Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

Improving Nutrition

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is designed to provide individuals with nutritious food to supplement their diets and nutritional education to instruct participants on how to use the provided food wisely. CSFP’s goal is to improve the nutrition and health of women with low-income who are pregnant, postpartum or lactating. The program also strives to improve the health and nutrition of preschool-age children and senior citizens (60 years of age or older).

1167998 healthy_lifestyleCSFP is provided to eligible participants through local public and private agencies. These agencies certify eligible clients on the basis of residency, categorical eligibility and income. Once assistance is determined, each CSFP participant will receive their free food package on a monthly basis. Although the quantity of each item will vary, depending on the client’s category, the basic content will be same. Items often included in the food packages are:

  • Cereals
  • Cheese
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Fruits and Fruit Juice
  • Grain and Pasta
  • Canned meat, fish and poultry
  • Non-fat dry Milk
  • Vegetables

How to apply for CSFP: Individuals who wish to apply for the CSFP program may sign-up at the CSFP Certification and Distribution site of their choice. Once an applicant has been certified for assistance and has received their CSFP ID card, they may immediately pick up their free food package. To sign-up for CSFP, individuals must provide the following items:

  • Picture ID
  • Proof of residency (letter or bill)
  • Proof of income (pays stub or notice of public assistance payment)
  • Birth certificate or notice from physician indicating delivery date
  • Social Security Number

Where to sign-up for CSFP: Individuals can sign-up for CSFP at one of the following locations. No appointment is needed; however individuals are encouraged to call before visiting.

Service Center

Address

Phone

14th Street

2901 14th Street, NW

(202) 265-8200, ext 307

Congress Heights

3720 MLK Jr. Avenue, SE

(202) 715-7696

East Capitol Street

5601 East Capitol Street, SE

(202) 645-6087

Carver Terrace

1115 21st Street, NE

(202) 724-5644

For more information about the CSFP program, call (202) 724-5644.

"Hiring People with Disabilities: The Employer’s Point of View" on October 10, 2012

Register for Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) Ticket to Work Webinar, “Hiring People with Disabilities: The Employer’s Point of View,” to learn more about the program and Social Security Disability Benefits today! This event will take place on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012.

The Ticket to Work program is offered by the Social Security Administration program to support vocational development and career placement for individuals with disabilities who wish to work and achieve an improved standard of living by leaving benefits.  Anyone years 18-24, who receives Classical Handshake, 03-05-12Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Insurance because they are disabled, is eligible to participate in the program.  Ticket to Work serves as an opportunity to help those ready to work get started. 

The Ticket to Work program assists interested volunteers by connecting them with Employment Networks or State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies.  These resources will provide unique services and support to the individual to get them back on the career path.  Another key component that makes the Ticket to Work program attractive is the Work Incentives package that comes with successful employment.  These incentives make it possible for individuals to explore employment opportunities while still receiving both cash benefits and health care.

Luckily, if you won’t be able to attend this web event or have happened to miss a few, you can visit http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/m-wise-webinars.cfm to view archived audio, video, or text transcripts from past webinars.

To learn how to receive your ticket and begin your pursuit of employment, register for the free Ticket to Work Webinar by visiting www.chooseworkttw.net/wise/jsp/wise.  The event is held Wednesday, July 25, 2012, so don’t delay!

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.

Drowning in Medical Bills?

It is no secret that healthcare costs have been rising steadily over the last few years.  The best way to cope is by becoming the best possible medical consumer.  The following article contains guidelines, bargaining strategies and tricks to prevent you from paying more than you should.

Assistance Programs. The first thing you should do before making any important decision is research your options.  There are a number of financial assistance programs provided not only by the government, but also by various social organizations, charities and the facility itself.  When you visit the doctor or hospital, ask their patient liaison if you qualify for any patient programs.

Negotiate.  If you negotiate for the cost of Doctor Shaking Hands with Patient and Fam, 09-25-12a home or car, why wouldn’t you do so for the cost of your health? This is especially important for health consumers with no insurance coverage because they are often charged higher rates than people with Medicaid, Medicare or health insurance. Doctors and hospitals want to be profitable, so they will sometimes accept a lower negotiated rate to avoid dealing with collection agencies or the risk of nonpayment.  If you are able to work a deal, make sure you get the arrangement in writing.

Look for Billing Errors. Your hospital or doctor’s billing staff, like us, is human and makes mistakes.  It is important to review your bills and check to see how much they were reimbursed by your insurance company.  If you receive a bill with “summary” in the title, ask for an itemized copy with more details.  When reviewing your bill pay careful attention to medications, supplies, etc. that you were charged but didn’t receive if your had an outpatient procedure or hospital stay. Look out for duplicate charges that may have been billed incorrectly.

Face your bills. It may sometimes be easy to ignore a medical bill if you are low on funds.  DON’T! To preserve your credit score and prevent the hassle of  creditors, contact billing departments and your creditors and see if they can work out a payment plan or reduced rate. 

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.

Meeting Energy Needs

Many families find themselves in situations where they are unable to meet their energy needs. The following program exists to provide assistance to those in need in the Detroit, MI. area:

Consumers Energy offers several payment plans and programs to help families and individuals meet their energy needs and protect themselves from shut-offs. Listed below you’ll find detailed information on the various special payment plans and programs offered through Consumer Energy.fireplace2

Shut-off Protection Plan (SPP) – Through this plan, eligible individuals are provided with year-round protection from shut-off. The program is available to customers with a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal income eligibility guidelines. The Shut-off Protection Plan requires individuals to an make initial down payment of 10 percent of their total bill and participate in a budget plan that spreads annual energy costs into equal payments as well as equal monthly payments on past-due balances.

Winter Protection Plan (WPP) – This plan protects low-income customers and seniors, age 65 and older, from service shut-off and high payments during the winter (Nov. 1 through March 31).Customers are responsible for electricity and natural gas used, but some of the costs can be deferred. Individuals qualified for WPP will be required to pay an initial down payment of 1/12 of any past due bills.

Each month after that, individuals will have to pay 7 percent of their estimated annual bill along with a portion of any past-due amounts. When the protection period ends, individuals will be required to pay their full monthly bill in addition to any past-due amounts before the start of the next protection period. Participation in WPP does not relieve customers from the responsibility of paying for electricity and natural gas usage; however it may prevent shut-off during the winter months.

Medical Emergency Protection – This program provides assistance to individuals who have suffered various medical emergencies. Individuals with qualifying, documented medical emergencies could be protected from energy service shut-off due to non-payment of their energy bill for up to 21 days. To be eligible, individuals must provide written proof from a doctor or a notice from a public health official that service shut-off will aggravate an existing medical condition.

Budget Plan – The goal of the Budget Plan is to help customers manage their household budget. Through this service, individuals can spread out their annual energy cost into equal payments. The payment amount is based upon an individual’s annual energy cost and varies from customer to customer.

PeopleCare – In conjunction with The Salvation Army, PeopleCare assist individuals and families with various emergency needs such as food, clothing, transportation, shelter, home heating and medicine. Funding for the program is provided through contributions from Consumers Energy, its customers and employees.

NOTE: Individuals who are 65 years of age or older and are also the head of their household may qualify for shut-off protection, no late payment charges and an automatic eligibility for payment plans regardless of their income. For more information call (800) 477-5050. Make sure you have your account number on hand so they can access your information.

For more information about the payment plans and programs offered through Consumers Energy, call (800)-477-5050.

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.

Support and Compassion

If you are experiencing a hardship and are living in the Memphis, TN area, the following organization may be able to lend a helping hand:

The mission of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is to serve those in need, regardless of religious beliefs, socio-economic status or ethnic background. Catholic Charities of West Tennessee serves people of all ages, from all walks of life. Listed below are brief descriptions of the services and programs that are available through Catholic Charities of West Tennessee:

Homeless-Mother and ChildCommunity Counseling Services – Catholic Charities of West Tennessee offers a full range of counseling services to those who are referred by Catholic parishes within the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in West Tennessee and others. For more information, contact Karen Hardaway at (901) 722-4787.

Homeless Services – Residential treatment is available to men, women and children who are homeless for a variety of reasons such as: mental illness, addiction, and domestic violence.

Immigration Services (ISP) – This program exists to provide low cost, comprehensive immigration counseling services that address the clients’ basic needs, as well as their legal immigration concerns.

Emergency Services (Fig Tree) – Emergency services are available to families in crisis. The program assists with food and clothing. Fig Tree operates the Food Pantry Monday thru Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. until noon. The Clothes Closet is open Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and Friday’s from 9:00 a.m. until noon. For more information, contact (901) 72204797.

Mobile Food/Clothes Pantry – Working in partnership with the Mid-South Food Bank, multi-faith church communities, schools, businesses and individuals, this program strives to bring nourishment, clothing and other support services to those in need.

To learn more about the programs and services of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee , please call (901) 722-4700.

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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