Safe and Sober Free Ride Home – Halloween 2011

Posted: 10/31/2011

We offered our Safe and Sober Free Cab Ride Home program for Halloween 2011 by providing free cab rides home to adults who had really gotten into the “spirit.” Read more »

Social Security redistributes benefits from men to women

Posted: 10/31/2011

When looking at Social Security benefits per household, rather than per individual, a new study shows that the wage gap between men and women wipes out a lot of the “progressive” formula used to address income inequality. A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, reports the following:

Studies using data from the early 1990s suggested that while the progressive Social Security benefit formula succeeded in redistributing benefits from individuals with high earnings to individuals with low earnings, it was much less successful in redistributing benefits from households with high earnings to households with low earnings. Read more »

Social Security raises its benefits by 3.6 percent; for neediest seniors it may boost lifeline

Posted: 10/28/2011

The first cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on Social Security checks in two years was announced this week, reports The Washington Post.

For lower- and middle-class seniors, Social Security represents a staggering share of their income. For these older residents, medical bills, taxes, insurance, utilities, and groceries consume nearly all their income.

Higher medical costs are a huge factor in this dwindling income. Some older citizens spend thousands per year on medical costs and hundreds per month on prescriptions. Read more »

Social Security Administration Website Given Top Customer Satisfaction Rating

Posted: 10/26/2011

Plenty of people have a beef with the Social Security Administration for not approving their disability benefits, among other grievances, but one thing that most people give the SSA high marks on is its website.

The SSA’s website — www.ssa.gov — was just given a top score by the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s E-Government Satisfaction Index, which was released by business analytics firm Foresee Results on Tuesday.

Specifically the SSA’s iClaim and retirement estimator websites were ranked the best for federal websites for e-commerce/transaction this year. Read more »

New Social Security COLA Not As Great As It Sounds

Posted: 10/26/2011

October 26, 2011

At first, many recipients of social security benefits were overjoyed when they learned that the Social Security Administration (SSA) had announced a 3.6 percent increase in payouts beginning next year as part of a cost of living adjustment (COLA). With an increase in Medicare costs though, and a bleak future for the social security program as a whole, many people are questioning if the increases will do any good. Read more »

Disabled People ‘Walking Targets’ for Social Security Fraud, Says Advocate

Posted: 10/24/2011

Last week brought disturbing news about the Philadelphia arrests of four people who were imprisoning four mentally disabled people in a basement crawl space in order to cash their Social Security Disability checks. Now that the news has settled in — and the abusers have been jailed and the disabled persons are being treated — some advocates for the disabled are saying they’re not surprised that this happened.

Clinical psychologist Nora Baladerian, who works with disabled crime victims in Los Angeles, told the Associated Press, “Anyone with a cognitive impairment is a walking target [for Social Security fraud]. Read more »

‘Adult Baby’ Will Continue to Get Social Security Checks

Posted: 10/21/2011

The California man who playacts as an “adult baby” has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Social Security Administration and will continue to receive Supplemental Social Security Income checks, according to The Washington Times.

We first wrote about the 30-year-old man who lives his life as an “adult baby” (drinking from bottles, wearing diapers, and being spoon-fed by a woman who playacted as his mother) in May.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who saw a reality television program featuring the man, was the first to blow the whistle on this man, demanding that the Social Security Administration investigate whether or not he was actually a viable candidate for Social Security benefits. Read more »

4 Mentally Disabled People Locked in Basement While Captors Cash Disability Checks

Posted: 10/19/2011

In a news story that’s making waves around the world, a fourth person has been arrested for her connection to a scheme in which four mentally disabled adults were locked in a squalid basement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while their captors cashed their Social Security Disability checks.

On Wednesday authorities arrested a 32-year-old woman who is believed to be the daughter of the alleged ringleader, a 51-year-old convicted murder who was convicted in the starvation death of a man nearly 30 years ago. Read more »

Roachdale Doctor Arrested On Charges Of Writing Excessive Prescriptions

Posted: 10/19/2011

October 19, 2011

A doctor from Roachdale, Indiana, was arrested and charged Tuesday with excessively writing prescriptions for narcotic drugs and having sexual relationships his patients. According to The Tribune Star, the doctor is facing 12 felony counts of recklessly distributing or dispensing a controlled substance, and three felony counts of writing prescriptions “To facilitate sexual encounters.”

The charges against the Putman County physician came after an 18-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Indiana state police, the Putnam County sheriff’s department and district attorney’s office. Read more »

Seniors Will Get Cost-of-Living Adjustment from Social Security in 2010: Report

Posted: 10/18/2011

Senior citizens should enjoy a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) from the Social Security Administration in January, according to Massachusetts nonprofit group American Institute for Economic Research (AIER). This will be the first time in two years that benefits recipients will get a COLA, which is designed to ensure that the agency’s benefits account for inflation.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that prior to this two-year impasse on COLA, the rate had increased for beneficiaries every year since 1975. Read more »