Social Security announces 1.3 percent benefit increase for 2021

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021, the Social Security Administration announced Tuesday, Oct. 13. The 1.3 percent cost-of- living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Increased payments to more than…

Coronavirus vs flu: How to tell the difference

By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, Can you explain the differences between the coronavirus and seasonal flu? I’m 70 years old, and usually get a standard flu shot, but would like to find out what else I can do to protect myself this winter. Worried Senior Dear Worried, Great question! Because of the dual danger…

Veterans and active-duty military members can count on Social Security

By Brian Rudolph and Rhonda Whitenack Social Security Public Affairs Specialists Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin Every year on Veterans Day, we honor the people who risk their lives to protect our country. Our disability program is an important part of our obligation to wounded warriors and their families. Social Security is an important resource for…

How to replace a missing Social Security card online

By Brian Rudolph and Rhonda Whitenack, Social Security Public Affairs Specialists, Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin If you need to replace your lost or misplaced Social Security card, our online application makes getting a replacement card easier than ever. Requesting a card replacement online is available if you live in the District of Columbia or one…

Joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC Dear Dietitian, I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. I was curious if the “fad” supplements and plans will relieve the joint pain caused by these diseases? I am on several drugs that deal directly with the RA and its side effects. With the fatigue I suffer with, they all…

Helping seniors recognize fake news and propaganda

Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any resources that you know of that can help seniors detect fake news? My 75-year-old mother shares a lot of misinformation with her family and friends that she sees on Facebook. I’ve talked to her about it, but for some reason she has a difficult time deciphering real news from…

Sign up for Medicare Part B online

By Brian Rudolph and Rhonda Whitenack Social Security Public Affairs Specialists Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin For many people, signing up for Medicare Part B doesn’t require you to leave the comfort of home. Please visit our Medicare Part B webpage at secure.ssa.gov/acu/ophandler/loginSuccess if: • You’re enrolled in Medicare Part A. • You would like to…

Social Security is important for women

By Brian Rudolph and Rhonda Whitenack, Social Security Public Affairs Specialists, Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin In November, we show gratitude for the many things we are thankful for throughout the year. Family usually tops the list. The strong women in our lives are one of the central figures we appreciate. More women in the 21st…

How to keep a watchful eye on an aging parent

By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any services or technology that help me monitor my elderly mother who lives alone? Since the coronavirus pandemic started last March, my sister and I have noticed that my mom’s health has slipped a bit, so we would like to find something that helps us keep…

See your lifetime earnings with My Social Security

By Brian Rudolph and Rhonda Whitenack Social Security Public Affairs Specialists Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin Did you know you can see your work history online all the way back to your first job? Your earnings history is a record of your progress toward your Social Security benefits. We keep track of your earnings so we…

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