Generosity Begins at Home

man and woman drinking coffee outside With the year coming to an end and the holidays upon us, I want to wish you and your family a healthy and safe holiday season.

This is a time of reflection for all of us. A time to embrace the season’s spirit of generosity and selflessness. We like to give to our loved ones and let them know how much we care. This year, while you do that, don’t forget to also show some love and generosity to yourself.

You worked hard all year. What happens if you get injured or become ill? Are you covered? No one likes to think about injuries or diseases but we must be prepared.

This holiday season give yourself the gift of quality, affordable healthcare. At Social Security, we believe that access to quality healthcare has a positive effect on health outcomes. Being prepared — by having coverage — is a major part of a healthier future.ghe

You should be covered, especially if you have a disability. Some people who apply for Social Security disability benefits may not have access to healthcare, which negatively affects their health and well-being. A good healthcare plan can provide you with the medical care you need until we make a decision on your claim. The good news is you can be considered for healthcare coverage even if you have a pre-existing condition.

If you or someone you know is not covered, please apply for health coverage now and get the care you need. I encourage you to visit healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 for more information.

Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday season for you and your loved ones. Let’s end the year on a high note. Be prepared. Be proactive. Apply for affordable healthcare today!

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43 thoughts on “Generosity Begins at Home

    • I have to agree with that one! After two years in a row of NO COST OF LIVING INCREASE, and finally getting one, thanks for the governments sincere generosity, I just don’t know where to begin on how I will be able to use this huge $4.00 increase! I already can’t afford food and I just make so much that food stamps are out of the question! I was never one to even consider using them because I’ve worked my whole life since I was 12 yrs old and was tax paying citizen the whole time until I became disabled. That alone is a real hard pill to swallow when you have been working full time and sometimes two jobs just to provide for my children and hopes that they would have a great future. In today’s World, I’m really actually feeling pretty bad for them and their futures! So much for World Peace.

      • For me and my wife total increase in SS benefits should be $3.54 (0.3%), but we will have $3.0 increase from 01/01/2017. But the Dept. of Children and Families reduced Food Stamps amount for $1.00 from 10/01/2016 and informed that will reduce for $1.0 more from 01/01/2017!?! Is it fare?!

      • Our COLA increase is bases on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Why are they basing our cost of living allowance on workers cost of living when we don’t work.

        That show that they don’t care about retired or disabled people. They could gather information about retired and disabled people expense to see if the cost of living has gone up for retired and disabled people instead of the Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

      • Sounds like you’ve been reading my mail. My situation is almost identical to yours, except I just moved from Mississippi to Texas. Never thought it would be even worse here. I am living on Social Security only, and like you, I make too much money for food stamps or Medicaid. Now I have figure out how I will pay for the Medigap insurance premium, the part B and part D premiiums, plus my rent which has gone up $200+ a month. Had to sell my car so I’ve got to bum rides. Texas has just removed seniors from the equation, even those like me who have multiple chronic disabilities. I feel so rejected and useless–not worthy of a second glance. I worked since I was in high school, a great portion of it with lawyers and politicians. Thought I’d seen greed and corruption–but nothing like this. Just living on a prayer one day at time.

      • I whole heartedly agree. I have been homeless for 5years 4 months.I worked so hard at a great paying job for over 15 years and was more than completely miserable with,”Aytipical Depression,Anxiety and ADD”. Many people however not all think I was the hand it out guy. Most all of my money was stolen from me by heroin addicts. Finally at 53 I learned to fight n bite and I did all GOD gave me to inflict as much pain on them as was created for me.
        “crying” I will not take it qany more EVER.

      • I got a $3.00 increase in SSI, which if I wanted foo stamps that went down in how much i could get it left me with being able to get $9.00 a month in food stamps. I figured there must be someone else worse off then me give it to them, I dont want to seem ungrateful but I have to go thru the process and degrading crap at DSS for $9.00 a month no thanks. Im havong to make decisions every month to either buy groceries or pay the power or water bill, when they figure out your expenses to see how much you will be getting for SSI, they dont count, car insurance, extra meds that Medicaid doesnt cover, summer and winter power bills, water bills, food, personal things needed, like toilet paper, soap. A phone, taxes for your home, and car and the expenses go on, they calculate the bare minimum that maybe if I lived in a cave would cover. Im not greedy and dont expect to live high on the hog but groceries and power bills are not suppose to be a luxury. Right now I have a power bill i cant pay and have no way to get extra money to pay it. My family has all passed now and Im on my own and screwed. I dont know what to do, I worked starting very young and worked hard, they drug my disability out for so many years the 5 yr max passed so I had to go for SSI which I didnt get until I hit 50, I started trying to get disability at 37 not by choice, I didnt have any other choice and if I didnt have family living back then I would have lost my home and everything else , although I have a home I cant afford to live in it or maintain it. I just need something help, real help, I am grateful for the money I get every month but having to decide to eat or not there just has to be a answer thats doesnt require me to have to make the choice between groceries or power. Stuck and dont no what else or who else can or will help.

    • Oh, gee. A whole THREE DOLLARS! I can buy a Christmas greeting card….oh wait, no I can’t – not enough money. Happy holidays from Social Security? More like BAH HUMBUG from our gutless politicians.

      • Yes. I,be been disabled for 7 yrs after working as a therapist and VP for a non-profit mental health agency for over 30 yrs. Had been in private practice 3 years when I got the infection in my spine leaving me paralyzed. I had Medicare and Medicaid until a small increase in my SSDI = $200 a yr put me over the req. income for Medicaid. So I had copays for everything. I have 5 specialists. It’s gotten to the point that I can’t get tests done because I can’t afford the treatments. By the end of the year the $200 increase cost me $3000.
        This yr the.3% increase is $6 and the increase in Medicare premium increase is $6. Canceling each other out but because Medicare premiums are reflected as income it looks like I am making $297 more than last year when in I am making exactly the same amount as last year.
        The government knows what it’s doing. That’s all I have to live on. And I know it will only get worse. So best wishes to all of us trying to get by. I expect the way it’s going to be homeless within a couple of years. I think every politian who votes to lower or eliminate SS/SSDI should adopt everyone from their state who ends up homeless because of their vote. LOL, wouldn’t that be a hoot! OK, so name would be Anne Marie McCain, nice ring to it.

          • I feel your concern fellow Americans, although I don’t depend on my SS check (thank God) to pay my bills and living expenses, I’m still wondering how my monthly check went down hundred of dollars after the Social Security Office wrote me a letter saying I got a COLA increase and additional dollar increase for paying more to the SS tax thru my husband’s work! I could see that my Medicare premium went to the roof even though I scarcely use it!
            I just like to know where is the money going to?

  1. Although I don’t qualify for benefits, I am still grateful to the staff, at the Portland, Oregon district branch, for educating me about how the application process works. It’s good to know that there are folks who care, and I didn’t feel like another government statistic, either. I am very worried about the new incoming Trump administration, because I don’t want them to reduce Medicare, or Social Security benefits, for future retirees like ME. Thanks again for all that you do!

    • Showing that you are worried about cutbacks that were never suggested is another example of the left’s propaganda machine never stopping. And you now think you know how the system works? Goodie for you.

      • Wrong. The House just introduced a bill the day before they went on Christmas break that will DRASTICALLY cut Social Security for current beneficiaries, raise the retirement age to 69, and reduce the earnings cap again, meaning the wealthy once again won’t be contributing
        Why don’t you go to the congressional website and read the text of the bill for yourself? Very easy to find, take a little “personal responsibility” like the Republicans are always telling us to do.

  2. I am greatful for my benefits but it is no where near what I was making and medication keeps going up in price. Please look into raising benefits to those who really deserve it. I’ve worked since the 7th grade and over 25 yrs until my injury. I’m not making it , just can’t get ahead . Please raise the benefits for the injured.

    • Rudy: All of us could really use/would greatly benefit if we would just receive some increased $$ and Much-Lower Prescription prices!! I agree! I mean Medicare D is a cruel joke!
      BUT– it/improvements are not going to happen, no mater who is President, and certainly not as long as we American Voters keep Voting for the same Congress over and over and over! Because during the past 26 years, Congress {and all the Presidents starting with Pres. George H.W. Bush} doomed all of us to the Terrible Financial condition we are in today by running our National Debt to over $19,000,000,000,000.00 {that’s Nineteen Trillion Dollars} – an amount that can Never be paid back! Congress’ worst Crime has been letting the current President add over $14 Trillion to that National Debt {which was approximately $6 Billion in 1988}!! I hate to be the bearer of bad news so close to Christmas, but I know & understand Economics. And I realize that most Americans see no relationship or connection between the Economic mess we are all in and the size of our National Debt! The only positive is that FINALLY enough Americans wised-up and voted into Office a President who is NOT another crooked, criminal Politician– for the first time in our History!
      If anyone can put a dent into our $19 Trillion National Deb {because He knows that it must be reduced to save our Nation, AND He knows how} it is He! If He can accomplish that to any degree, S.S. will be saved! And the U.S.A. would then
      be able to increase S.S. benefits.

      • A favorite tactic of the left is to lump several of the past administrations together when complaining about the massive debt. It hides the fact that the current administration doubled the debt or added as much debt as all the prior administrations put together. Getting us out of debt would do nothing to solve the manufactured trust fund shortfalls.

      • False. The debt actually went DOWN under the current administration, as did Medicare costs and health care costs paid out by government programs in general due to the quality control provisions of the ACA. As I told the previous poster, why not do a little research at the SOURCE instead of just going on websites with false information you “heard” from nefarious sources and complaining? If Americans weren’t so lazy they’d have had the knowledge and understanding to see when they had it good instead of throwing us all under the bus.

          • You obviously don’t remember them taking Social Security monies paid in by the person or family that should receive it. This is not a borrow fund which is exactly what the House did.

  3. no raise this year since you raised my deductible. I would like to see you live on seven hundred dollars a month. I have worked to jobs all my life. I was self-employed meaning i had to pay the whole shot, and nothing to show for it.

  4. Oh, gee. A whole THREE DOLLARS! I can buy a Christmas greeting card….oh wait, no I can’t – not enough money. Happy holidays from Social Security? More like BAH HUMBUG from our gutless and clueless politicians.

  5. My wife’s and my increase in our Social Security benefit was $7.30. Our increase in Medicare medical insurance was exactly $7.30. Such a coincidence! Thus another year without a cost of living increase! Oh that our gracious government would not have used “our” savings to spend at their will. Now you see why we have asked (voted for) a new President who really cares. AND knows how to use a budget.

  6. I like to know how long i have wait for answers on approve and wishing all the ssa a great holiday and a happy new year.

    • Thanks for your question and thank you for the holiday wishes, Harvey. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue, and cannot provide you with the status of your claim. Please continue working with your local office if you have specific questions about your claim, or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to one of our representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. If you have a confirmation number from when you applied, you can check the status of your application here. Thanks!

  7. Hospitals & Asylums

    Sanders, Tony J. White House Office of Management and Budget (WHOMB). Hospitals & Asylums HA-21-12-16 as edited today Dec. 23 http://www.title24uscode.org/budget2017.doc

    Dear Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security:

    Please give OASDI and SSI beneficiaries the 3-6% COLA beneficiaries we are due from January 2017. 3%, three percent annual COLA is needed for low-income people to stay ahead of 2.7 percent consumer price inflation. Settle for 3% COLA instead of 0.3% deprivation of relief benefits 18USC246 by attrition to the inflationary forces of neoplastic growth in health, government, managerial and professional spending in excess of 2.5% annual growth. Are you sure passed by the eye exam? 3% COLA equals three percent COLA 2017.

    3% COLA is low but it is erring on the conservative side of what is due beneficiaries every year the combined OASDI trust fund have trust fund ratios in excess of 20% and inflation rate remains the same as it has been since the 1980s. The Actuary has erred in regards to the dollar amounts of the 2.37% DI tax and has never in his career gotten the all-important OASDI tax rate adjustment right. Furthermore, the colonial artificial growth calculations in OASDI and Medicare Reports conflict with the simplicity of population growth + COLA = 4% spending growth for cash welfare, 3.4% for interest on t-bonds, 3% for in-kind welfare and 2.5% for health and government.

    3% COLA is needed for poor beneficiaries to stay aloud of 2.7% inflation is the new interpretation of Sec. 215(i) of the Social Security Act 42USC415(i). The final paragraph in the 2017 budget has been edited today to better describe the hundred day journey to Washington DC. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been removed from being mentioned in Chapter 0 this round. The National Science Foundation has been categorized amongst the minutiae. The $66.6 billion wartime supplemental plagiarized my $20 billion US share of the $33 billion Iraq Reconstruction Fund, the largest war reparation in world history. +/- $666 became an issue when the COLA stalled out 2009-2011 and was cited for intentional theft retroactively affecting tens of thousands of beneficiaries with the number of the beast by the Social Security Caucus of 2011 many of whom have subsequently died. No one should be subjected to $600-$699 mo. For more than the 42 months limit (Revelation 13:10) when the benefit must automatically increase to $700. I nearly died trying to balance the budget in a home in 2009-2010 but now I am in shape and homeless. I may smell so bad that the proprietor, who was so generous with the hot chocolate and cake samples, asked me to leave today, as I was writing you, but I am writing this in the rain under an awning and in the best physical and financial shape of my life. After running 20 miles in the mountain, eating expired yoghurt and not going to town or spending any money I suppose a shower can’t wait till Christmas. I doubt ten mile run in the rain to get my Christmas bag from the food bank political realignment will get me clean, but there went the bus. I guess I’ll take the next one in twenty minutes, so that don’t destroy my Apple computer.

    I am hoping the White House will recuse all Democratic-Republican (DR) two party system political applicants and lawyers (non-accountants by definition) for OMB Director or staff, and settle our differences honorably by hand to hand accounting with me first – the social security disability beneficiary of HA Other Defense Civil Programs and Allowances rows – before accurately accounting for Congressional Budget Requests to reduce the deficit from 2009.

    This work is due no less than $700 mo. with a 3% COLA 2017. You have not done your annual work for the SSI program so you better pay for my first annual report because +/- $666 mo. doesn’t keep a roof over an Apple computer and is believed to unsatisfactory by the Social Security Caucus of 2011 and myself. If the President elect uses my budget to tax the rich to end poverty by 2020 and/or balance the federal budget FY 2018 I want the maximum allowable disability and retirement benefits for the rest of my life to be able to afford a retirement home of my own. For this same academically free price of maximum benefit for life I am equally willing to be nominated and confirmed to serve one two year term as Commissioner of Social Security as to support your signature of the Social Security Amendments and Second annual report to the Board of Trustees of the Federal OASDI and SSI program when it is edited and combined with the 2017 federal budget to provide agencies with guidance in regards to their FY 2018 Congressional Budget Justifications beginning January 1, HA-1-1-17 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss1.htm

    Your Beneficiary,

  8. My question is why did Social Security say I owe an overpayment but the answer keep changing .I want to know why why why….Lie Lie Lie..

    • We wish we could be more help Randell, but for security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Your local office will be able to assist you better in regards to your overpayment issue. For more information and to learn about appeal and waiver rights, read our publication on “Overpayments”. If you still have questions, or need further assistance, you should call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week or later during the day. Thanks.

  9. Can Your representitive/husband call the local SS office on the sly and discuss Your whole case without You knowing?. Our marriage is on the edge and He is taking over all aspects of My case, He even calls it His case, His case worker and She even told Him He could file an appeal on My case. He could fire My previous attorney, like I am a child. First SS gave Him control over My biological grandson, whom We adopted together. After 4 years SS finally told Me they were holding My back pay waiting on getting a payee because the Judge in the case only gave Me 2 years of benefits and basically deemed me insane after she badgered Me to the point of saying I thought of suicide but that was not an option because I have an eleven year old to raise. This has finished My marriage and My husband wants to get control of all of the money, both mine and my sons and SS gave it to Him. I am completely amazed at how this has turned, yes I am depressed, but who wouldn’t be living in a loveless marriage, finding My 28 year old daughter dead in her bed 2 1/2 years ago whom He raised with me for 24 years, then threw Her to the curb, as He did both of My son’s. He insist 1/2 of My 11 year old sons back pay is his and of course He has helped himself to all of My money. What kind of system is this? I stay with him for My son, but what chance would I have of leaving Him now? He has complete control. What a system. I am seriously injured from 2 accidents and have multiple illnesses due to the stress, depression and PTSD. I am not crazy.

    • Your ex-husband and judge have driven you crazy for the purpose of qualifying for SSI or SSDI. Two benefit for one divorce.

  10. TO ALL,if you need money for co pays etc… I will do my best to see that you get it. NO I am not wealthy nor have savings I am a tenacious individual who stops nearly at almost nothing to aquire what is needed in my life. Happy New Year David

  11. Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2017 HA-1-1-17 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss2017.htm

    To end poverty by 2020

    Title 1 Summer Solstice Instructions

    Section 1 Annual reports

    To amend Annual Reports Sec. 1161 of Title 11 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)XI-B§1320c-10 to change the due date from April 1 to summer solstice (June 20-21). There is a July 16 deadline for congressional budget submissions for the new fiscal year beginning October 1 under 31USC§1106.

    Section 2 Two Year Term and Maximum Benefits for Commissioner

    1. To amend the term of Commissioner from 6 to 2 years under Sec. 702(a)(3) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)VII§902. To append ‘and/or maximum allowable disability and retirement for life’ at the end of (a)(2).

    a. The 2017 Social Security Changes Fact Sheet, that will hopefully be updated to reflect a 3% COLA (2017) states the maximum benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age grew 1.8% from $2,639 mo. (2016) to $2,687 mo. (2017). Inflation in maximum benefit (2.5%) should grow slower than (3%) normal benefits so more survivors receive the maximum benefit.

    Section 3 $700 mo. after 42 months of $600-699 (Revelation 13:10)

    1. To pay social security beneficiaries $700 a month after 42 months of receiving between $600 and $699 a month (Revelation 13:10). In 2000 secular humanists, who believe the government to be God, attached a lot of significance to the number of the beast in conjunction with Y2K. The Social Security Amendments of 2000 created CMS and gave the Commissioner a six year term, although in nature two years was the average time served by Commissioners and two years is the reasonable term set forth in this Act. The obsession with the senatorial number 6 from the 2000 amendments to the Social Security Act entered number of the beast status with the $66.60 Medicare premium in 2004. The majority of SSI, mentally ill and retarded disability beneficiary’s pay entered conflict around 2006 and 42 months thereafter marks the Great Recession. There was no COLA between 2009 and 2011 and SSI benefits stalled out at $674 a month for three years. Social security calculators of the mentally ill and retarded remain seized by the number of the beast but most would probably be redressed with a 3% COLA (2017) and spiritually healed when the federal payment standard for SSI benefits reaches $777 (2018).

    2. As much as $500 million back-payment is due as many 50,000 faultless beneficiaries, but many do survive, including Social Security Act Title I State Old Age Insurance Programs, whose benefits were cut from a reasonable rate to $600-$699 pursuant to the Social Security Caucus of 2011 and any other unjustified overpayment decisions whose perpetrating official are not immune under Sec. 204(c) of the Social Security Act 42USC§404(c) for deprivation or relief benefits under 18USC§246. No less than a 3% COLA would be enough to increase the benefits of the +/- $666 overpayment decision of 2011 to $700 for SSA to not be in contempt of Revelation 13:10 and the Social Security Caucus of 2011.

    I hope this does the adverse overpayment decisions justice. The remaining 21 Sections require an ability to learn do calculus. Calculations that shall be proof read and published in .doc and hopefully .pdf tomorrow, linked to the webpage of the Social Security Amendments of January 1, at the top of this document, on the first day of 2017. This should give the Actuary, Commissioner, Treasurer, Agencies, OMB and the President plenty of time to balance the FY 2018 budget by the the July 16 deadline for congressional budget submissions. Beneficiaries need a 3% COLA ASAP.

  12. I think that wonderful David, I need help but I cant ask a stranger to help me I need answers and a solution to my problem of having to choose between groceries and a power and water bill. Has anyone heard of a program where your care giver can get paid to care for you and its paid for not by the person being cared for.? Wish I could win the lottery I would help people like me. that is my dream to help others even tho I cant help myself. Good luck David if you can help me figire this out let me know. thanks

  13. I had plans for my Social Security until i was coerce by the local social security office … I am 64 years old. I try to apply for my Social Security Benefits (SSB) every year since I was 62. Every time I applied they coerce me into NOT getting my SSB. They do this by telling me that I can either have my SSB or Medicaid for my son but not both. They tell me is my choice. I either request for my SSB and my son’s Medicaid is suspended or my son gets Medicaid and I get no SSB. My son is terminally ill with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; without Medicaid he will die. In my eyes this subjects have nothing to do with each other. I have over 40 points accumulated, meaning I have worked all of my life. I am retired military with several wars under my belt. Now that I retired I do not like them giving me a coerce choice and telling me I have to choose; either my SSB or my son’s life. Apples and Oranges – not the same. Why?

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