Category Archives: Social Security

“10,000 people died in the past year while stuck in a backlog of judges’ disability cases.” – The Washington Post

Webster County, Miss. — On the 597th day, the day he hoped everything would change, Joe Stewart woke early. He took 15 pills in a single swallow. He shaved his head. And then he got down to the business of the day, which was the business of every day, and that was waiting. He looked outside, and saw his mother there in a green sedan, engine running. So many months he had waited for this moment, and now it was here. Time for his Social Security disability hearing. Time to go.

Group of Multiethnic Hands Holding DisabilityDisabled America: Between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving federal disability payments increased significantly across the country, but nowhere more so than in rural America. In this series, The Washington Post explores how disability is shaping the culture, economy and politics of these small communities.

“Stewart, 55, set out on crutches, tottering out of his mobile home and down a metal ramp he’d laid when stairs became too much. “I’m sweating my ass off,” he said, getting into his mother’s car, his long-sleeved dress shirt hanging open. He tilted the passenger seat all the way down, placed a pillow at the small of his back and, groaning and wincing, settled in as best he could.”

Read this Washington Post article in its entirety, click here.

“For Millions, Life Without Medicaid Services Is No Option” – The New York Times

by Amy Goodnough01MEDICAID1-Frances Isbell, 24, who has spinal muscular atrophy, is finishing law school at the University of Alabama. A personal care assistant she gets through Medicaid made her education possible. Credit Melissa Golden for The New York Times

“TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Frances Isbell has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that has left her unable to walk or even roll over in bed. But Ms. Isbell has a personal care assistant through Medicaid, and the help allowed her to go to law school at the University of Alabama here. She will graduate next month.

“She hopes to become a disability rights lawyer — ‘I’d love to see her on the Supreme Court someday,’ her aide, Christy Robertson, said, tearing up with emotion as Ms. Isbell prepared to study for the bar exam in her apartment last week — but staying independent will be crucial to her professional future.

“‘The point of these programs is to give people options and freedom,’ said Ms. Isbell, 24, whose family lives a few hours away in Gadsden.

“The care she gets is an optional benefit under federal Medicaid law … ”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.

 

“Medicare Issuing New ID Cards in 2018 | Removing Social Security numbers to prevent identity theft” – AARP

social-security-medicare-health-insuranceMedicare ID cards will remove Social Security numbers in 2018. – Getty Images

“Medicare is preparing to stop using Social Security numbers for identification next year and will send new cards to patients with Medicare ID numbers. The move is required by a law enacted two years ago to discourage identity theft.

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated its web page to help health care providers prepare for the change. The agency plans to begin mailing the new cards with Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) in April 2018. During a transition period through 2019, providers can use the MBIs or health insurance claim numbers (which are based on Social Security numbers) on transactions such as billing and claims.

“The 2015 law, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019.

“‘We’re now figuring out the best way to mail the cards,’ the agency advised providers. ‘We’ll keep you posted about critical information so you can be ready to ask your Medicare patients at the time of service if they have a new card with an MBI.’”

Read the article in its entirety at aarp.org.