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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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2020 Medicare Premium and Deductible Figures Are In!


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the new figures for Medicare Part B premiums,  deductibles and co-insurance that beneficiaries will have to pay. There have been small increases in both payments. The standard Part B premium will now be $144.60 each month, which is a $9…  
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Cover Your Eyes: A Peak at the Grisly State of Poverty and Disability Supports in the 1800s


A popular song of the 1840s relates the sorry tale of “The Workhouse Boy”. The poor unfortunate disappears one December evening and cannot be found even after his fellow inmates have been sent to search for him: “Ve sought in each corner each crevice ve knew/ Ve sought down the…  
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2020 Social Security COLAs Announced!


In line with past years Social Security has announced their Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) changes a few months before they take effect. Next year beneficiaries will see a 1.6% increase in their benefit amount. This means that full SSI amount for an individual will be $783 while a married…  
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CMS Announces New Medicare Plan Finder


In readiness for the new Medicare open enrollment season The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that is has updated its website to make its most visited  page more user-friendly. In keeping with the times you can now access the page on any modern device you can…  
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Equifax Data Breach: Were You Affected?


In September 2017 Equifax, the consumer credit reporting agency, admitted that it had suffered a cyber-security breach of its system which had compromised the personal data of some 147 million customers in the United States alone. That translates to roughly 1 in 3 Americans having their full names, addresses and…  
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The Maryland Employment Network is Hiring!!


The Maryland Employment Network is Hiring!! The Maryland Employment Network is an Employment Network through the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program. MD-EN provides services to Marylanders with disabilities to assist them with meeting their career goals and achieving financial independence.   MD-EN looking to fill a Career Consultant…  
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This Week in History: Social Security Act Signed into Law


It was in June 1934 as part of his New Deal that President Franklin D. Roosevelt created by executive order a Committee for Economic Security (CES) which was to study the issue of economic instability and make recommendations upon those findings. Six months later the committee submitted its report and…  
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HUD Now Exempts ABLE Accounts


In a notice issued earlier this month the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, better known as HUD,  formally recognized the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and will now disregard the amounts in beneficiaries’ ABLE accounts when determining eligibility and continued occupancy for HUD programs. This change…  
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April is National Social Security Month!


T.S Eliot famously set off on his epic poem“The Waste Land” by declaring it the cruelest month but April has an additional identity as National Social Security Month, even if the notion is still to catch on at a truly national scale. There is certainly little evidence of this august…  
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