Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - January 2018 - 25-01
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Page 14
Senior Times - January 2018
Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450
200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017
Kinship Korner
Family Enrichment Center
415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Beckie Brinks, Kinship Coordinator Email:
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
Calhoun County Kinship Care Services advocates for and provides supportive services to families rais- ing related children. If you are rais- ing a related child (ages 0-18 years), you may be eligible for Kinship
Care Services through the Family Enrichment Center. Kinship Care Services offers support groups, inter- generational family activities, helpful classes and specialized training ses- sions.
Do Yourself a Favor by Attending One of Our Support Groups!
• Join us monthly on the first Tuesday of each month from 12:30-2:30pm for the Battle Creek Kinship Support Group. We meet in the All Purpose room at the Westlake Presbyterian Church. Support groups nurture relation- ships, decrease isolation and pro- vide a safe place to vent. Support groups build on collective energy, creativity, and the talents of all group members. The next meeting is January 2, 2017.
• Monday, January 15, 2018, 6:30- 8:30pm our Parenting the High Needs Child Support Group meets. Those caring for children with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder or other social issues that are often mis- understood by others. It is also confusing to understand these behavioral issues and the strate- gies to help the high needs child. Facilitated by Jane Wolf, an adop- tive parent, social worker and contracts with the state to provide PRIDE Train the Trainer sessions. Childcare available. Must RSVP to (269) 660-0448.
• Our Brown Bag Lunch is scheduled for January 11, 2018, from 12-1pm, at the Family Enrichment Center as well.
• We also provide respite for our Kinship families when it all becomes too much to handle! We are interested in hearing your
opinion on how we can better serve the Kinship community. Please
give Beckie a call or e-mail her at Your input will be appreciated!
We have the means to help provide necessities and enrichment activities for the children in your care. We also have the experience and knowledge to advocate for you and give advice on how to navigate through issues as they develop. Spread the word!
My Medicare Matters - New to Medicare? Call MMAP!
By Karen Manney, Regional Coordinator, MMAP
The Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP)
is a State Health Insurance Information and Assistance Program (SHIP). MMAP is avail- able to assist eligible persons turning 65 with understanding their Medicare options. We can assist with reviewing Prescription Part D or Medicare Advantage plans, as well as providing infor- mation on Medigap options.
If you are drawing Social Security income, you will receive a mailing before you turn 65
with your Medicare Card and instructions on how to activate or delay your Part B Medical enroll- ment. Persons who are not yet drawing Social Security Income will need to go to the Social Security Administration to enroll in Medicare Part B. Then call MMAP to review prescription plan options.
If you are turning 65, and cur- rently employed and covered under an employer plan, through your own employment or a spouse, OR if you have a retiree plan, it is important to contact the HR department of the employer to determine how your private program works with Medicare. Some plans require you to get Medicare Part B coverage, oth- ers don’t. MMAP doesn’t have access to details of private employer or union plans.
The MMAP program will be able to screen you to see if you qualify for any money-saving programs, and can help you apply for Extra Help or the Medicare Saving Program. MMAP can also help determine whether there are manufacturer’s programs which might be available to
assist you with medication affordability.
Your local MMAP offices are at the Kool Family Center in Battle Creek-CareWell Services SW at (269) 966-2450, Forks Senior Center in Albion (517) 629-3842, Calhoun County Office of Senior Services at the County Building in Marshall ((269)781-0846, and the Barry Commission on Aging in Hastings (269) 948-4856.
Call MMAP at 1-800-803-7174 for supplement contact informa- tion, or find it at
Beware of IRS Scams
By: Stacy Wines, Program Manager, CareWell Services SW
The holidays are behind us. The New Year is underway. With the New Year, other than making and breaking resolutions, comes the 2017 tax return planning. We need to be proactive in keeping our personal information safe because the scammers already
are scheming of ways to steal your money. Once again we
are hearing that scammers are calling and emailing residents, pretending to be from the IRS and demanding “past due payments.”
Some of these fake IRS agent callers use bullying and threats of arrest or bank account seizures. These predatory tactics scare seniors into sending money or giving bank account, debit card, or even gift/cash card numbers over the phone.
JUST HANG UP! The IRS will never contact you by phone or email. They use the postal service to send letters if they need to reach you. The United States government doesn’t need to phone you for your bank account info, or your Social Security number! Remember, we are the most powerful country
on the planet, with tremendous technological resources. If
the government wanted your information, they could easily get it without phoning you. These callers are scammers and you should just hang up on them.
Email is not how the government contacts you either. Directly from the website it states, “The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal
or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.”
GUARD YOUR MAILBOX! W2’s, 1099’s, mortgage statements, bank statements, and medical bills are full of personal tax information which can be used by thieves to try to submit fake tax returns to steal your refund! Collect your mail promptly. A locking mailbox
is a great idea; a wall-mounted one for your porch is about $30. Learn more about how to protect yourself at the IRS website at: Guide-to-Identity-Theft.
Other ways to protect oneself during tax season include:
• Keep your Social Security card and financial documents
in a lockbox or locked file cabinet. It’s unfortunate, but true, most financial fraud and theft is perpetrated by family members. This is because they most often have access to the information needed, like Social Security numbers.
• File as soon as possible. Some people who filed at the last- minute last year were stunned to discover that a return had already been filed in their name! Online filing makes it very quick and easy for thieves to try to get their hands on your refund. File first and file fast to protect yourself.
• Keep your personal information private online,
too. Your birthday, mother’s maiden name, high school, and other key facts are often part of your social media profile. They are also often the “security questions” which are used to access bank accounts online. Oversharing can put you at risk.
• Be alert for fake “refund checks” or “prize checks”
in your mail. If you are told
to deposit a check, and then return a portion for “handling,” it’s a scam.
• Ask tax preparation services for a list of their fees up front. Many will charge for each document they prepare, so
if your taxes require several schedules and forms for investments, credits, etc., your bill for the preparation will increase.
• Beware of “get your refund today” tax preparation services. The cash advance fees on these programs are often expensive.
• If you can’t afford a tax preparation services and you need assistance, call 211 (in Calhoun County) and they can direct you to agencies that may be offering reduced or free tax preparation charges.
Hopefully you will never fall victim to an IRS scam. Should you feel you are ever a victim of any scam or elder abuse
and neglect, please call us at (269) 966-2450 or 1-800-626- 6719. We have the training and collaboration with local financial institutions, Adult Protective Services, attorneys, courts, and law enforcement to help you should be become a victim. Call us, we’re here to help!

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