Social Security

Last week, Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which creates tax-favored accounts for children and adults whose disability occurred before age 26. The ABLE Act allows these tax-favored accounts to receive up to the annual gift tax exemption (currently $14,000 per year). Beneficiaries are restricted to one account, but anyone could […]

Social Security and Medicare Figures for 2015 New figures announced The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will receive a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2015. According to the SSA’s announcement, after the COLA, the estimated average monthly retirement benefit payable in January 2015 will be $1,328. The Centers […]

Gov. Tom Corbett signed House Bill 777, authored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) into law last week. The bill allows seniors who would be bumped from eligibility by Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to stay on the PACE and PACENET programs and removes Medicare Part B premiums as income to increase eligibility for PACE and […]

For many years, Medicare provided very limited coverage of mental health treatment for seniors.  However, effective January 1, 2014, Medicare will begin expanded coverage of mental health treatment.  Medicare will cover 80% of the actual cost of the mental health services, the same percentage it covers for most medical services. However, parity for mental health treatment under Medicare […]

The Social Security Administration has posted the 2014 Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA).  Social Security payments will increase 1.5 percent in 2014.  Below is a link to the October 30, 2013 Social Security Administration press release announcing the changes and addressing related questions. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/2014cola-pr.html

This is the latest information we have obtained regarding continuation of VA benefit services and Social Security services.  This information is subject to change.  We will update this information as needed. VA BENEFITS According to the VA, as of 10/1/13, all VA health care services, disability pension checks, and pension processing will continue uninterrupted.  However, […]

2013 Elder Law Numbers   The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the new Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for 2013: Basic Part B premium: $104.90/month Part B deductible: $147 Part A deductible: $1,184 Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $296/day Co-payment for hospital stay days 91-150: $592/day All costs for each […]

Adapted from Emily Brandon’s post on U.S. News and World Report, this article explains the six changes for Social Security recipients in 2013. Monthly payments will be increased at a rate of 1.7% with the average check expected to increase by $21, from $1,240 to $1,261. For couples, their benefit payments will increase from an […]

Feds to phase out paper checks for public benefits Posted by: Jerold E. Rothkoff Posted Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011 19:07 The Department of the Treasury has announced that it will phase out paper checks for Federal government benefits by March 1, 2013. This new rule will extend the safety and convenience of electronic payments […]

No Social Security COLA Increase for 2011 Posted by: Jerold E. Rothkoff Posted Date: Sunday, October 24, 2010 15:52 On October 15, the Labor Department announced that U.S. consumer prices rose 0.1% in September. For those receiving Social Security benefits that news clinched for them a second consecutive year without a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The […]

SSA set to eliminate Social Security benefit pay-back option Posted by: Jerold E. Rothkoff Posted Date: Monday, September 6, 2010 09:08 A little-known strategy that allows Social Security recipients to boost their income by repaying benefits received in earlier years and then claiming a bigger monthly check based on their greater age may soon disappear. […]