If times are tough for you and your family, we can help connect you with the tools and information you need to get back on your feet.
We’re launching “Help for Difficult Financial Times" today, and for the next five weeks, we will highlight government resources with a focus on jobs, housing, credit, family, and health that you can use to make your life easier.
Examples of highlighted information include
how to apply for unemployment benefits and food stamps
Why does the military reject applicants with eczema and/or allergies?
Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.
Each branch of the service has different physical and health requirements. They can even vary within branches.
Generally, potential servicemembers should be in good physical condition, an appropriate weight, and able to pass a standard physical screening. Some branches, such as the Army, list specific health requirements and medical disqualifications online.
For answers to specific health concerns, such as eczema or allergies, you should contact a recruiter.
What agency has jurisdiction over Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in drilling for natural gas and oil, the EPA or DOE or who?
Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.
Hydraulic fracturing involves the high-pressure injection of substances into already drilled oil and gas wells in order to fracture the underground formations holding the oil or gas.
Individual states regulate fracturing that occurs within their borders, and they have different rules over the use of the process. According to a Congressional Research Service report dated April 10, 2012, “Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues,” numerous states are reviewing or have revised their oil and gas rules to address the increased use of hydraulic fracturing.
As for federal government regulation, the Safe Drinking Water Act provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to regulate fracturing only when diesel fuel is used in the process. Currently, the EPA is performing a long term study on fracturing and how it may impact drinking water. The study should be finished late this year.
Parents sometimes use products with benzocaine as pain relievers for teething babies. However, the use of benzocaine, a local anesthetic found in some over-the-counter products, including Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase, can lead to a rare but potentially fatal condition called methemoglobinemia.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), children under 2 years of age are at especially high risk. Adults with heart disease or breathing problems and smokers are also at increased risk.
Identity theft is a commonly discussed topic for adults, and most know they can monitor their credit reports and receive fraud warnings when someone is attempting to use one of their accounts.
However, child identity theft is something most people don’t think about, but it can happen to anyone just as easily. Because parents and guardians don’t have open credit reports for their children, they don’t expect to need to check on any possible fraud.
Identity thieves can use a child’s identity to get a job, obtain government benefits, medical care and other financial loans.
How to Prevent It
You can help prevent child identity theft by safely storing all documents with your child’s personal information. This includes their date of birth, Social Security number and birth certificate.
Only share their personal information with people you trust, and when entering it online, make sure you are using a secure internet connection. Also check with your child’s school to see who has access to their personal information. Openly discuss with your child the importance of keeping personal information safe.
Properly dispose of all materials that contain your child’s personal information. Shred letters, forms and other papers that include this information. You should also permanently delete this information off any electronic devices before getting rid of them. Treat the safety of their personal information just as you would your own.
What are the most recent figures you have showing the # of Mexican-American registered voters, #who voted in last presidential election vs the # who didn’t vote, and the expected increase of Mexican-American voters in the upcoming presidential election? Tx.
The Census department keeps track of voting numbers. You can find a break down of the number of people who voted in the 2010 elections based on age, race, gender and more. Download and view the available statistics.
How to Get Quick Approval for Certain Disability Claims
The Social Security Administration provides long-term disability benefits to U.S. workers who are unable to work for more than 12 months due to a physical, mental or emotional medical condition.
Although evaluating each case might take several months or even years, Social Security can fast-track the process for some cases if they fall under its Compassionate Allowances Program.
This is an initiative designed to streamline the process so that applicants can quickly receive benefits for conditions that are known to cause severe or life-threatening disabilities.
How it Works
The Social Security Administration (SSA) introduced the Compassionate Allowances Program in 2008 with about 50 diseases and conditions, including certain cancers. Today, the has grown to a little more than 100 conditions, including adult brain disorders and immune system conditions, and by the summer of 2012 it is expected to grow to 165.
“These are diseases that are so severe that we do not need to obtain the applicant’s complete work history in order to make a decision, and therefore the process is quicker,” said Diana Varela, a spokesperson for the agency in Washington DC.
SSA is constantly evaluating new conditions to add to the list. You can see most updated version of the diseases and conditions in the Compassionate Allowances Program on the SSA website.
How to Apply
The process to apply for the Compassionate Allowances Program is the same as applying for general disability benefits. However, if the SSA determines that a condition qualifies for the Compassionate Allowances Program, the approval process is much quicker.
You can apply for disability benefits online without having to go to a Social Security office. Generally, you will need to provide the following information:
General information such as your name, date of birth, and Social Security number, as well as those of your spouse and underage children. Also, you need to provide your bank account information and an additional contact in case you cannot be reached.
Medical information such as name, address and telephone numbers of doctors, clinics and hospitals where you receive treatment, as well as your employer’s information. Also, the name of the medicines you have taken and medical history, among other things.
How to Get More Information
To find out more information about Social Security benefits visit SocialSecurity.gov or call (800) 772-1213.
Visits to emergency rooms by kids who have swallowed batteries have doubled over the last twenty years, according to a study of ER data.
Eighty percent of these trips are now because of “button” batteries, those little coin-shaped batteries found in greeting cards, remote controls, toys, hearing aids and more. It’s important for parents to check products and keep these away from little kids, who naturally put things in their mouth as a part of figuring out what they are.
Swallowed batteries can leak acid if the casing around the battery is eroded, or worse, create an electrical current flowing through tissue and burn a hole in the trachea or esophagus. This can happen even if the battery is considered “dead.”
25 New Recordings Added to National Recording Registry
Donna Summer’s ground breaking all-electronic 1977 hit, the creative wordplay of the Sugarhill Gang, the sounds of Native American culture and the voices of former slaves are among the sound recordings selected for induction into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. The Registry annually adds recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and preserves them for future generations.
Here’s a preview of what was added, in reverse chronological order:
25. “Purple Rain,” Prince and the Revolution (1984) 24. “Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang (1979) 23. “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer (1977) 22. Barton Hall concert by the Grateful Dead (May 8, 1977) 21. “Mothership Connection,” Parliament (1975) 20. “Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton (1971) 19. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Vince Guaraldi Trio (1970) 18. “The Continental Harmony: Music of William Billings,” Gregg Smith Singers (1969) 17. “Forever Changes,” Love (1967) 16. “Green Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1962) 15. “Bo Diddley” and “I’m a Man,” Bo Diddley (1955) 14. “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1954, 1958) 13. “Let’s Go Out to the Programs,” The Dixie Hummingbirds (1953) 12. “I Can Hear It Now,” Fred W. Friendly and Edward R. Murrow (1948) 11. “Hula Medley,” Gabby Pahinui (1947) 10. “The Indians for Indians Hour” (March 25, 1947) 9. International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Hottest Women’s Band of the 1940s (1944-1946) 8. Debut performance with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (Nov. 14, 1943) 7. “Artistry in Rhythm,” Stan Kenton & and his Orchestra (1943) 6. “Fascinating Rhythm,” Sol Hoopii and his Novelty Five (1938) 5. “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” Patsy Montana (1935) 4. “Voices from the Days of Slavery,” Various speakers (1932-1941 interviews; 2002 compilation) 3. “Ten Cents a Dance,” Ruth Etting (1930) 2. “Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star,” Lillian Russell (1912) 1. Edison Talking Doll cylinder (1888)
Post Office Temporarily Bans Overseas Shipping of Devices with Lithium Batteries
Starting May 16, 2012, the U.S. Post Office will stop international shipping of lithium batteries and devices containing lithium batteries because they are a fire hazard. Many electronic devices, such as cell phones and cameras, use these types of batteries.
The ban includes international shipping to military addresses.
However, you can continue to ship lithium battery devices from overseas to the United States, within the U.S., and to U.S. military addresses. The Post Office anticipates that the ban will end on January 1, 2013 with the introduction of new standards for safe shipping of lithium batteries.
What help can one get for my wife with parkinson desease?
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that affects nerve cells, or neurons, in a part of the brain that controls muscle movement. In Parkinson’s, neurons that make a chemical called dopamine die or do not work properly. The four primary symptoms of the disease are
As the summer beach season begins this Memorial Day weekend, the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) offers a nationwide map of coastal water temperatures. Simply click on your region to see the current water temperature.
You can now get your Social Security Statement online. The online option is the only way to receive your statement unless you are 60 or older or turning 25 this year.
The statement provides estimates of the retirement and disability benefits you or your family may receive, making it important to have when financial planning. You can also use it to make sure your earnings are being accurately posted to your Social Security record. Incorrect reporting could mean that you won’t receive the benefits you are entitled to.
The statement also provides:
A list of your lifetime earnings according to Social Security’s records
The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid
Information about qualifying and signing up for Medicare
Things to consider for those age 55 and older who are thinking of retiring
The opportunity to apply online for retirement and disability benefits
A printable version of your Social Security statement
To get a personalized online statement you must be able to provide information about yourself that matches information already on file with Social Security. Some people may not be successfully verified through this process. If you have trouble with verification you can request that a paper Social Security Statement be mailed to you. You can also visit your local Social Security office and present an identity document in order to create an account and gain access to the online version.
Click It or Ticket: Avoid Fines by Wearing Your Seat Belt
This week is the start of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s two week national “Click It or Ticket” campaign to increase seat belt usage in cars.
During the Memorial Day holiday weekend, when many people are traveling, law enforcement agencies across the country will heavily enforce the message of Click It or Ticket. If you are caught not wearing your seat belt, you could be fined.
Research shows men ages 18-34 are the least likely to wear their seat belts, even though seat belts save nearly 13,000 lives each year, according to NHTSA.
Wearing your seat belt properly will help keep you safe.
The lap belt should sit across your hips below your stomach and the shoulder belt should sit comfortably across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.