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    Social Services

    Senior Monongalians is fortunate to have Deb Layman, MSW, our Social Services Coordinator,  and her assistant Marge Vanmeter who assist seniors and their families. Deb works with clients to understand & enroll in Medicare Part D, finding answers to Social Security questions, directing clients to utility assistance programs, senior housing options, and much more.

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    Untitled Post

    posted Apr 14, 2014, 6:35 AM by Senior Monongalians



    ATTENTION
    UNEMPLOYED WORKERS
    AGED 55 OR OLDER

    Aplications are now being accepted for enrollment in
    Senior Community Service Employment Program

    Receptionist, custodian, Store Clerk, Food Service, Library Aid, & Clerical

    Opportunities apply to residents of Dodrige, Harrison, Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor Counties.  Income guidelines apply. 

    If you are at least 55 years of age, unemployed, and have limited income
    call
    1-800-661-7556

    Senior Community Service Employment Program 
    Preston County Senior Center
    P.O. Box 10
    Kingwood, WV 26537

    SCSEP is a US Department of Labor equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary, aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. 

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Warns Consumers to Avoid Fake Funeral Emails

    posted Apr 10, 2014, 5:11 AM by Senior Monongalians

    CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is alerting residents to a disturbing scam that’s been making its way around to inboxes across the country and region.

    Scammers are sending fraudulent “funeral notice” e-mails to citizens with the hopes that the recipient will be curious or grief-stricken enough to blindly click on an embedded link in the hopes of getting information about their friend or relative’s “celebration of life” service. But instead of providing information on memorial services, the link enables the computer to be hijacked with malicious software.

    “Scammers always seem to be looking for new ways to steal, but this really could be a new low,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Tricking people with fake death notices is really just despicable.”

    Messages sent, which appear convincing, often contain the names, addresses and logos of local funeral homes, so the recipient of the email feels comfortable clicking through without much thought. However, once the reader clicks on the link, the computer becomes infected with malicious software that can steal personal and financial information and send it to other computers or send spam emails out on your behalf without your knowledge.

    Should one of these messages appear in your inbox, don’t click through, click delete. If you want to verify information about a person’s death, you can call the funeral home directly to verify the information.

    As a general reminder, it’s always a good idea to make sure your computer’s firewall and virus protection are up to date and always active; that you have a good pop-up advertisement blocker installed; and, that you don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t recognize.

    If you have received one of these unsolicited email messages, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 to report it.


    Jury Duty Fraud Alert

    posted Apr 10, 2014, 5:07 AM by Senior Monongalians

    CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today urged West Virginians to be cautious if they receive a phone call from someone who says the citizen is being fined for not responding to a jury duty notice.

    “This is a particularly egregious scam in that it plays on people’s confusion and nervousness about serving as a juror,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It truly targets people who want to participate in the American justice system if asked.”

    In the scam, a person calls under the guise of being a representative of a local sheriff’s department. The caller tells the citizen that he or she was summoned for jury duty and is now being fined for not showing up on the assigned date. The caller tells the person that if he or she does not immediately pay the fine, it will either increase or a warrant will be issued for his or her arrest.

    The caller then asks the citizen to surrender their bank routing number or credit card information so the fine may be paid. The caller also may suggest that the citizen purchase a money order or pre-paid debit card and send it to a “collection agency.”

    “This type of scam preys on West Virginians who are trying to avoid getting into trouble,” Morrisey said. “Scammers are trying to use high pressure, scare tactics to pad their wallet and unfortunately empty yours. Honest West Virginians have received these calls, and some of them thought they were doing the right thing by paying the scammers.”

    Local county sheriff offices and circuit clerk offices have indicated that this is a scam.

    “Citizens should always be concerned if they receive a call out of the blue saying they need to surrender financial information or pay a set amount to avoid legal trouble,” Morrisey said. “Always be wary if a caller asks you to wire money or use a pre-paid debit card to pay a surprise bill or fine. Remember, using a money order, wiring money or using a pre-paid card is the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, it is very hard to track who received it.”

    Morrisey said citizens who receive a call like this should call their local circuit clerk’s office and sheriff’s department to verify that they haven’t missed a jury summons. If the call turns out to be false, citizens should file a report with local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808.



    Diabetic Supply Fraud Warning

    posted Apr 10, 2014, 4:56 AM by Senior Monongalians

    CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is alerting residents to a scam that appears to be circulating throughout the state and region in which a person receives an unsolicited telephone call offering free diabetes testing or other medical supplies.

    The Attorney General’s Office recently received a report of an elderly woman who was called by a person claiming to work for a “diabetic pharmacy.” The caller told the woman she was eligible to receive free diabetes supplies, including new testers. The woman provided the caller with her address and Social Security number, but the supplies were never delivered. When the woman attempted to reach the company at the number provided, no one answered or called her back. The woman cannot find any other means to contact the company, either.

    “Scams like this one, which seem to prey on older folks, are terrible,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Many of our senior citizens are on fixed incomes and are looking for help to offset out-of-pocket costs they may have. It’s sad there are people who would exploit a person’s desire to save money by scamming them, as well as the government, out of thousands of dollars.”

    While the scam can vary slightly, the end goal is the same. The callers are looking for a person’s Medicare numbers, which often is the same as the person's Social Security number. Once the scammers have that number, along with other identifying details such as the person's name and address, they may be able to steal the victim’s identity or, in other cases, order health care services or supplies in the victim’s name.

    “It’s important to read over your Medicare statements very carefully,” Morrisey said. “Check for things like being billed for items you didn’t order or receive, or being billed multiple times for certain items.”

    Consumers can take a few easy steps to protect themselves and their identities, including:

        • Read every statement or letter that comes from your doctor or health       insurance provider, even ones that say “this is not a bill.” It may be a          way to spot charges for treatments you didn’t receive or products you      didn’t order.
      • Avoid e-mail or online offers of free testing supplies, which may not         be legitimate. Instead, work with your doctor and reputable groups         such as the American Diabetes Association to secure low-cost or             free supplies.
      • If you notice questionable charges on a letter or bill, contact your             insurer right away.
      • Instead of carrying your health insurance card in your wallet, make a        photo copy of it and carry the copy instead. Black out all but the last        four digits of your ID number on the copy. Keep your official card in a        safe and secure location.
     • If you discover your card is missing, notify your provider right away.

    If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808, or file a complaint online at www.wvago.gov. If you believe you have been the victim of Medicare fraud, call the West Virginia Senior Medicare Patrol at 800-799-4638.

    HHS announces important Medicare information for people in same-sex marriages

    posted Apr 3, 2014, 10:37 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:06 AM ]

    04/03/2014

    Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is now able to process requests for Medicare Part A and Part B Special Enrollment Periods, and reductions in Part B and premium Part A late enrollment penalties for certain eligible people in same-sex marriages. This is another step HHS is taking in response to the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Because of this ruling, Medicare is no longer prevented by DOMA from recognizing same-sex marriages for determining entitlement to, or eligibility, for Medicare.Read more about today's announcement. 

    New Social Security Scam Targets Senior Citizens

    posted Mar 12, 2014, 7:54 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:20 AM ]

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warns senior citizens to be aware of a new scam happening in West Virginia in West Virginia in which a caller impersonates a Social Security Administration employee and tells citizens that their benefits need to be adjusted.

    The scammer calls and tells the person that a payment error has been made and is in the process of being fixed, but that they need a bank routing number to fix the problem.

    "These scammers are unfortunately targeting the elderly and making false promises to them in order to get access to their financial information," Attorney General Morrisey said. "Citizens should try to remain alert and do their homework before giving out any personal information over the phone."

    Morrisey urges citizens to be wary of calls like this, and do not surrender personal information.  If you receive a call like this, call your local Social Security Administration office or  800-772-1213  to independently check whether your benefits have changed.

    Consumers are also urged to report the call to the Attorney Generals' Consumer Protection Division at  1-800-368-8808  or online at  www.wvago.gov.

     

    Important Health Insurance Marketplace Dates

    posted Feb 6, 2014, 8:09 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:20 AM ]

    You can generally buy health insurance only during the annual open enrollment period. Upcoming dates to know:

    ·     November 15, 2014: Proposed date for 2015 open enrollment to start

    ·        January 15, 2015: Proposed date for 2015 open enrollment to end

    To buy insurance outside open enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.


    To find assistance, you may contact the Bureau of Senior Services to locate an In Person Assister in your county, or call the National Call Center for assistance at 1-800-318-2596.

    How the Silver Alert Program Works

    posted Feb 6, 2014, 7:35 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:21 AM ]

    Silver Alert is a program you hope you never need, but if you do, here’s what it is and how it works.  The Silver Alert Program allows law enforcement to issue alerts for adults with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders.  Silver Alert is similar to what most states

    already have for children called Amber Alert. It is a system that uses the broadcast media to notify the general public and law enforcement when an adult with cognitive impairment (memory, thinking and reasoning problems) is missing.  The Alert will include a description of the person, anything you know about the circumstances of the person’s disappearance, and other information that the State Police may think is important and appropriate.  If a loved one with cognitive impairment wanders and becomes lost, call the State Police or local law enforcement to submit a missing person's report and ask them to activate Silver Alert.  (If the missing person’s report is filed with local law enforcement, ask them to forward the information to the State Police.  Silver Alert must be activated by the State Police.)

    In addition to the broadcast media, the State Police will also notify the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and West Virginia Turnpike Commission.  If possible, through the use of their electronic signs, they can let motorists know that a Silver Alert is in progress.  They can provide information relating to the missing person and let motorists know how they may report any information they have to the State Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

    For more information about Silver Alert or other tracking systems that help locate individuals with cognitive impairment, contact the Bureau of Senior Services, 1-877-987-3646.

    From the Alzheimer’s Association: What Is Dementia?

    posted Feb 6, 2014, 6:05 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:22 AM ]

    Dementia is not a specific disease. It's a generic term that describes a wide range of symptoms – memory loss, confusion, behavior changes, personality changes – severe enough to affect everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.  Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia," which reflects the incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.  It is not.

    While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:

    • Memory
    • Communication and language
    • Ability to focus and pay attention
    • Reasoning and judgment
    • Visual perception

    People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory – keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.

    Many dementias start out slowly and gradually get worse. If you or a loved one is having memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don't ignore them. Call your doctor; get an evaluation soon.  The doctor may find a treatable condition. Even if symptoms suggest dementia, early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from available treatments.  It also provides time to plan for the future.

    If you have questions about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you can call the WV Bureau of Senior Services, 1-877-987-3646, or the Alzheimer’s Association, 1-800-372-3900.

    IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

    posted Nov 1, 2013, 6:13 PM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:24 AM ]

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

    Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

    “This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country.  We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves.  Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail

    Other characteristics of this scam include:

    • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
    • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
    • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
    • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
    • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
    • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

    If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

    • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
    • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrationat 800-366-4484.
    • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

    Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

    The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

    More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

    You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.

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