Social Services

Senior Monongalians has a Social Services Coordinator and
SHIP Counselor assist seniors and their families.  Our Social Service staff 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.

Important & Useful Links:

Summer Phone Scam

posted Jun 19, 2017, 5:17 AM by Senior Monongalians

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details.

In the latest twist, the scammer claims to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters purportedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scam artist then threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the card is linked to the EFTPS system when, in fact, it is entirely controlled by the scammer. The victim is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the tax payment is made.

“This is a new twist to an old scam,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Just because tax season is over, scams and schemes do not take the summer off. People should stay vigilant against IRS impersonation scams. People should remember that the first contact they receive from IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call.”

EFTPS is an automated system for paying federal taxes electronically using the Internet or by phone using the EFTPS Voice Response System. EFTPS is offered free by the U.S. Department of Treasury and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card. Since EFTPS is an automated system, taxpayers won’t receive a call from the IRS. In addition, taxpayers have several options for paying a real tax bill and are not required to use a specific one.

Tell Tale Signs of a Scam:

The IRS (and its authorized private collection agencies) will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

For anyone who doesn’t owe taxes and has no reason to think they do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. Alternatively, call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

For anyone who owes tax or thinks they do:

The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page on IRS.gov. Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube videos.

Alzheimer's University

posted Jun 6, 2017, 7:40 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Jun 29, 2017, 10:40 AM ]

MORGANTOWN
July 11 • 8:30AM-2:45PM

Mon General Hospital 
Register online - Morgantown

The Alzheimer's Association will host a series of Alzheimer's & Dementia Universities throughout our Chapter territory. Alzheimer's & Dementia University for Families and Professionals is a one-day conference. Social Work & Nursing CEUs and Physician CMEs anticipated (for additional fee). The registration fee is $10 for family and professional caregivers. Each University will have lunch provided. Workshop topics are designed to meet the needs of both professional and family caregivers.

Workshop Topics Include:

  • Working with Your Doctor 
  • Planning for Care: Legal and Financial Considerations
  • Preserving Dignity 
  • Connections in Your Community

2017 Alzheimer's & Dementia University Schedule

MORGANTOWN

July 11 • 8:30AM-2:45PM
Mon General Hospital 
Register online - Morgantown

Medicare Update from the CMS

posted Jun 2, 2017, 8:58 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Jun 29, 2017, 10:51 AM ]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2017

New Medicare cards offer greater protection to more than 57.7 million Americans
New cards will no longer contain Social Security numbers, to combat fraud and illegal use

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is readying a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. The new cards will use a unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on the Medicare card. CMS will begin mailing new cards in April 2018 and will meet the congressional deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by April 2019. Today, CMS kicks-off a multi-faceted outreach campaign to help providers get ready for the new MBI.

"We're taking this step to protect our seniors from fraudulent use of Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "We want to be sure that Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare providers know about these changes well in advance and have the information they need to make a seamless transition."

Providers and beneficiaries will both be able to use secure look up tools that will support quick access to MBIs when they need them. There will also be a 21-month transition period where providers will be able to use either the MBI or the HICN further easing the transition

CMS testified on Tuesday, May 23rd before the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means Subcommittee on Social Security and U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology, addressing CMS's comprehensive plan for the removal of Social Security numbers and transition to MBIs.

Personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors. People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. Incidents among seniors increased to 2.6 million from 2.1 million between 2012 and 2014, according to the most current statistics from the Department of Justice. Identity theft can take not only an emotional toll on those who experience it, but also a financial one: two-thirds of all identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss. It can also disrupt lives, damage credit ratings and result in inaccuracies in medical records and costly false claims.

Work on this important initiative began many years ago, and was accelerated following passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS will assign all Medicare beneficiaries a new, unique MBI number which will contain a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. Beneficiaries will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare cards and keep the new MBI confidential. Issuance of the new MBI will not change the benefits a Medicare beneficiary receives.

CMS is committed to a successful transition to the MBI for people with Medicare and for the health care provider community. CMS has a website<http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwNTMwLjczOTQ0NDMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDUzMC43Mzk0NDQzMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3OTgwNDEwJmVtYWlsaWQ9cmViZWNjYS5hLmdvdXR5QHd2LmdvdiZ1c2VyaWQ9cmViZWNjYS5hLmdvdXR5QHd2LmdvdiZ0YXJnZXRpZD0mZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&101&&&https://www.cms.gov/medicare/ssnri/index.html> dedicated to the Social Security Removal Initiative (SSNRI) where providers can find the latest information and sign-up for newsletters. CMS is also planning regular calls as a way to share updates and answer provider questions before and after new cards are mailed beginning in April 2018.

Phone Scam Targeting Veterans

posted May 15, 2017, 9:51 AM by Senior Monongalians

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/phony-telephone-number-scam-targets-veterans?utm_source=govdelivery>
by Carol Kando-Pineda  


Attorney, FTC's Consumer & Business Education
There's a new scam out there, preying on veterans who are making decisions about their medical care. The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program allows certain eligible vets to use approved health care providers who are outside of the VA system. Veterans or families can call the VCP's toll-free number to verify their eligibility for the program. Here's the problem: Scammers have set up a phony telephone line that very closely resembles the VCP's real telephone number.
Read more ><https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/phony-telephone-number-scam-targets-veterans?utm_source=govdelivery>

10 Tips for Family Caregivers

posted Nov 8, 2016, 7:04 AM by Senior Monongalians

  1. Seek support from other caregivers.  You are not alone!
  2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  6. Watch out for signs of depression and don't delay getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical information so it's up to date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

Top 10 Senior Scams

posted Mar 14, 2016, 7:26 AM by Senior Monongalians

 Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill announced the top 10 frauds targeting our nation’s seniors in a comprehensive anti-fraud resource for seniors titled, “Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors.”  The guide is designed to inform and help protect seniors from some of the most pervasive and malicious scams and frauds.

 

Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors

  1. IRS Impersonation Scams
  2. Sweepstakes Scams
  3. Robocalls / Unwanted Phone Calls
  4. Computer Tech Support Schemes
  5. Identity Theft
  6. Grandparent Scams
  7. Elder Financial Abuse
  8. Grant Scams
  9. Romance Scams / Confidence Fraud
  10. Home Improvement Scams

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