Effective January 1, 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer accept the former Request For Social Security Earnings Information Form SSA-7050.  SSA will begin charging a standard fee to process each request: $32.00 for certified yearly earnings totals and $102.00 for a non-certified detailed (itemized) earnings statement.  Non-certified, yearly earnings are available on SSA’s website free of charge but do not show any employer information.  According to Finding a Lost Pension, a booklet by the Pension Action Center and the Pension Rights Guarantee Corporation, detailed (itemized) earnings statements from SSA help workers and retirees track down lost pensions.  Detailed (itemized) earnings statements provide employer identification numbers and show how much a worker received each calendar year by employer.  To read the SSA notice, click here.   Click here for a copy of Finding a Lost Pension.

According to a California Health Advocates release, scams are targeting the elderly under the guise of the new health care reform law.  Imposters are calling Medicare beneficiaries requesting beneficiaries’ Medicare information, credit information and financial information to send the beneficiaries new health care cards.  While the new law guarantees people without insurance the right to buy health insurance, neither the federal government nor Covered California will contact anyone to enroll and people with Medicare are not affected by these changes.  Learn more about how the new law affects people with Medicare here. Scams can be reported to the California Senior Medicare Patrol or a complaint can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission.  Read the press release here.

According to a July 2013 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 88% of households receiving rental assistance in 2010 were elderly, disabled, or working (or had recently worked).  Despite the 2010 unemployment rate of 9.6%, nearly 75% of the non-elderly, non-disabled recipients worked or participated in a program with a work requirement.  Of the remaining non-working, non-elderly, non-disabled recipients, half cared for a pre-school age child or an individual with a disability.  Read the report here.