Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Cost of Living Increase for Social Security Beneficiaries in 2013

Benefits to Increase 1.7 Percent in 2013

This is from the Social Security Newsletter I received today:

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2013.

The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2013. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2012.

The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $113,700 from $110,100. Of the estimated 163 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2013, nearly 10 million will pay higher taxes based on the increase in the taxable maximum.

Learn more about the COLA and resulting changes by reading the press release and fact sheet at

Monday, October 1, 2012

Great Opportunity; Check out the Link Below

The World Institute on Disability Posted this on their FaceBook Page today. I'm going to the one on the 13th here in Los Angeles at the downtown L.A. Library.

It will be loaded with great information. No one's selling anything, no cards will be given, no names will be taken. I am very much looking forward to it. Hope I see you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This is a big deal!

From my good friend and colleague Bryon MacDonald, August 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent federal agency – released a report calling for the phase-out of a provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act, known as the 14(c) program, that allows employers who receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, to pay less than federal minimum wage to workers with disabilities for work performed.

The central theme of the recommendations in the report is the gradual phase-out of the 14(c) program, and accompanying systems change to enhance existing resources and create new mechanisms for supporting individuals in securing integrated employment. The net outcome of implementing these recommendations is to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities in line with the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act for equality of opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and full participation in all aspects of society.

NCD recognizes that its recommendations impact thousands of individuals and their families. NCD further recognizes that it will take support from many stakeholders to eliminate the discriminatory practices of the 14(c) program and build a sustainable supported employment infrastructure along with other supports.

This fall, as a step toward accomplishing these goals and to create momentum for the system change that is necessary, NCD plans to draft proposed legislation.

The full report can be read at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

National DIsability Instute Newsletter...

Several very interesting articles at

These are the headlines:

ABLE Act Update - Push to Sign on Cosponsors before November Election

Update on Mandatory Direct Express Master Card for Federal Benefits

The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Citizens with Disabilities

SSDI Program Careening Toward Bankruptcy

NDI Makes Asset Development Recommendations in Response to Senator Harkin's Disability Employment Report

Looming Discretionary Spending Cuts (Sequestration) Threaten Disability Programs

Second Anniversary of Dodd-Frank: A Work in Progress

July Employment Numbers

A couple of other items, too. My Introduction to Benefits Establishment Course at the Recovery Education Institute of Orange County has begun. It is being administered by Saddleback College where I will be teaching the same coure (five years!) this Spring.
Also, going to Washington DC next week. Pacific Clinics has been selected one of six organizations throughout the country (out of 64 applicants) to participate in CFED's “Integrating Financial Empowerment into Social Service Delivery Programs” Intensive Learning Cluster. The other four are:

• El Buen Samaritano (Austin and central Texas)

• FEGS Health and Human Services (New York City)

• Solid Ground (Seattle, WA)

• Texas Office of the Attorney General-Child Support Division, Family Initiatives Section.

Very excited about this new project and will have lots mor to tell as I blog from the conference.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

HUD Offers First Chance To Comment On Homeless Housing Funding Formula In Twenty-Five Years

Deadline for Public Comment is October 1, 2012

With the recent issuance of the HEARTH Act regulations and the request for comments, came an opportunity to also comment on whether or not the funding formula for homeless housing should be changed and if so, what should be included in a new formula. We urge you to join us and submit comments by the deadline of October 1, 2012. (Click here for a sample letter)

While passing the HEARTH Act, Congress asked the US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to consider changing the formula used to determine distribution of Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Continuum of Care funding provided to communities across the country. At that time, United Way of Greater Los Angeles convened a work group to address the issue. They also conducted research that identified more appropriate factors to be included in the formula. (More...)

PLEASE let HUD know that the existing formula penalizes communities like Los Angeles because it is based on factors that do not directly correlate with the causes of homelessness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Poignant Reminder of What We're Up Against

Thanks to Byron MacDonald of World Institute on Disability

So much for Ann Romney's "Love" speech and Gov. Christie's "Respect" speech....

The following is the reality:

Friend --

Today the Republican Party approved a platform that The New York Times called "more aggressive in its opposition ... to gay rights than any in memory."

The intolerant document calls for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. It condemns President Obama for not defending the Defense of Marriage Act. The platform fails to recognize civil unions for gay couples, and it rejects the "use of the military as a platform for social experimentation" -- a veiled dig at the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

This platform, which was written at the direction of Mitt Romney's campaign, defines the Republican Party today.

It's a sharp reminder of what we stand to lose if Romney and Ryan take the White House this November. One party supports our right to be equals in the eyes of the law, the other rejects it.

There is a clear choice in this election for the LGBT community and allies.

We've got to fight for the only candidate who has our back. Join Obama Pride on Dashboard, the campaign's online field office, and stay informed about campaign news, events, and opportunities to volunteer:



Jamie Citron
National LGBT Vote Director
Obama for America