Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

Assistance to caregivers taking care of a disabled peersonHelp for the Helper

There are millions of unsung heroes across the United States who provide in-home care to loved ones with disabilities. In many cases this care requires full-time hours.  Although the care may not seem to be actual “work” due to the love connection, it can still be arduous and often is without thanks or reward. To assist caregivers and make their lives easier, federal and state governments have provided benefit packages ranging from tax credits to actually paying for time spent providing care.

Help for those caring for veterans may be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website (http://www.caregiver.va.gov).  A primary caregiver who is not eligible for other insurance programs may be eligible for health insurance through the VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA). In addition, the primary care giver may also qualify to be paid a non-taxable stipend from the VA. Caregivers interested in seeing if they qualify for the stipend may call 1-877-733-7927. The VA also has a life insurance program available to qualified service members and their caregivers. Even if the person with the disability may not normally qualify for life insurance due to their condition, they may still be able to obtain it through the Veteran’s Affairs program, thus ensuring that their family is supported after their passing.

State benefit packages for caregivers vary by state. One of the best starting points to view a specific state’s available options is located on the Family Caregiver Alliance website at (http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/fcn_content_node.jsp?nodeid=2083). Not only can one view government assistance programs, but this site allows a person to select their state and view information concerning local support and respite agencies and organizations. Using this website and viewing options in Georgia we were able to locate the Georgia Health Partnership (https://www.ghp.georgia.gov), an agency that helps people determine their eligibility and apply for federal, state and local benefit programs including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and other services.

Another organization that can help a person researching for caregiver assistance is the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (http://n4a.org). Their website allows searching for assistance organizations by region and city.

National Family Caregiver Support Program (OAA Title IIIE) provides grants to states and territories enabling them to provide programs helping caregivers provide for loved ones at home for as long as possible. More about this program can be found at http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/HCLTC/Caregiver/index.aspx. Programs provided through these grants require that either the caregiver or the disabled individual be above certain ages depending on specific programs. For example, eligibility may be met if the person being cared for is a young person but the caregiver is above the age requirement.

National Family Caregiver Support Program (OAA Title IIIE) provides grants to states and territories enabling them to provide programs helping caregivers provide for loved ones at home for as long as possible. More about this program can be found at http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/HCLTC/Caregiver/index.aspx. Programs provided through these grants require that either the caregiver or the disabled individual be above certain ages depending on specific programs. For example, eligibility may be met if the person being cared for is a young person but the caregiver is above the age requirement.

The Federal government allows tax benefits for caregivers. Some expenses, vehicle mileage deductions and other items may be deducted. In addition, it may be possible to claim the person with the disability as a dependent allowing for a major annual deduction. Tax rules change regularly so the best person to provide advice in this area may be an accountant or tax advisor.  

Many of the benefits provided through programs offered by state and federal governments are paid directly to the caregivers and are in addition to any benefits such as Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) that the disabled person may already be receiving. It could be well worth time taken to research available programs designed to help make the caregiver’s labor of love easier.

A Great Start is Good Health

The following organization in Tupelo, MS is a non-profit organization that assists Lee County, Mississippi residents with free healthcare:

The Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic provides medical, dental, and pharmaceutical services to eligible residents.  They employ licensed professionals who volunteer without pay to provide these services.  Qualified residents can receive immunizations for children 18 and under, limited laboratory testing, prescriptions for non-narcotic medications, adult care for acute and chronic illness.  The United Way of Greater Lee County, Project Hope, Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi are just a few of the supporting community partnerships.     

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Residents that qualify for these services would be:

  • Working or temporarily unemployed and actively looking for work, or are a full-time student.
  • Have no health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, VA benefits or Social Security income
  • Have not applied for or do not receive disability benefits
  • Meet the income guidelines

Should you meet the qualifications and would like to receive services the following information is needed:

  • Proof that you live in Lee County,   Mississippi
  • Your Social Security card and cards on everyone in your household
  • A recent paycheck stub (within the last two weeks) on yourself and everyone in your household who works
  • If you are not working, bring proof that you are seeking employment
  • Current income tax return and W2’s

The Location and Hours of Operation are:

420 Magazine Street

Tupelo, MS. 38804

(662) 844-3733

 Monday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday and Thursday, at 5:00 p. m for medical clinics and pharmacy services.  Patients must make appointments prior to coming in.

Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. for medical clinics and pharmacy services.  Patients must make appointments prior to coming in.

 

For more information about the services of The Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic call (662) 844-3733 or visit the website This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

Offering Resources to Assist Parents with Finding, Selecting and Paying for Childcare

Many residents in the Philadelphia area find it difficult to find childcare facilities that fit within their budget.  The following organization may be able to help.

Child Care Information Services of Philadelphia (CCIS) exists to help families find, select and pay for child care. Through their Parent Resource & Referral (R&R) Department, CCIS provides families with information about community resources and local childcare facilities that offer full-time, part-time, afterschool, over night, weekend care and/or summer ca1209822 mini_modelmp programs. Based on specific information the parent provides about their child care needs, CCIS counselors will try to match the requests with a provider in the database. Services offered through CCIS are provided regardless of income and are free of charge.

CCIS provides parents with three types of regulated child care providers to choose from. These providers include:

Child Care Centers - Child Care Centers provide care for seven or more children. These centers are inspected yearly for compliance with state regulations and each staff person must meet educational and child experience requirements.

Group Child Care Homes - A group home is also inspected yearly for compliance with state regulations. These homes may provide care for up to 12 children. Care may be given in a private residence or on other premises.

Family Child Care Homes - A family child care home is located in a private residence. It is required for that caregiver to register their home with OCDEL.

Eligibility Requirements - To qualify for CCIS assistance, parents must live in Philadelphia and meet income requirements.  Parents must also work at least 20 hours per week –OR– work at least 10 hours per weekend and go to school/train at least 10 hours per week. 

To apply for financial assistance for child care, please visit the state’s online COMPASS system at www.compass.state.pa.us. You may also call (888) 461-5437 for information regarding subsidized child care assistance.

For more information about the services offered through Child Care Information Services of Philadelphia, please contact (215) 333-1560 or visit them online at www.philadelphiachildcare.org.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

Santa's Workshop Will Be Open at the YWCA in Birmingham, Alabama

For the homeless and people living in transitional housing facilities, Christmas can be an especially difficult time of the year.  The following organization in Birmingham, AL may be able to help:

Every year, the Birmingham YWCA hosts Santa's Workshop to help families Santaliving in area homeless shelters and transitional housing programs. This event assists in bringing a little holiday cheer to those that are not fortunate enough to have the merriest of Christmases.

Participating children will have an opportunity to craft gifts for their mom, dad, other family members, teachers, and their friends in Santa’s workshop. Santa Claus will also be present, and children can even have their photo taken with him. And, moms and other guardians will be able to "shop" for gifts to give their children and families. Everything is free.

The workshop will held on December 15, 2012, from 9:00 am until 11:30 pm at the Birmingham YWCA – 309 23rd St. North.

If you are able to help, the Birmingham YWCA is still accepting the donation of new items from the Santa's Workshop Wish List. To see which items are needed, visit http://www.ywcabham.org/Opportunities/SantaWorkshopDonationFlyerupdatejuly2012a.pdf.

To learn more about Santa’s Workshop, call 205-322-9922 ext. 340 or visit the YWCA on the web at http://www.ywcabham.org.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

You Can’t Predict a Disaster, But You Can Be Ready

When a natural disaster occurs, individuals and families could be confined to their homes for long stretches of time or forced to evacuate their communities.  These disasters can strike without a moment’s notice, and those that do not prepare are the most vulnerable.  The American Red Cross of Central and Northern Michigan proposes taking the following four steps to protect you and your loved ones in the event of a natural disaster:

1.  Contact an American Red Cross chapter or a local emergency management office near you to find what types of natural disasters are common in your region.  Have a pad of paper and pen ready when you call, so you can take notes.  It is important to find out the warning signals of your regions’ common disasters and how to specifically prepare for them.  Be mindful of eldumbrellaerly and disabled members of your household, and mention any pets to find out about animal care after a disaster. Ask plenty of questions to ensure you obtain the knowledge necessary.  Note:  A disaster doesn’t always hit when you are at home.  So, find out about the disaster plans that have been established at your workplace and children’s daycare or school.

2.  Use the information gathered above to design a disaster plan tailored to fit your family’s circumstances.  Take time to meet with your family to discuss the dangers of various disasters and what appropriate actions can be taken to keep them safe.  Define two different meeting locations: one right outside your home for an emergency, like a fire; and another location outside your neighborhood, if it isn’t possible to return home.  Create an emergency contact list, and make sure all family members are aware of who to call and have their phone numbers memorized.

3.  Complete the preparedness checklist:

  • Assemble your disaster supply kit and emergency supplies.
  • Call your insurance provider and verify you have adequate coverage.
  • Install smoke detectors on every level in your home, and inspect them regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Make sure all members of the household know how to turn off electricity, water and gas in the event of a disaster.
  • Map out two escape routes for every room in your home, and determine “safe-spots” for events like hurricanes and earthquakes.
  • Place emergency contact numbers in a prominent place near phones.
  • Teach all children when and how to dial 911 and/or other emergency contacts.

4.   With any skill acquired, it is imperative that it is practiced and maintained to keep it fresh in your family’s memory. Quiz all members of the household about every six months by conducting fire and emergency drills. Keep your emergency supplies and disaster kits fully stocked.  As a rule of thumb, replace stored food every six months and drinking water about every three months. Follow the recommended manufacturer’s instructions to maintain all fire extinguishers and smoke detectors installed.

The American Red Cross of Central and Northern Michigan recommend you keep the following list of items in your disaster kit:

  • A first aid kit
  • A three day supply of food
  • A three day supply of water (one gallon/person/day)
  • An extra set of car and house keys
  • Cash or a credit card
  • Emergency tools like a flashlight, radio and plenty of extra batteries
  • One blanket/sleeping bag per person
  • One change of clothing and shoes per person
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Special supplies for pets, infants, and disabled or elderly members of the household

To learn more about the American Red Cross of Central and Northern and their efforts to provide awareness about safety measures, visit their website at http://www.michiganredcross.org or call them at (514) 484-7461.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.


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