Several organizations are offering tax preparation assistance to seniors at various locations in Delaware County. To view a list of sites and how to schedule an appointment, click here.
Authorities are warning of a new phone scam which has targeted residents in Pennsylvania. It's called the "can you hear me scam," and the main goal of the scammer is to get an audio recording of you saying "yes" so they can authorize charges on a credit card.
According to a report by CBS News, the latest scam has occurred in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Here's how it works, according to the CBS report:
A scammer calls a victim and says "Can you hear me?" hoping they respond "yes."
That affirmative response is then recorded.
The scammer may have collected personal information about the victim already to allow them to access credit card or other utilities as a result of a data breach.
When the victim disputes the charge, the scammer then uses the audio recording to prove "consent" of the unwanted charges on a credit card or other bill.
So what should you do if you think you may have already been a victim of this scam? Review all your statements and if you notice unfamiliar charges, call the company to dispute.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office has received a renewed round of complaints from county residents that resemble a recurring nationwide telephone scam.
The scammers in two calls December 29 told residents they were deputies from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and had the person's name. The recipients were told there was an emergency and to call the Sheriff's Office-leaving a telephone number (but in reality not the Sheriff's Office number).
In other variants, the callers have claimed to be court workers, IRS, or FBI Agents, or even the U.S. Marshal Service. The caller will say that sheriffs, marshals, or someone in law enforcement, is on the way to their home to arrest them for failing to satisfy a warrant, settle a debt, pay taxes, or for missing or ignoring a jury summons. The calls often are received from a "spoofed" number that may actually display as the correct office number on the caller ID. The caller will usually use a fictitious name and badge number (a recent caller identified himself as Lt. Jackson from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office). The con artist then tells the victim to call another number where they can satisfy the reason for the call, typically by paying over the phone via credit card, or in other variants, by sending money cards to an address.
Delco Sheriff Mary McFall Hopper wants county residents to know that her office will never ask for personal information, for payment of fines, or to settle warrants over the telephone. The scam is successful at times because the caller takes advantage of the victim's desire to comply with law enforcement and the courts.
In the meantime, anyone can call the Delaware County Sheriff's Office at 610-891-4296 if they have any concerns. Please note that the Sheriff's Office does not call or e-mail people to demand money or threaten arrest-ever. All official notices will come in the U.S. Mail on official stationery.
General tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam:
Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.
Never give money, financial or personal information to someone with whom you have no personal ties and with whom you did not initiate contact.
Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that do not sound right, hang up.
Victims of telephone or online scams can file a complaint with their local police and report it to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov
LIHEAP is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This program helps low-income families pay their bills.
To receive help:
You don't need to be on welfare.
You don't need to have an unpaid bill.
You can either rent or own your home.
There are three parts to LIHEAP. You can get all three.
1. Cash grants-are to help with your heating bill. The minimum cash grant will be $200 and the maximum grant is $1000.
2. Crisis grants-are up to $500 and are given to families who have an emergency and are in danger of being without heat. The minimum crisis grant is $25.
3. Weatherization grants-are grants to help families insulate their houses and repair or replace heating systems to save money on heating.
* A supplemental cash benefit of $50 will be issued to "vulnerable households" containing at least one member who is age 62 or older or a disabled individual and $75 if the household contains a child age five and under.
You are eligible for the cash and crisis grants if your yearly income before taxes is less than:
Household size: Yearly income:
1 person $17,820
2 people $24,030
3 people $30,240
4 people $36,450
Each additional person, add $6,240
To apply for a cash or crisis grant:
For more information, click here.
For more information and to download LIHEAP Applications, starting 11/1/16, in English and Spanish, go to: http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/foradults/heatingassistanceliheap/index.htm
Applications will not be accepted after March 31, 2017.
If you need legal assistance, please call Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania at 1-877-429-5994.
Delaware County Intercommunity Health Coordination, in conjunction with the Delaware County Flu Task Force, is offering information on seasonal influenza vaccinations, including locations where flu shots are available. Please keep in mind, your doctor’s office is still the best place to get your flu shot so be sure to check with your primary care physician.
This year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. The 2016-2017 flu vaccine will protect against different flu viruses. Vaccinations are readily available in our area. This year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. The 2016-2017 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses including viruses that caused so much illness last season.
Vaccinations are readily available in our area. For information on seasonal flu shot clinics, call the Department of Intercommunity Health Coordination at (610) 891-5311. You may view locations for flu shot clinics (many of which are located at Delaware County senior centers) and their guidelines by clicking here.
We are excited to announce that the Social Security Express Desktop Icon has now been added to our website. You will see the icon at the bottom right of our pages.
eServices available from the Social Security Express icon are:
Sign in or create a my Social Security account allows users to:
*get Social Security statements
*change an address
*change or start direct deposit
*print a benefit verification letter
*create an account/enter an activation code
Estimate retirement benefits
Request a replacement Medicare Card
get a 1099/1042 tax form
APPRISE is the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) that was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to assist Medicare beneficiaries of any age understand their health insurance options. The Pennsylvania Deparment of Aging created APPRISE to help Pennsylvanians with Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance questions and/or concerns.
APPRISE Volunteers/Counselors are specially trained to provide unbiased Medicare and Medicaid health insurance information and Part D prescription information options to help individuals make informed decisions related to their healthcare needs.
The APPRISE Program Education and Counseling Services are FREE.
The APPRISE Program offers Medicare 101 sessions which explain the basics of Medicare A, B, C, and D. Medicare Individual Counseling Sessions assist the Medicare recipients with Medicare questions, concerns, enrollment into Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D Prescription Plans, Medicare Cost-Savings Programs, and Supplemental Plans. (complete Medicare 2016 schedule coming soon)
To view locations where you may schedule an individual counseling session, click here.
70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or family.
9% of Delaware County high school seniors reported using prescription narcotic drugs.
80% of new heroin users started by using prescription narcotics.
Help prevent the abuse of prescription drugs. Know the 5 rules of safe prescription medication use. To view more, click here.
To help reduce these statistics, Delaware County has 40 drop box locations throughout the county where you can drop off unused medications. To view the location sites, click here.
Did you know there are programs that could help you save money?
The Medicare Savings Programs help lower-income seniors and persons with disabilites pay for their Medicare Part B premium. Some individuals may also qualify for help with their Medicare deductibles and coinsurance.
The Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (also called "LIS" or "Extra Help") helps Medicare consumers dramatically lower their prescription drug costs and can help individuals save thousands of dollars per year.
To read about eligibility and how to apply for a Medicare Savings Program, click here.
To read about eligibility and how to apply for the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy, click here.
Do you have an extra room in your home?
Would you like to provide care to others in need?
COSA is looking for caring and compassionate individuals who have extra room in their homes and in their hearts to be Dom Care providers.
Dom Care is a supervised living arrangement in a personalized home environment. Dom Care providers assist with meals, medication, laundry, scheduling medical appointments, and transportation.
Providers must complete a certification process and, if approved, will receive a monthly non-taxable stipend. Single level homes, homes with a bedroom on the first floor, or handicap accessible homes are preferred.
If interested in becoming a Dom Care provider, contact the Coordinator at (610) 490-1300.
From left: Senior Community Services Executive Director Arthur Weisfeld, Councilman Dave White,Aging at Home Director Christine Rae Helmandollar, COSA Director Denise Stewart and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.
Helping Seniors Stay in Their Homes
Delaware County Councilman Dave White joined District Attorney Jack Whelan and the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) in welcoming Senior Community Service's "Aging at Home" program to Ridley Township on Nov 14. Since 1977 Senior Community Service has served thousands of Delaware County residents. One of their key services is the Aging at Home program, which helps seniors with daily tasks such as cleaning, home repairs and transportation. Details on their services can be found at www.scsdelco.org
Are you 60 years or older and living in the Greater Lansdowne or Ridley areas?
Is anything preventing you from, or concerning you about, remaining in your own home?
We can help you!
Aging at Home-ACommunity Network is a community program coordinated locally by Senior Community Services. Through this program, caring professionals work with committed volunteers to bring services and peace of mind to you so that you may remain living safely in the comfort of your own home. Aging at Home provides a wide variety of at-home services such as door-through-door transportation, vetted home repair referrals and volunteer chore services.
To learn more about this program, click here.
Fair Acres, Delaware County's skilled care facility in Middletown, has a new website that provides an informative and user-friendly resource for families looking for a nursing care facility for a loved one. The new website at www.fairacres.org gives residents detailed information on the facility, admission procedures, available services, volunteer opportunities, employment opportunities and contact information to arrange for a meeting or tour.
Fair Acres provides individualized care to over 900 residents who range in age from young adults to seniors in their 100s.
People can download the admissions packet from the website to assist in gathering the necessary medical and financial information needed to apply for admission.
Fair Acres accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and private pay.
The new website has information on employment opportunities, such as dietary aide, and free Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training.
Fair Acres also has many volunteer opportunities and a Friends of Fair Acres committee.
There is also a section for news and events. To read more, click here.
*Social Security announces as a result of Congress' approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget, the agency will expand its hours nationwide and offices will be open to the public for an additional hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, effective March 16, 2015. A field office that is usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will remain open until 4:00 p.m. Offices will continue to close to the public at noon every Wednesday so employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs. (updated 1/23/15)
*You may be aware that in 2011, the Social Security Administration stopped mailing the yearly statement that was sent out three months before a person's birthday month. However, beginning this month, they are resuming periodic mailings to workers age 18 and older, but it will be on a five-year basis rather than every year. People can view and print their statements at any time if they create a secure my Social Security account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. (update received 9/16/14)
* A recent update states that Social Security WILL continue to provide benefit verification letters in their field offices until further notice. Individuals who can do so, should still create a my Social Security account. (update received 7/18/14)
Based on feedback received from many stakeholders, the Social Security Administration decided to delay the implementation of two changes to later in this year.
Beginning August 2014, Social Security Number printouts will no longer be issued in field offices. Individuals who need proof of their Social Security Number and cannot find their card will need to apply for a replacement card.
In addition, beginning October 2014, benefit verification letters will not be provided in field offices, except in emergency situations. Benefit verifications are still available online, and can be obtained anytime by registering for a my Social Security account located at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, or requested through the national toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213.
As of January 7th, 2013, the Social Security Administration has expanded services available with the my Social Security portal. Those who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are now able to request, as well as receive, benefit verification letters online. Additionally, beneficiaries who receive SSI can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record.
At each stage of your life my Social Security is for you. Your personal online my Social Security account is a valuable source of information beginning in your working years and continuing throughout the time you receive Social Security benefits.
If you receive benefits, you can:
Use a my Social Security online account to:
Get your benefit verification letter;
Check your benefit and payment information and your earnings record;
Change your address and phone number; and
Start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.
If you do not receive benefits, you can:
Use a my Social Security online account to get your Social Security Statement, to review.
Estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
Your earnings record; and
The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you've paid.
How do I create a my Social Security online account?
To create an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself and give answers to some questions that only you are likely to know. Next, you create a username and password that you will use to access your online account. This process protects you and keeps your personal Social Security information private. Click here for more information.
Yellow Dot in case of an emergency
: Denise Stewart, director of the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA), shares information on the PennDOT Yellow Dot program with Delaware County Council Vice Chairman Mario J. Civera Jr., Council’s liaison to COSA, and Rob Reeder, president of the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council and director of Crozer-Keystone’s EMS South Unit. Motorists can provide key medical information in a Yellow Dot folder and put it in their glove compartment to assist emergency responders in the event of an accident. For information about the Yellow Dot program visit www.YellowDot.pa.gov.
Residents interested in participating in Pennsylvania's Yellow Dot Program may pick up a program packet at the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA), 206 Eddystone Avenue, 2nd floor.
This program was created to assist individuals in the event of a traffic accident emergency when they may not be able to communicate vital information to first responders.
The program packet includes a yellow decal to be placed in the vehicle's rear windshield. This decal alerts first reponders that there is vital information in the vehicle. The yellow program folder with a personal information form is then placed inside the vehicle's glove compartment. The sheet includes emergency contact information and medical history.
For more information on the program, or to request a packet, visit www.YellowDot.pa.gov or click here to read more.
The Delaware County State Health Center in Chester is offering a free Shingles vaccine for underinsured or uninsured adults age 60 or older. Please call for an appointment. Limited supply of vaccine available.
Delaware County State Health Center
151 W. 5th Street
Chester, PA 19013