to ‘Slam the Scam’


As part of National Consumer Protection Week the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, Gail Ennis, has announced the second annual ‘Slam the Scam’ day, which is set for March 4. Whilst there’s likely to be an absence of cake or fireworks to celebrate the day, the plan is…  
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RELIEF Act 2021: A Shot in the Arm for Struggling Marylanders


Maryland’s Governor Hogan has just signed into effect the RELIEF Act 2021 which will provide much needed extra financial assistance to local working residents who have limited incomes. The $1 billion plus package will be providing direct payments of $300 to individuals who received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)…  
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SNAP Happy: An Update for Food Stamp Recipients


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has had a few significant updates in recent weeks and they are positive for food stamp recipients in Maryland and around the country. It was just over a year ago, on January 27, 2020, that a public health emergency was officially declared and brought…  
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New Federal Poverty Levels Published


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) had announced the 2021 Federal Poverty Levels. The new figures show a slight increase on 2020. Whereas in 2020 it was determined that the FPL for a household of one was $12,760, it has now risen slightly to $12,880. Similarly the…  
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2021’s 1619(b) Thresholds Announced


Social Security is on the ball this year and has already announced the new threshold figures for the 1619(b) SSI work incentive. 1619(b), so-called as that is the section of the Social Security Act that defines the terms, allows working SSI beneficiaries to maintain their Medical Assistance and SSI eligibility…  
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Happy Holidays from the Maryland Benefits Counseling Network!


It’s been quite the year but all of us here at the Maryland Benefits Counseling Network (MDBCN) wish you and yours the very happiest of holiday breaks. The new year promises still a few challenges but as we look forward to the next twelve months and beyond there is hope…  
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