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Friday, November 24, 2017

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FBI Warns of Jury Duty Scam in PA

 

The FBI is warning residents in Pennsylvania of a phone scam that involves callers impersonating law enforcement officials who demand money, telling the intended victim they failed to appear for jury duty.

According to the FBI's Philadelphia and Newark Divisions, the scammers say they're with one of several law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service or a county sheriff's department.

They accuse the call recipient of failing to appear for federal or local jury duty and warn that an arrest warrant has been issued. They tell the intended victim they need to pay a fine through a prepaid debit card, then tell them to provide them with the card information, according to information from the FBI.

The FBI offered the following tips to avoid being victimized by this scam:

  • Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don't have ties and did not initiate contact.
  • Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller pressures you, or says things that don't sound right, hang up.
  • If concerns remain about the caller's claims, verify the information with appropriate law enforcement agecy or court officials.

Posted 11/13/17


Annual Plan and Budget Summary 2017-2018

County of Delaware Services for the Aging

Annual Plan and Budget Summary

2017-2018

click here

Posted 10/30/17


Delaware County to offer free Medicare counseling for seniors

Now is the time for Delaware County senior citizens to examine their 2018 Medicare coverage, and possibly revise that coverage to meet changing healthcare needs.  Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year-things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their network.

Open Enrollment for Medicare coverage starts Sunday, October 15th and ends Thursday, December 7th-to give seniors enough time to review and make changes to their coverage.

Delaware County, through COSA and the APPRISE Program, is offering FREE counseling to assist residents in making informed decisions about their Medicare health insurance coverage.

Between October 3rd and December 28th, trained APPRISE health insurance counselors will be available to senior citizens by appointment at the COSA office in Eddystone, and on select dates at locations throughout Delaware County.

Trained APPRISE counselors can help Medicare beneficiaries in the following areas:

  • Review current coverage
  • Check qualifications for low-income programs
  • Compare plans with all available options
  • Search for specific plans online that meet specific prescription and medical needs
  • Give easy-to-understand answers to questions about Medicare
  • Help enroll in a plan online 

To view dates, times, and locations of Medicare Update Presentations and Individual Counseling Sessions, click here.

 Revised 11/13/17

 


Official looking notice not from government

New mailings are showing up in the mailboxes of seniors from a "National Processing Center" claiming "a new program is now available" and "these approved programs may pay 100% of all final expenses." Basically, a polite way of saying funeral costs.

The company's address is listed as PMB #220, 325 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington DC, but that is not a physical address. All correspondence is delivered to a postal mail box.

This company should not be confused with the main center for the U.S. Census, also named the National Processing Center. The U.S. Census has no connection to these mailings.

The use of this same government center name has been confusing recipients and leading some seniors to mail back their personal information.

Consumers are advised to be cautious when asked to share personal information with unknown parties.

One recipient of such a mailing thought something was just not right and she called the Better Business Bureau. Turns out she was correct; it wasn't from the government at all.

Posted 9/21/17

 


Scam Alert: Callers pose as Social Security Administration employees

Gale Stallworth Stone, the acting inspector general of Social Security, is warning citizens about a scheme which criminals try to defraud people out of their Social Security checks. The scheme goes something like this: Someone posing as a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee calls from a phone number with a 323 area code. In some cases, the swindler tells the victim they are due a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment increase in their Social Security benefits.

The impersonator asks the victim to verify all of his or her personal information, including name, date of birth, and Social Security Number, in order to receive the increase. If the impostor is able to acquire this data, the person can use it to contact the SSA and request changes to the victim's direct deposit, address and phone number.

According to the warning, the SSA will sometimes reach out to citizens by phone for customer service purposes, but the agency's reps will not ask for personal information this way. Anyone who receives a suspicious call is encouraged to report it to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

The SSA also operates a toll-free customer service  number for anyone with questions or concerns (1-800-772-1213), which can be contacted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call Social Security at 1-800-325-0778.

Stone continues to warn citizens to be cautious and to avoid providing information such a SSN and bank account numbers to unknown individuals over the phone or the internet unless they are absolutely certain of who is receiving these personal details.

Posted 9/11/17


New Medicare cards are coming

To help protect your identity, Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that's unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help protect your identity.

Things to know about your new Medicare card:

  • You don't need to take any action to get your new Medicare card.
  • The new card won't change your Medicare coverage or benefits.
  • Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.
  • There's no charge for your new card.

Watch for scams!

Scam artists may try to get your current Medicare Number and other personal information by contacting you about your new Medicare card. They often claim to be from Medicare and use various scams to get your Medicare Number including:

  • Asking you to confirm your Medicare or Social Security Number so they can send you a new card.
  • Telling you there is a charge for your new card and they need to verify your personal information.
  • Threatening to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your Medicare Number or other personal information.

If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare Number or other personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

For additional information, go to www.medicare.gov

Posted 9/11/17


The Importance of Talking to Kids About Drugs

Everyone has a role in fighting the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that is having a devastating impact on our communities. As children are going back to school, the Delaware County Heroin Task Force urges grandparents to talk to kids about the dangers of drugs. Having candid and open discussions with kids is the key to prevention.

To view a message on how to talk to kids about drugs, visit https://vimeo.com/227765958

For information regarding the Delaware County Heroin Task Force, prevention, treatment, and recovery, visit www.co.delaware.pa.us/heroin/

 

Posted September 1, 2017


Scam Alert involving Meals on Wheels

The Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies of Aging (P4A) has been made aware of a scam involving Meals on Wheels. The incident did not occur in Delaware County; however, we'd like consumers to be made aware of the scam and of the importance of not giving personal information out over the phone and to those you do not personally know.

In this case, a home-bound consumer received a phone call from someone saying they were from "Meals on Wheels" and began requesting personal information. The caller knew the individual's name, her son's name, and the name of the bank she dealt with. The caller asked several personal questions about home ownership, bank balances, etc. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THIS WAS NOT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MEALS ON WHEELS PROGRAM IN THAT COUNTY!

Again, this did not occur in Delaware County, but we are passing the information along as a precaution.

 If you experience a similar situation, do not hesitate to contact the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) at 610-490-1300.

Posted August 22, 2017

 


August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The purpose of National Immunization Awareness Month is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.

Vaccination is important because it protects the person receiving the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable to serious complications (such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acute respiratory infections, including pneumonia and influenza, are the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 56,000 deaths annually. On average, influenza leads to more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year.

Vaccinations can provide protection against the flu, pneumococcal bacteria, and shingles.

All adults should get vaccines to protect their health.  It is critical for individuals over the age of 65 to be current with their immunizations as their immune systems can be weaker especially if diagnosed with a chronic condition. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others.

Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor's office, pharmacy, or other visits with health care providers. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person's age, occupation, or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, or heart disease).

To learn about which vaccines are recommended for you, where to find vaccines, how to pay for vaccines, and other resources, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults

Locally, the State Health Center in Delaware County offers vaccines to adults who do not have insurance or whose insurance doesn't cover the cost of the vaccine.

Delaware County State Health Center

Suite 1   151 W. Fifth Street           Chester PA  19013-4415

610-447-3250                     Fax:  610-447-3008

Also, you may visit http://www.chespenn.com/ to  inquire about free or low-cost vaccinations. 

To view a "You're Never Too Old to Get Immunized" brochure in one of 8 different languages, click here.

 

 

Revised 8/22/17


Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program extends deadline to apply to December 31, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced that more than 438,000 older homeowners, renters, and people with disabilities across Pennsylvania will be issued rebates totaling $207 million, starting July 3, 2017, through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Property tax and rent rebate checks will be mailed beginning Monday, July 3, 2017, and should arrive in the claimant's mail over the next several days. The 163,000 homeowners and renters who opted to have rebates directly deposited into bank accounts should receive theirs by July 5th. "The Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program helped nearly half-a-million older adults and other eligible Pennsylvanians acquire a rebate for their property taxes or rent paid last year," said Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell. "The department recently extended deadline to apply for a rebate to December 31, and is encouraging all of those eligible to apply."

Rebates will continue to be distributed as claims are approved through the rest of the year.

Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190.

It costs nothing to apply for a rebate, and free filing help is available at hundreds of locations across the commonwealth. Application forms and assistance are available at no cost from Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior community centers, and state legislators' offices.

Claimants who already applied for rebates may check the status of claims onine at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.

 

Posted July 19, 2017


PA Department of Agriculture Produce Vouchers

PA Department of Agriculture Produce Vouchers

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 60 years of age or older by December 31, 2017
  • Resident of Delaware County
  • Income Limits: 

           1 person $22, 311                                                          

           2 people $30,044                         

           3 people $37,777                         

           4 people $45, 510

These guidelines are subject to change. The federal guidelines that are in place the day of distribution will be those that are used.

  • Must present photo ID with name, address, and birthdate to receive vouchers.
  • MUST HAVE PHOTO ID. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Vouchers must be used by November 30, 2017

Other important information:

  • Participants will receive $20 in vouchers yearly.
  • If you are receiving a voucher for someone else, you must have a signed Proxy Form that must be picked up at the Senior Center before the voucher can be given to you. No more than 4 proxys can be signed by one person.
  • Vouchers cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.

 To view distribution sites, days, and times, click here and here.

To view and print a Proxy Form, click here.

To view a list of farmers markets in Delaware County where the vouchers can be used, click here.

 

Posted June 1, 2017

 

 

 


Social Security Express Desktop Icon

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.

By clicking onto this icon, users will able to access specific portions of the Social Security Administration's website to conduct business and obtain forms. This icon adheres to the Social Security Administration's Privacy Policy.

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

Posted 2/19/16

 

 


Do You Have Questions about Medicare?

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.

 

Revised 10/4/17

 

 

 

 


Help Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

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.

Revised 6/27/16


Do You Have Medicare? A & B?

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.

 

 

Revised 7/10/17


Dom Care Providers Needed

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.

 

 

Posted 8/22/14

 


Aging at Home-A Community Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Revised 11/28/16

 


Fair Acres offers new website as a resource

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.

Revised 9/26/16


Social Security Changes

Social Security logo.jpg

*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.

Revised 9/17/14


Yellow Dot Program Packets Available at COSA

 yellow dot (3).jpg

Yellow Dot in case of an emergency

 

Caption : 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.

Updated 1/6/14


Free Shingles Vaccine Available

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
(610)447-3250


COSA's 4-Year Plan

Click Here for COSA’s 4-Year Plan

Click Here for Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) Four Year Plan for the Period July, 1 2016 – June 30, 2020.