• Issues Totalization Agreement

    Senate Aging Committee Holds Hearing .Expanded tax credits — Social Security numbers would pave the way for applicants to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Additional Child Tax credit. In a recent Senate hearing, Eileen O'Connor, who ran the Justice Department's Tax Division under George W. Bush, explained that these refundable tax credits, "can create a ‘refund' of an amount you never paid as income taxes. So you can have a liability before the credit of 0, have paid in nothing, and with a refundable earned income tax credit of ,000, get a check from Uncle Sam for 0." She went on to say that immigrants who acquire Social Security numbers would be able to amend three years of previous tax returns to claim the earned income credit. The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently reported that an estimated 24% of all refunds due to the Earned Income Tax Credit are paid improperly. .Some MA plans, including UnitedHealth – the largest provider of MA coverage – have already begun modifying their offerings in order to accommodate the increasing financial pressure. Last year, UnitedHealth dropped thousands of physicians from its networks, which left many enrollees doctor-less. Without much notice, they had to either find new physicians, or pay more out-of-pocket to see their former, trusted and out-of-network doctors. Because the open enrollment period had already ended, seniors were unable to change plans in order to keep their physicians and their low costs. … Continued

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    Action on Capitol Hill was slow this week as Members of the House returned to their districts for a week-long recess, and most Members of the Senate kept their focus on a transportation bill and a series of judicial nominations. However, on Thursday, four Senators unveiled a drastic plan to phase out Medicare. .While felony fugitives are prohibited from receiving SSI payments, there is no such prohibition on benefits from Social Security`s main program, which pays retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. Auditors have asked Congress to bar fugitives from receiving payment from Social Security`s other programs as well. Congress is `studying` the recommendation. .The FDA is working with vaccine and drug manufacturers to develop new vaccines for and find more drugs to treat COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, some people and companies are trying to profit from this pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims, such as being effective against the coronavirus. … Continued

Apply for Extra Help. Extra Help is the Medicare program for low-income seniors that can help with most or all of the cost of your drug plan premium, deductibles and co-pays. You also get valuable coverage in the Part D coverage gap. If you qualify, you would pay between $ for each drug. Apply even if you aren't sure, because the income requirements are not as stringent as those for State Pharmacy assistance programs. .Among the bills that make up the GOP plan is one that would establish congressional review boards to examine the long-term solvency of the three trust funds, a topic that long has been politically fraught. .The Social Security Fairness Act, if adopted, would make the Social Security program more equitable by repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). These two provisions of law unfairly cut the Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, police officers, and other state or local government employees, often by 40 percent or more. By repealing both provisions, the Social Security Fairness Act would ensure that public servants receive the Social Security benefits they have earned and deserve. .A huge inconsistency between U.S. immigration law and Social Security threatens to undermine the income security of millions of U.S. senior citizens and the disabled. In 2004 Congress passed legislation requiring immigrants to have work authorization at the time a Social Security number is assigned or at some later time, in order to become entitled under Social Security.(1) Therefore, immigrants who obtain authorization to work in this country may eventually claim benefits based on all earnings. .The Part A deductible, however, is charged "per spell of illness" and it's feasible that you could have to pay it more than one time in a year should you require multiple hospitalizations the same year. .If our forecast proves correct, this would. .White House officials and public health leaders said they don't expect a vaccine to be widely available until March or April, which means wearing masks and other non-pharmaceutical measures will likely be the only option to reduce the spread of the virus until the end of February. .TSCL was pleased to see support grow for H.R. 1902, H.R. 2575, and H.R. 4841 this week, and we will continue to advocate for them tirelessly in the months ahead. For more information, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For updates on the progress of these and other bills, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter. .My drug plan is offering a new mail order system. I normally fill my prescriptions at the pharmacy. Does this really save any money? What would I do if I need a prescription quickly?