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Archive for October, 2012

Job Fair For The Disabled

Social Security programs are available to help fund living expenses, but disability benefits only go so far. As part of the initiative to promote independence and quality of life, the State of Texas Department of Rehabilitative Services is conducting a job fair to help people with disabilities find employment.

Transitional Moves

October is National Disability Employment Month, which was designed to promote awareness and opportunity. “Employers who ensure that inclusive workplace policies and practices are woven into the fabric and culture of the organization create an environment that encourages all workers – including those of us with disabilities – to work to their full capacity and contribute fully to the organization’s success,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment.

People with disabilities are often left on the back burner in education and the workforce. For many, this leads to a lesser quality of life. However, the purpose of the DARS office in Texas is to change the opportunities available to those living with disabilities. Therefore, a job fair has been organized to help Houston high school students with disabilities find employment  and get in touch with resources to help them expand their skill sets.

The job fair is planned for October 29 and 30th, at Bethel’s Place Empowerment Center in Houston, located at 12660 Sandpiper Drive.

More Bad News For Social Security Benefits

As election time nears, the discussion over the fate of Social Security benefits deepens. While it is unclear as to whether funds will be available in the next several years, one important fact has surfaced; the cost-of-living adjustment for 2013 is expected to be meager, at best.

Economic Woes

The recession has hit the wallets of all Americans hard, but those who live on fixed incomes are finding it more challenging each year to make ends meet. Recent reports are suggesting the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) won’t be increasing as much as expected. This time last year, it was announced that a 3.6 percent increase would be given to benefit recipients to help accommodate the ever rising costs of daily living expenses. This year, the increase will only be 1.4 percent, not nearly enough to help combat costs for seniors.

The Medicare Part B premium rates are also expected to rise next year, eating up much of the 1.4 percent COLA amount. Last year, Part B expenses rose by $3.50 per month, taking up 0.3 percent of the COLA amount; whereas Part B expenses could rise by as much as $9.20 a month next year, a large portion of such a small COLA increase. Final word on the COLA and Part B amounts is expected to be released later in October, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its final analysis of inflation for the year.

 

Private Disability Insurance

While programs like Social Security Disability Insurance are created to help those who cannot work due to a medical condition or illness, the fact is that these programs aren’t always reliable. That is to say, the chances at obtaining benefits can be difficult for many legitimately disabled people, and is even more difficult for those with a short term or temporary condition. However, there are some private disability benefit programs that might be worth looking into.

Prepare For The Worst

A recent survey showed that 8 out of 10 people believe that “a disability can happen to anyone at any time”; yet only 1 in 100 people actually carry a plan for such occurrences. Short-term or private disability insurance is just that, insurance. Like other types of insurance it is a plan for the worst of times. No one sets out to become ill, injured or disabled, but it happens. Anyone who is the sole provider of the family or has dependents is playing with fire if they do not have a disability insurance policy, especially if they lack an adequate savings to cover expenses until other matters can be resolved.

Disability insurance is more affordable than one might think. In fact, a healthy employee can often obtain coverage from their employer for less than $40 a month out of their paycheck.  Even if a group policy through an employer isn’t available, most companies that offer automobile or life insurance also carries them. In most cases, a policy would cost less than $100 a month out of pocket; a small price to pay for the assurance that your family is covered in the event of an unexpected disability.

 

 

 

 

 

Supplemental Security Income Celebrates 40 Years

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Supplemental Security Income providing support to those with severe disabilities and to the elderly. Signed into law by President Nixon in 1972, the program focuses on strengthening economic security and the opportunity for recipients to be active participants in society. The program does even more important work, however: it’s a crucial safety net to help children with severe disabilities receive care at home from their parents rather than in costly institutions.

A Record Of Success

Many parents of severely disabled children need to limit employment so they can focus on their child’s daily needs. The intensive care required puts not only a financial strain on parents but it can also lead to emotional strains as well. The SSI program helps reduce the financial strain from loss of income and helps reduce emotional stress, thereby helping parents keep their families intact.

SSI also helps give parents and youth access to education that can better their lives, and it helps provide accurate, extensive initial disability benefit determinations.

In today’s political climate, some are proposing sweeping changes to SSI disability benefits, but many consider the proposals a threat to the program’s traditional pro-family approach to solving problems and supporting those with severe disabilities. The income support provided by Supplemental Security is a critical complement to other programs that provide Medicaid health insurance, work and education services, and special health care needs.

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