Elderly and Totally Disabled Homeowners Program Reminder

    Officially the Elderly and Totally Disabled Homeowners Program doesn’t
    begin until February 1st of 2024 but I wanted to send an important reminder out
    to persons who have qualified in the past or are anticipating applying for the
    upcoming year.

    Save all of the 1099’s that come to you during the beginning of
    the new year! This is important documentation which needs to be submitted
    during the application process. All sources of income must be reported including
    Social Security benefits, Retirement income, Interest, W-2’s, etc. If you file Income Tax, proof of that information must be made available too. Yes, I know it’s early to think about a program that doesn’t start until February 1st but, I have seen the results of what happens to individuals who misplace or dispose of these important documents.

    This is a simple reminder, more detailed information regarding the Elderly and Totally Disabled Homeowners Program, Additional Veterans Program and Local Option Program will be addressed during an upcoming newsletter.

    Scams Information

    It seems that there is no end to the volume of calls and internet contacts we
    are bombarded with. Unemployment benefits are taking the forefront now. The
    way it works is that you receive a letter stating that you are approved for
    unemployment benefits; a check may arrive and it looks legitimate BUT, you have never applied for or are eligible for unemployment. Red Flag! Don’t deposit the check!

    Phone calls from individuals attempting to “update your Medicare Card” is
    another problem. The caller is requesting personal information, lots of
    information which you should not divulge! Medicare does not call you at random! Hang up!

    Be wary of a call from your bank asking for your assistance in apprehending
    a bank employee that they believe is embezzling funds. They ask you to use your
    cellphone and to stay on the line with them; drive to your bank immediately and
    withdraw cash. They ask what type of vehicle you will be driving and stay in
    contact with you for the entire time you are driving to your banking institution.
    They tell you to go into the bank and make a huge withdrawal. You are advised
    not to speak with any bank employee about your involvement in catching the
    employee in question and told to bring the funds to a waiting vehicle outside of
    the bank. Money gone!!! You were just taken for your life savings and become the latest victim of a scam.

    EOB? Do you look over your Explanation of Benefits from Medicare? It has
    been reported that some individuals who have ordered one COVID-19 test kit was being charged for THREE. (And at a ridiculously high cost). When contacting Medicare, the individual was instructed to contact the Medicare Fraud Line! Be vigilant!

    The perpetrators are always coming up with new gimmicks and ways of
    convincing trusting, unsuspecting individuals that you need to put your trust in
    them and not question the validity of what they are saying. It’s not wrong to hang up the telephone on someone either.

    Babesiosis Information from UNCAS Health District

    Tick-borne illness cases in the United States are up 25% since 2011,
    according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
    including a rare disease now spreading in the U.S. Northeast. The CDC says cases of babesiosis, which can cause illness ranging from asymptomatic to severe, have increased significantly in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. The disease is already considered endemic in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

    The tick-borne disease, which is growing cases but still rare, is transmitted
    from the bites of black-legged ticks.

    Babesiosis infections can be asymptomatic or cause mild to severe illnesses
    that can be fatal. Symptoms, which can last for several weeks, typically show up
    between one and four weeks after a bite. The most common symptoms include
    fever, chills, sweating, fatigue, and myalgias. They also include hepatosplenomegaly, or an enlarged liver and hemolytic anemia, a disorder that
    causes red blood cells to be destroyed faster than they can be created.

    Yale scientists Goudarz Molaei told WTNH one of the factors that could be
    causing the increase in tick-borne diseases could be shorter winters.
    “Understandably because of climate change and other environmental conditions we are seeing increases in tick abundance and tick activity.” Molaei said.

    The CDC states on its website: “Because warmer average temperatures can
    mean longer warm seasons, earlier spring seasons, shorter and milder winters, and hotter summers, conditions might become more hospitable for many carriers of vector-borne diseases.”

    Molaei said that, in Connecticut, for example, one in two ticks on average is
    infected with at least one disease agent. “We have to be aware of the areas that
    might be infested with ticks, so wooded areas, tall grass areas, try to avoid those
    areas at any cost,” he said. Molaei says if you have no other choice, you’ll have to consistently perform a tick check on yourself and your pets, as they can often
    bring home ticks with them.

    The CDC is urging anyone spending extended time outdoors to use tick
    repellents and wear long sleeve shirts and pants if they can.

    If you are bitten by a tick, the CDC recommends the following:
    *Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can.
    *Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick.
    *After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol
    or soap and water.
    *Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet. If you would like to bring the
    tick to your healthcare provider for identification, put it in rubbing alcohol or place
    it in a sealed bag/container.

    Renters Rebate Program

    April 1st is the first day that applications for the Renters Rebate Program will begin to be processed.

    Participants in the program just have been 65 years of age by the end of the
    calendar year preceding the filing period; or be 50 years of age or older and the
    surviving spouse of a renter, who at the time of his/her death, had qualified and
    was entitled to tax relief at the time of his/her death. Applicants filed under the
    disability provision must be accompanied by current proof of disability. The
    Claimant must have been a resident in Connecticut for a one-year period of time prior to filing an application.

    Qualifying income guidelines for the calendar year 2022 must not exceed
    $40,300.00 if unmarried, or $49,100.00 if married or other. For married couples or other, unless legally separated, income from both husband and wife must be counted in establishing qualifying income, regardless of living arrangements. Qualifying income is considered wages, bonuses, commissions, gratuities and fees; self-employment net income; gross Social Security benefits, Federal Supplemental Security income, dividends, interest, annuities; IRA distributions, Black Lung payments; Green Thumb payments; interest resulting from gifts received; Lottery winnings; net rental income, pensions, Railroad Retirement; severance pay, Unemployment Compensation, Workers Compensation, Alimony, etc.

    The applicant must provide proof of rent and utilities payments during the
    2022 calendar year.

    Individuals interested in making application for the Renters Rebate of
    Elderly and Totally Disabled Program are requested to contact the Senior Affairs Office at 860-887-5581 ext. 6. When leaving a message, please include your name and telephone number. The application filing period is April 1st through October 1st.