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Much More Than Checks: How Social Security Depends on the Mail

Posted September 18, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Top officials are warning that the problems afflicting the United States Postal Service pose a threat to more than voting rights — a slowdown in services, they say, will also hurt seniors who rely on letter carriers for Social Security checks, medications and other critical mail. Already, concerns about prescription drug deliveries are surfacing — but how about Social Security payments? Should beneficiaries be concerned?

Accounts of mail slowdowns and curtailed service emerged after Louis DeJoy became postmaster general in May. Mr. DeJoy has pushed changes he says will help the Postal Service grow and “embark on a path of sustainability.”

Over the past two decades, the Social Security Administration has shifted to electronic payment for most beneficiaries, but that doesn’t mean the agency’s operations are not vulnerable to delays in mail service. The agency currently pays 99 percent of Social Security beneficiaries via direct deposit to a checking or savings account, or a government-issued debit card. But nearly 850,000 paper checks still are mailed each month to recipients of retirement, disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Social Security also sends and receives millions of pieces of mail every year, including notifications, requests for information, Medicare enrollment forms and replacement Social Security cards. More isolated, rural parts of the country are particularly vulnerable to problems within the postal system. Moreover, the shutdown since March of Social Security’s national network of field offices because of the pandemic means that more business is being transacted through the Postal Service that normally would be handled through in-person visits.

The pandemic makes the U.S.P.S. more important than ever to Social Security’s operations, says Stacy Braverman Cloyd, director of policy and administrative advocacy for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, a specialized bar association for lawyers and advocates who represent people claiming Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income.

“To the extent the Postal Service becomes less reliable, or people have less confidence in it, those are real problems, and they couldn’t happen at a worse time.”

Full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/business/post-office-social-security-checks-mail.html

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Preventing Social Security Benefit Cuts is a Top Priority for Americans in 2020 Election

Posted September 11, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

When Americans go to the polls this November, preventing Social Security benefit cuts will be one of the top issues on their minds. That’s according to a poll conducted by Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, and released with Social Security Works, an advocacy organization.

The results show that protecting Social Security ranked among the top answers, with 54% of respondents, when they were asked to pick their top three priorities for the 2020 election. Other top issues also affect Americans’ wallets. That included universal health care, with 29%; raising the minimum wage, 26%; and reducing the wealth gap, 25%.

Those who were more likely to rank preventing Social Security cuts as a top concern include women, with 67%, compared to just 39% of men.

Those ages 45 and up were also more likely to give Social Security a high priority, with 68%, versus 23% of those under 45.

Full article: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/19/preventing-social-security-benefit-cuts-is-a-top-priority-in-2020-election.html?utm_source=BenchmarkEmail&utm_campaign=Today%27s_Daily_Clips_%7c_August_20_2020&utm_medium=email

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Posted September 4, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention.

Informal Resources

Crisis Resources                 

  • If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

Awareness Resources

Help promote awareness by sharing images and graphics on your website and social media accounts. Use #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree.

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.

Find more information about suicide prevention at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website: https://www.nami.org/get-involved/awareness-events/suicide-prevention-awareness-month

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®