Social Security Beneficiaries Act Passed by Senate

The past Friday, the Senate passed the Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2017, H.R. 4547. The legislation forces the Social Security Administration to submit yearly grants to every state’s protection and advocacy system for the purpose of reviewing representative payees under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

A representative payee is someone or an entity which handles the Social Security benefits of a retired person in the instance that they cannot do so themselves. The AARP estimates that around 5.5 million beneficiaries are managed by a representative payee.

AARP supported the bipartisan bill, which the House passed in February, for the addition of “stronger protections to deter fraud and abuse by payees, including through expanded use of background checks.”

Representative payees, who AARP expects to grow “substantially in number as baby boomers receive their earned retirement benefits, play a critical role in serving the interests of vulnerable Social Security beneficiaries.”

The bill also does the following:

  • “Lessens certain monitoring requirements” concerning specified family members who are serving as representative payees.
  • Forces the SSA to get into negotiations with every state to share information revealing represented minor beneficiaries who are in foster care, and figure out the necessary representative payee for any minor beneficiary who has gone in foster care, leaving foster care, or altered foster care placement in a certain month.
  • The Government Accountability Office needs to report to certain congressional committees about particular issues relevant to represented minor beneficiaries in foster care.
  • Alters provisions relevant to overpayment liability with acknowledgment to a represented minor beneficiary in foster care.
  • The Social Security Administration must report to specified congressional committees on particular issues about representative payments concerning SSI and OASDI benefits.
  • Lawfully states that someone who has been convicted of a felony, or of an attempt or a conspiracy to commit a felony, cannot serve as a representative payee and that someone who is managed by a representative payee cannot serve as a representative payee.

https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2018/03/26/senate-passes-social-security-beneficiaries-act/?slreturn=20180226181800

 

3 Tips for Early Spring Landscaping

Spring is next week; that means it is time to begin landscaping your yard. If you have plans to make your yard spring ready, here are three, true and tested, tips you can use.

Be Irrigation Savvy: One of the main components in making your landscape a pleasant sight is through having an efficient irrigation system. Two recommended irrigation systems are drip irrigation and a sprinkler system. A drip irrigation and sprinkler system can help your greenery stay healthy and vibrant, longer, during those dry spring and summer months.

Test the Ground’s Soil: A landscape thrives when the soil is nutrient rich. To see if your yard has nutrient-rich soil, you should test your landscape’s soil. Signs of healthy soil include the presence of earthworms and other ground organisms, root development, plant residue, and the workability of the dirt.

If you find that your ground is not up to par, you can take steps to rejuvenate your landscape’s soil by using fertilizers from organic sources, adding essential trace elements and by crafting your compost.

Rid Your Yard of Weeds: Weeds can wreak havoc on a landscape both externally and internally: They not only look unpleasant, but they also steal nutrients from the ground.

Ridding your yard of pesky weeds can make any landscape more appealing in minutes. There are a couple of ways to remove them, with the most straightforward way is by picking them via hand. Another way to remove them is by mowing your landscape regularly.

How to Go About Earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)

A career in nursing is one of limitless opportunities and options. And, because nurses are always needed anywhere there are people, there is the promise of job security. Before a person decides to become a nurse, it is often suggested that prospective candidates volunteer at a local hospital or sign up for a nursing camp where they are given training in clinical skills. They also attend anatomy and pathology workshops, simulated clinical situations and other workshops dealing with patient care. With such practical experiences, individuals can better decide if they wish to become nurses, as well as be better prepared for a nursing program.

Earning a BSN Degree

If a nurse has earned a Bachelor’s degree, there are more career opportunities and the promise of better pay than without such a degree. So, how does a person go about earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing?

  • The prospective nursing student should be sure to have either a high school diploma or a GED diploma. This education is a mandatory requirement since basic knowledge of English, Math, Science, and Social Science is a prerequisite.
  • The student should apply to an Accredited BSN Program and go through the application process. He or she should always make sure the college he or she plans to attend has all the required accreditation. Otherwise, the student will run the risk of the degree being contested at job interviews.
  • The student should look into the cost of earning the degree and the financial options such as scholarships and financial aid.
  • The student should complete all required courses for the degree.
  • The graduate should then apply for an RN license and take the NCLEX-RN® exam.

Schools whose Nursing Programs are well-respected are good choices for prospective students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science and becoming a RN since prospective employers and graduate schools take into consideration the reputations and programs of the schools issuing the BSN degrees.

Having a BSN provides opportunities for advancement

RNs who do not have a bachelor’s degree but have experience and have completed a two-year Associate’s degree program can enroll in a comprehensive year-and-a-half RN-to-BSN program. Some of these programs are conveniently available online. Fortunately, many hospitals have tuition reimbursement programs for nurses who wish to further their formal education. By upgrading their degrees, nurses are afforded more opportunities for employment and for advancement.

Will I Still Receive Benefits During a Government Shutdown?

Depending on the program, recipients may be granted benefits for the timeframe that they have already been approved for. In other words, each state has announced a January deadline for benefits applications in order to continue helping existing cases. While several benefits are unaffected, there are limited funds for those barely staying afloat. Money is rumored to be completely exhausted for food assistance by late February or early March.

Why is This Affecting My Benefits?

Programs like SNAP, Social Security, and TANF (to name a few) are federally funded. During times of government shutdown, government employees are unable to work which means there is little-to-no assistance in local offices. Even if the funds are available, the services will slow down, causing cases to fall behind.
A shutdown also means that the federal funding to these programs is cut off. To avoid finding out what will happen when the funds run out, local government offices are attempting to supplement the funds once they’ve been depleted.

SNAP/EBT

With funding in decline, the USDA cannot take on more cases until an agreement is reached. Therefore, a deadline for SNAP/EBT and Families First applications was issued for January and has been reached. Those approved before the deadline can still receive benefits that backtrack to the date of application. However, because the local human services departments are closed or short-staffed, benefits for the month of February will be granted early (by January 20, 2019). February’s benefits will be given early to ensure that recipients still get the help they need.
Unfortunately, until the shutdown is lifted, benefits for March or any month thereafter are not guaranteed. This means recipients will have to stretch those benefits and pinch pennies to afford necessities until further notice.

Do I Need to Spend Benefit Money Now?

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is expecting a high amount of SNAP/EBT transactions throughout the remainder of the month. At the moment stores are still accepting these funds, but the concern is of how long this will last and what happens when the funds run out but there is still money on the card. For now, there is no definite answer since funds are there and state governments are making efforts to maintain the balance.

HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development relies on reserved funding for times like this. It should have enough to stay afloat for a month-long shutdown. There are areas in which offices are partially closed. While some landlords await payment, tenants await assistance, and other applicants are left in limbo, these are the offices that remain open during a government shutdown:

  • Public Housing Authorities (PIH/PHA) and their websites
  • The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)
  • The Federal Housing Administration within the Office of Housing (FHA)
  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

For details on each office’s role in HUD and how they operate during a shutdown, click here.

Which Benefits are Not Affected?

The following will not be affected by the shutdown:

How Can I Stay Informed if Offices are Closed?

The USDA typically oversees FNS activity and gave useful information for as long as possible. Unfortunately, a lack of funding has caused the website to pause its regular flow of updated information. The USDA’s site contains general information about the efforts to aid in SNAP/EBT funding.
Other .com sites have taken over the regular updates to provide program information as the shutdown continues. Click here to see recent news about SNAP/EBT and how it may affect existing cases.
For more local information about an individual state’s status, visit the state or county’s Department of Human/Social/Health Services website.

A Brief History of Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability as it is known today was established in 1954 when the Social Security Act was amended to offer benefits to disabled workers in the 50-64 age range and also disabled adult children. In 1960 the law was amended again to allow workers of any age and their dependents to receive disability payments. In 1960, over 500,000 people received disability benefits that averaged about $80 per month.

The Social Security Administration manages the Disability program. Contacting the agency is the first step when an individual feels that he or she will no longer be able to work due to an injury or illness. The Disability Determination Service in the state where an applicant resides is responsible for reviewing medical records and determining if an individual is too disabled or ill to return to work.

Eligibility

Individuals who suffer from conditions that render them unable to be gainfully employed may be eligible for Social Security Disability. An applicant must have a disability or illness that has been diagnosed and treated by a healthcare provider. The applicant’s doctor must provide documentation that clearly outlines the scope of the disability and why it prevents an individual from working. To receive benefits, there must be medical proof that the applicant’s condition will prevent him or her from returning to work.

How to Apply

A Social Security Disability claim is not difficult to initiate. Persons who feel that they might qualify for disability can start the application online, over the telephone, or by visiting a Social Security office. The purpose of the application is for the Social Security Administration to collect identifying information such as age, proof of identity, work history, and medical history regarding the disabling condition. Once that information has been collected, the applicant will need to make sure that his or her health care providers send medical records that include treatments, lab test results, x-rays, and any other pertinent information.

The Approval Process

Several months may pass before an applicant receives notification regarding approval or denial of disability benefits. If the application is approved, an applicant may receive back pay that covers the months he or she would have been eligible for payments while awaiting a decision.

Approval for Social Security Disability is not automatic. In fact, if the Disability Determination Service finds that an applicant does not qualify for benefits, the application will be denied. If an applicant’s initial application is denied, there is an appeals process. Like the initial application, an appeal can be started online, by telephone, or by visiting a Social Security Office. Many people find that hiring an attorney can help them be successful when appealing a denial.

Where to Find More Information

The Social Security Administration is the best source of information regarding the disability program. An individual whose injury or illnesses may prevent him or her from initiating an application may ask a family member, friend, helping professional, or an attorney to assist with the process. Visit social security offices near me to find your local Social Security office near you.

Pros of Green Environment-Friendly Homes in Portland, OR

There are environment-friendly home builders in Portland that specialize in outstanding custom homes that are energy efficient, comfortable, safe for the family and pets, and built to the highest standards.

What are the eco-friendly materials that are being used?

They are described as products that increase energy efficiency and reduce the impact on human well-being and the environment. Many different materials can be used for foundations, insulation, exterior and interior walls, flooring, and countertops. Such materials come from rapidly renewable sources, ones that reuse waste that would otherwise have landed in landfills, have low VOC emissions, are exceptionally durable, require little maintenance, have a longer life of material so has fewer requirements for replacing and thus reduces the quantity needed to produce, and other benefits. Eco-friendly materials are good for the earth and the wallet.

Some conventional eco-friendly materials are the following:

* Faswall is an alternative to traditional foundation and wall materials and cinder blocks by using waste materials from wood that is mixed with cement to create a durable and robust material that is also wind and fire and sound resistant and has excellent insulating factors.

* Cotton insulation is an alternative to fiberglass. Cotton insulation is derived from natural cotton fibers that are recycled into a similar shape as traditional insulation, is easy and safe to install, has sound-insulating qualities, and a high fire rating.

* Great choices for eco-friendly flooring: recycled wood taken from demolition sites or trees that were torn down but were never used. Bamboo is a grass that fully matures in only three years and is durable and robust and has an attractive appearance that is similar to wood flooring and cork flooring that uses only the renewable bark of the tree and does not kill the tree.

Prehab green housing and tiny homes have become a significant and growing lure.

Many prefab houses have advantages such as speedy building, solar energy shingles, built with toxin-free materials, have energy-efficient windows and doors, spray-in airtight insulation, a healthy indoor environment, an air-filtration system that removes allergens, energy-efficient appliances, low-flow water systems, paints and other finishes which are VOC-free: radiant heat flooring, Energy Star windows, and other energy-savers.

Tiny houses fit into that category and can range from perhaps 500 square feet to over 3,600 square feet. They are popular because you can pick a zero-energy or LEED platinum house directly from a website and have it installed on your lot as a full-time home or a secondary structure. You can also take it with you pulled by a proper vehicle when you go on a short-term getaway.

You can get more details and advice from environment-friendly home builders in Portland who would be happy to discuss the whole concept with you.

3 Qualities All Great Life Coaches Share

Life coaches often vary greatly when you examine their educational and professional backgrounds. There are those who feel a calling when it comes to coaching, but there are also those who are considering life coaching as a side profession to expand their skillset. Regardless of where you fall under, all great coaches use their professional experience, knowledge, and skills from completing their Certified Life Coach training program in addition to their born talents and gifts.

If you are interested in becoming a professional life coach, it will benefit you greatly to learn precisely what the most successful life coaches have that sets them apart from the rest. Disregarding training, there are particular innate traits that many great life coaches share. These traits were not adopted by a training program or mentor, but instead, originated from a coach’s personality.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have what it takes to make a great life coach, do not worry!

Most of the qualities of successful life coaches can be adopted through disciplined practice, it may take time, but it is still entirely possible to obtain. While the following are a few examples of the qualities that great life coaches share, they are countless other skills and traits that many successful life coaches use to effectively help clients reach their goals and obtain a successful life coach practice.

The Following Are 3 Personal Traits That Several Successful Life Coaches Share:


Life Coach Quality #1 – Sincere Curiosity

A good life coach will have a genuine interest in people and the world as a whole. When you go into something with curiosity as the forefront, you create countless opportunities to grow and learn, for both your clients and yourself. Curiosity is the driving force that is responsible for provocative questions while simultaneously allowing the possibility of new and unorthodox pathways for understanding.

Curiosity also plays a role in becoming a better listener for your clients. If you can hush your drive to teach to make room for your client’s concerns through better listening, you will discover that you are suddenly able to ask more practical questions to your clients.

Life Coach Quality #2 – Empathy

Dictionary.com defines empathy as “to refer to the capacity or ability to imagine oneself in the situation of another, experiencing the emotions, ideas, or opinions of that person.”

A great life coach needs to be able to empathize with their clients through a genuine connection. This will make clients more comfortable revealing their situation by eliminating or reducing any feelings involving embarrassment or shame. Creating this personal connection is completely fundamental if you wish to create a trusting relationship between a coach and a client.

Life Coach Quality #3 – A Real Desire To Help Others

While life coaching can certainly be profitable, it is necessary for life coaches to hold a genuine passion for helping other people which includes the desire to help clients improve in major areas their lives. Due to the limitless opportunities to help clients make their dreams become realities, there is an enormous amount of potential for personal and professional satisfaction to a life coach.


Do you have any of the above qualities that most successful life coaches share?

Do you see yourself striving to adopt these qualities so you can help your clients more effectively?

Becoming a professional life coach can open the door to a career that offers satisfaction, challenge, and the opportunity to create a positive and long-lasting impact on people’s lives. Through our Online Life Coach Certification Programs, you will be prepared to not only help people create future life goals, but achieve them.

When you also consider the personal qualities of curiosity, empathy, and compassion, there is an unlimited amount of potential to create a life of personal and professional satisfaction through life coaching.

Tiny Homes & Their Positive Impact on the Environment

Modern homes are one of the biggest drains on our natural resources today. As homes have almost doubled in size in the last few decades, the use of lumber, electricity, and water has skyrocketed, as has the production of carbon dioxide (this greenhouse gas traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change). Tiny homes, which can be stationary or mobile, have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions and the number of resources used.

The average American home today pushes 3,000 square feet, while a typical tiny home is under three hundred. With that reduction in size, the number of resources used drops drastically. Tiny homes, on average, use only 20% of the amount of lumber as a regular home — leaving more of our natural forests intact to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Tiny homes also use less plastic, fiberglass, metal, and other materials and reduce the number of logging trucks on the road.

In addition to using fewer physical resources, tiny homes also use less electricity. Fewer light bulbs and compact, energy-saving appliances can reduce the amount of power used by over 80%. Tiny homes are also cheaper and easier to retrofit for alternative energy sources (solar, wind, biofuel, etc.), and are more able to use recycled and green materials.

Tiny houses also tend to use less water and produce less wastewater than regular homes. The average flush toilet today uses around one gallon of water per flush. Modern tiny homes often have high-efficiency flush toilets, or may even employ composting or incinerate toilets that use no water. Many tiny homes use gray water recycling systems so that water going down the sink is used to flush the toilet (or fill a dishwasher or washing machine); some also employ rainwater collection to drastically reduce or eliminate the need for treated city/well water. Gray water and rainwater systems can save upwards of two hundred gallons of water per year, cutting down on the cost of living while also reducing your home’s contribution to soil erosion, energy use, and chemical contamination.

Overall, the size and modern design of tiny homes can have an exceptionally positive impact on the environment. By reducing the number of resources consumed and allowing homeowners to recycle easier, tiny homes are a significant step towards helping the environment without sacrificing your lifestyle or budget. If you are interested in learning more about green construction or environmentally friendly home remodeling visit Stone Creek Building in Portland.

Here Are The Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents In Riverside, California.

California has more enlisted motorcycles than some other state in the U.S., with the dominant part of riders living in Riverside and other southern California towns. Traffic is ordinarily substantial thus many motorcycles are out and about so subsequently; accidents occur regularly. Insights have demonstrated that in light of the number of miles went by motorcyclists; they were 26 times more prone to be harmed in an accident in 2012 alone. The following is an overview of California personal injury law and how it might apply to those harmed in motorcycle accidents.

Accident Types

It is a typical misinterpretation that motorcycle accidents are frequently the blame of the rider. Truth be told, the bulk of motorcycle accidents are the blame of additional drivers on the road. Some of the most prevalent causes of motorcycle accidents are:

 

  • Head On Collisions
  • Left Turn Accidents
  • Hazardous Road Conditions
  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driving

 

While motorcycle accidents can happen in a wide range of ways, some happen more regularly than others. The most widely recognized reasons for motorcycle accidents and wounds in California are:

  • Driving Aggressively
  • Driving While Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Driving While Using A Cell Phone Or Other Mobile Device

What Makes A Successful Personal Injury Case?

To get remuneration for injuries suffered after a motorcycle accident, victims must have the capacity to demonstrate the other driver was behaving careless and that their negligence led to the injuries of another person. Victims should likewise demonstrate their wounds were sustained in the accident and were not previous wounds. Since this can be complex, it is best to talk with a personal injury attorney for legal assistance. An attorney can enlist accident examiners, talk with therapeutic specialists and acquire police reports from the accident to help the victim demonstrate their case in court.

By what means Can An Attorney Help?

Contracting a Riverside motorcycle accident attorney may expand the victim’s odds of acquiring a reasonable settlement for their accident related wounds. Exploring the crash and talking with specialists, an attorney might have the capacity to arrange a settlement with the insurance agency without going to trial.

On the off chance that you or somebody you cherish has been harmed in a motorcycle accident in Riverside, California contact a personal injury attorney from Guldjian Law today to schedule your free first-time legal consultation. Amid a meeting, an attorney will go over your case and let you know the best strategy to obtain financial compensation in the Court of California.

Trump’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What We Anticipated

President Donald Trump received a phone call from the president of Taiwan last December, and during this call, he implied the United States would no longer comply with the “One China” policy, his supporters applauded him as they took it as a sign of power. Trump is potentially disrupting tens of years of typically diplomatic procedures with this fragile issue as the introduction.

Last Thursday evening,  Donald Trump retreated; during a call with China’s President Xi Jinping, he assured China that he recognizes One China, a policy where the United States is complying to recognize a single Chinese government in Beijing and ends its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, it has been active for 44 years.

President Trump went on to address Israel’s center. After attempting to appear as a defender of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who would put pressure on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Trump warned Israelis this week that he wasn’t convinced that “going ahead with these settlements is a good thing for peace.”

Regarding Iran, President Trump threatened when he was the Republican nominee to shred the nuclear deal composed by former President Barack Obama. Senior advisers to the new President Trump asserted to the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, that the United States would fully comply with the previous agreement.

President Donald Trump is beginning to show his true intentions regarding foreign policy, further proving that his radical notions during his campaign were only a ploy to enter the White House.  Yesterday, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, was welcomed into the White House by President Trump, who has described America’s relationship with Japan as a “cornerstone of peace and stability.” These words surely invoke questions considering they hardly resemble his threats during his campaign.

“Every president discovers that it looks different from the perspective of the Oval Office than it did on the campaign trail,” said Martin S. Indyk, the executive vice president of the Brookings Institution. “The fact that President Trump is proving flexible on some key foreign policy issues suggests he’s less ideologically driven than his early moves would imply.”