Category Archives: Money

Information if you’ve not yet received your Economic Impact Payments ($1200 stimulus payments to individuals administered by the IRS)

stimulus check

Click here to download as a .pdf file.

Military OneSource Financial Readiness Discussions Webinar link-up for June

Check out these upcoming events. The Personal Financial Counselor and Military OneSource State Consultant will bring the information and resources you need for financial success. To join us, download the Zoom app or go to the Zoom website and use the links provided. A Zoom account with password is NOT required. RSVPs appreciated.

military one source

 

Human Services Launches Emergency Assistance Program to Help Low-Income Families Amidst COVID-19

dhs logo

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to help low-income families who lost wages experiencing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families who qualify will be eligible for a one-time payment to assist them in meeting basic needs and help them secure more stable financial footing in the future.

“The economic disruption caused by this pandemic is affecting families and communities across Pennsylvania in different ways. For many low-income Pennsylvanians, especially those awaiting unemployment compensation, this disruption could be completely destabilizing,” said Secretary Miller. “The Wolf Administration is committed to helping families weather this uncertain period, and the EAP will be another resource to help families avoid reaching even more difficult situations as we recover from this crisis together.”

Continue reading this news release, click here.

 

News items from the Social Security Administration | Local offices remain closed and Action Needed for People Receiving SSI with Dependents and Who Do Not File Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment

Update on Social Security Offices from Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security

“Earlier this week, The White House issued national guidance regarding Opening Up America Again. We are evaluating this information as it relates to our agency and are continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation across the nation. In fulfilling Social Security’s mission, when we reopen offices to the public, we will provide a safe environment for both the people we serve and our employees.

As we continue to develop our plans, our offices will remain closed to the public for face-to-face service, and our employees will continue to work remotely and provide services to the public. We will provide updates moving forward and post updated information on the status of our offices, by state, at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus. Our agency will provide these updates directly, and please disregard other sources of information regarding the status of our offices.

We will continue to provide the vital service the public relies on. Please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus for more information about our services during the pandemic.”


Actualización de las oficinas del Seguro Social: mensaje de Andrew Saul, Comisionado del Seguro Social

A principios de esta semana, la Casa Blanca emitió directrices sobre la Reapertura de los EE. UU. Estamos evaluando esta información en relación con nuestra agencia y continuamos monitoreando de cerca la situación del COVID-19 a través de la nación. En cumplimiento del deber del Seguro Social, cuando volvamos a abrir las oficinas al público, proveeremos un ambiente seguro tanto para las personas que servimos, como para nuestros empleados.

A medida que desarrollemos nuestros planes, nuestras oficinas permanecerán cerradas al público para servicio en persona, y nuestros empleados continuarán trabajando de forma remota y proveyendo servicio al público. Proveeremos actualizaciones e información al día sobre el estatus de nuestras oficinas, por estado, en www.segurosocial.gov/coronavirus. Nuestra agencia proveerá estas actualizaciones directamente, por favor haga caso omiso a otras fuentes que proveen información sobre el estatus de nuestras oficinas.

Continuaremos proveyendo el servicio vital del cual el público depende. Para informarse mejor sobre nuestros servicios durante la pandemia, por favor visite www.segurosocial.gov/coronavirus.


Special alert for VA, SSI recipients who don’t file a tax return and have dependents

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a special alert for Supplemental Security Income and Department of Veterans Affairs beneficiaries to act by May 5 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have dependents so they can quickly receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payment.

Their $1,200 payments will be issued soon and, in order to add the $500 per eligible child amount to these payments, the IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued. Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount will be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.

“We want to ‘Plus $500’ these groups so they can get their maximum Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 and their $500 for each eligible child as quickly as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “They’ll get $1,200 automatically, but they need to act quickly and use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov to get the extra $500 per child added to their payment. Everyone should share this information widely and help others with the Plus $500 Push, so that more Americans get more money as fast as possible.”

Following extensive work by the IRS and partner government agencies, $1,200 automatic payments will be starting soon for those receiving Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years. No action is needed by these groups; they will automatically receive their $1,200 payment.

For VA and SSI recipients who have a qualifying child and didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, they have a limited window to register to have $500 per eligible child added automatically to their soon-to-be-received $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. A quick trip to a special Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov by May 5 for these groups may help put all of their eligible Economic Income Payment into a single payment. The Non-Filers tool is available in English and Spanish.

To help spread the word to recipients with children about this special “Plus $500 Push,” the IRS has additional material available on a special partners page that can be shared with friends, family members and community groups.

SSI and VA recipients: Have a child but don’t file a tax return? Visit IRS.gov now

SSI and VA recipients who have children and who weren’t required file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 should visit the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool on IRS.gov. By quickly taking steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they can receive the $500 per dependent child payment automatically in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.

SSI and VA recipients who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments should receive their automatic payments by mid-May. If they have children and aren’t required to file a tax return, both groups are urged to use the Non-Filers tool as soon as possible before the May 5 deadline. Once the deadline passes and processing begins on the $1,200 payment, they will not be eligible to use the Non-Filers tool to add eligible children. Their payment will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.

SSA / Railroad Retirees: Economic Impact Payments arriving next week

For recipients of Social Security retirement, survivors or disability insurance benefits (SSDI) and Railroad Retirement benefits (RRB), automatic payments of $1,200 are scheduled to begin arriving next week. No action is needed on their part. This includes people who don’t normally file a tax return.

For Social Security / RRB beneficiaries who don’t normally file a tax return, have a child and registered using the IRS Non-Filers tool by the April 22 deadline, more payments are scheduled to begin arriving next week as well.

For SSA/RRB beneficiaries who don’t normally file a tax return and have a child but did not register on the IRS Non-Filers tool by April 22, they will still receive their automatic $1,200 beginning next week. Given the deadline has passed, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with filing a tax return for 2020. This group can no longer use the Non-Filers tool to add eligible children.

Note – Direct Express Account Holders: You may use the Non-Filers tool, but you cannot receive your and your children’s payment on your Direct Express account. You may only select a bank account for direct deposit or leave bank information blank and receive the money by mail.

No action needed by most taxpayers

The Treasury Department will make these automatic payments to SSA, SSI, RRB and VA recipients. Recipients will generally receive the automatic $1,200 payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

For more information related to veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA, please visit VA.gov.

General IRS information about the Economic Impact Payments is available on a special section of IRS.gov.


 

Personas que reciben Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario, actúe ahora – Vaya a IRS.gov – Un mensaje del Comisionado del Seguro Social, Andrew Saul

Las personas que reciben Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario que tienen dependientes y no presentan declaraciones de impuestos necesitan tomar acción para recibir un pago de $500 por niño

«Las personas que reciben Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario (SSI, por sus siglas en inglés) que no presenten declaraciones de impuestos comenzarán a recibir los Pagos automáticos de estímulo económico (también conocido como Pagos de impacto económico), directamente del Departamento del Tesoro a principios de mayo. Sin embargo, las personas que reciben SSI, que no presentaron una declaración de impuestos en el 2018 o 2019, y tienen niños menores de 17 años con derecho, no deben esperar su pago individual automático de $1,200. Deben ir de inmediato a la página del Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS, por sus siglas en inglés) en www.irs.gov/es/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here y visitar la sección Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info (solo disponible en inglés), para proveer su información. Las personas que reciben SSI que tienen niños dependientes y no presentaron una declaración de impuestos en el 2018 o 2019 deben actuar antes del martes, 5 de mayo, para recibir pagos adicionales rápidamente para sus niños con derecho.

Al tomar medidas proactivas para ingresar información sobre ellos y sus niños con derecho en el sitio de internet del IRS, también recibirán el pago de $500 por niño dependiente además de su pago individual de $1,200. Si los beneficiarios en este grupo no proveen su información al IRS pronto, su pago en este momento será de $1,200. Luego, se requerirá que las personas presenten una declaración de impuestos del año fiscal 2020 para obtener los $500 adicionales por niño con derecho.

Exhorto a las personas que reciben SSI que tienen niños con derecho y usualmente no presentan impuestos a tomar acción ahora. Vaya inmediatamente a IRS.gov para que

reciba el monto total de los Pagos de estímulo económico a los que usted y su familia tienen derecho.

Por último, una palabra de precaución. Cuidado con las estafas relacionadas con los Pagos de estímulo económico. No se requiere ningún honorario para recibir estos pagos. No se deje engañar.

Visite la página de internet del Seguro Social sobre el COVID-19 en www.segurosocial.gov/coronavirus para obtener información y actualizaciones importantes.

 

Covid or No Covid, It’s Important to Plan | Now is an excellent time to assess your own situation and choose the best approach should the worst happen.” – The New York Times

important to planNew York Times article

by

“My phone rang with a FaceTime video, and my cousin’s face popped into view. We spent the first few minutes expressing our mutual disbelief and shock over Covid-19, acknowledging the insanity and underlying terror of these unprecedented circumstances. We joked about how our anxious mothers, with their endless reminders of dressing warm and staying indoors, had prepared us for this moment.

“Then my cousin stood up and closed the door to her room. ‘I want to talk to you about something more serious,’ she said. We both burst into laughter: What could be more serious than the end of the world?

“She took a deep breath and I watched her face crumple as she asked if, in the unlikely event that she and her husband both ended up extremely ill — or worse — I would be willing to drive the 300 miles to her house and get her young sons. Around the globe, Covid-19 has made people like my cousin realize their own mortality, bringing about difficult, but necessary, conversations regarding their end-of-life wishes.

“My cousin got her planning done in advance, but a friend of mine wasn’t so lucky.”

Click here to continue reading this New York Times article in its entirety.

New Guidance about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Beneficiaries from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul

ss administration logo

The Treasury Department launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for eligible individuals who do not normally file a tax return, and also announced that it would begin making automatic payments. However, for some people receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration–specifically those who have dependent children under the age of 17 — it is to their advantage to go to this portal to ensure they also get the $500 per dependent Economic Impact Payment. I encourage them to do this as soon as possible, and want to provide the following details:

People who receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits and who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who have qualifying children under age 17 should now go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments to enter their information instead of waiting for their automatic $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If Social Security beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

The same new guidance also applies to SSI recipients, especially those who have qualifying children under age 17. To receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments you and your family are eligible for, go to the IRS’s Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info page at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments and provide information about yourself and your qualifying children.

Additionally, any new beneficiaries since January 1, 2020, of either Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, will also need to go to the IRS’s Non-Filers website to enter their information.

Lastly, for Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability beneficiaries who do not have qualifying children under age 17, you do not need to take any action with the IRS. You will automatically receive your $1,200 economic impact payment directly from the IRS as long as you received an SSA-1099 for 2019.

For SSI recipients who do not have qualifying children under age 17, we continue to work closely with Treasury in our efforts to make these payments automatically. Please note that we will not consider Economic Impact Payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

The eligibility requirements and other information about the Economic Impact Payments can be found here: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center. In addition, please continue to visit the IRS at www.irs.gov/coronavirus for the latest information.

We will continue to update Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ as further details become available.”


SOURCE: news release

Department of Banking and Securities Warns of COVID-19-Related Investment Schemes

dept of banking logo

April 1, 2020

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) is warning investors of an anticipated surge in fraudulent investment schemes.

“As is so often the case during times of emergency, scammers will be looking to profit from the misfortune of others by targeting investors and capitalizing on concerns related to the securities market,” said Acting Secretary Richard Vague. “The narrative of the investment scheme may change, but the underlying scam remains the same.”

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the department is a member, anticipates fraudulent investment schemes will rise as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In particular, NASAA and the department warn investors to be on the lookout for investments specifically tied to the threat of COVID-19, such as:

* Falsely purporting to raise capital for companies manufacturing surgical masks and gowns; producing ventilators and medical equipment; or manufacturing vaccines or other miracle cures.
* Taking advantage of concerns with securities market volatility to promote “safe” investments with “guaranteed returns” including investments tied to gold and other commodities; oil and gas; and real estate.
* Touting “get rick quick” schemes with quickly earned returns to be used for rent, utilities, and other expenses.
* Targeting retirees and senior citizens, falsely claiming they can quickly and safely recoup any losses to their retirement portfolios.

Retail investors must remain vigilant and protect themselves from schemes such as these tied to COVID-19 and recent economic developments:

* Investigate Before You Invest. Before spending any time and money on a financial service, product, or company, investigate before you invest. Investors can visit the DoBS website.

* Avoid Phishing Scams. Scam emails are made to sound and look real. Never open an attachment or link from an unsolicited email and never share financial or sensitive information without independently verifying the request.

* Too Good to Be True. The old adage is accurate: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask questions about the investment and evaluate the risks. Any legitimate investment involves and degree of risk, and anyone unwilling to provide clear and detailed information about an investment is a red flag.

* Beware of Economic Relief Schemes. With news that the federal government will be sending checks to the public as part of an economic stimulus effort, scammers will no doubt increase efforts to steal your money. Do NOT give your personal information to anyone purporting to be from the government in relation to receiving a stimulus check. Likewise, anyone asking you to prepay taxes or fees on the money, or pay any type of charge, in order to receive the money is likely trying to defraud you.

For more detailed information related to schemes to watch and tips for protecting yourself, the department has developed a guide for investors.

Visit the commonwealth’s Responding to COVID-19  guidefor the latest guidance and resources for Pennsylvanians or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Learn more about COVID-19 information and guidance for financial Institutions and consumers from DoBS.

Anyone can contact DoBS at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-722-2657 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.

SOURCE: news release


Want to get your Coronavirus relief check? Scammers do too.

Here’s a warning from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information.

Tips for seniors about Social Security

tips for seniors

We’re sharing the above information with readers of this site because of an email from s reader; thank you, JV.

” Here is a situation that is about to take place for seniors. Next week the Social Security direct deposits come out. Hundreds of single and coupled seniors  month after month go to the bank and get some cash to have at the house; many of them have a few hundred dollars to be able to grocery shop, get meds, get gas, go out to eat and many of them at this point have little or no cash left from March …

“SO prepare to understand that this large group of people WILL be going out to the bank to replenish their funds and many go into the bank meaning the spread of this deadly virus will jump greatly.”

stop the spread


Also, be aware: There are so many Social Security scammers and spammers operating in this coronavirus pandemic enviroment. Heed this message from the Social Security Administration, click on the link below:

What should I do if I get a call claiming there’s a problem with my Social Security number or account?

 

Poverty issues: evictions and what it costs to achieve self sufficiency

FROM AN E-mail from Pennsylvania Post:

“What’s it like to be on the verge of poverty, without a home but still trying to take part in politics. Studies show that those who live in unstable financial and housing conditions vote less often. And in Reading, where the eviction rate is highest among the state’s top five cities, that could mean low turnout in a city that has recently experienced an uptick in eligible Latino voters.”

eviction ratesSOURCE: Evictionlab.org


“The high cost of living in Pa: If you and your partner live in city suburbs with two children, you have to make $88,000 a year if you want to live without government assistance, according to a Self-Sufficiency Standard compiled for 41 states by the University of Washington. That’s a shocking number for most Pennsylvanians, where the median income for the state is about $28,000 lowerThe Inquirer broke down the standard of living calculations for the county suburbs surrounding Philly.

“You can go from an upstanding middle-class American citizen to completely under the eight ball.” | “Patients Stuck With Bills After Insurers Don’t Pay As Promised” – Kaiser Health News

Markley Prior Authorization“Darla Markley and her husband, Andy Markley, of Winter Park, Florida, tried to pay off their medical bills following tests Darla had done at the Mayo Clinic in 2010. Even after Mayo wrote off some of what they owed, her disability and Social Security checks barely covered her insurance premiums. Five years after her initial hospitalization, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.” (Zack Wittman for KHN)

by Lauren Weber

“The more than $34,000 in medical bills that contributed to Darla and Andy Markley’s bankruptcy and loss of their home in Beloit, Wisconsin, grew out of what felt like a broken promise.

“Darla Markley, 53, said her insurer had sent her a letter preapproving her to have a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic in neighboring Minnesota after she came down with transverse myelitis, a rare, paralyzing illness that had kept her hospitalized for over a month. But after the tests found she also had beriberi, a vitamin deficiency, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield judged that the tests weren’t needed after all and refused to pay — although Markley said she and Mayo had gotten approval.

“While Darla learned to walk again, the Markleys tried to pay off the bills. Even after Mayo wrote off some of what they owed, her disability and Social Security checks barely covered her insurance premiums. By 2014, five years after her initial hospitalization, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”

Read this article at Kaiser Health News in its entirety, click here.