Seven Prevention Resources for You and Your Family
Under the health care law, many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services at no cost to you, including vaccines, mammograms, cancer screenings, and more. Use the resources below to learn more about prevention and spread the word.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The Act declares wild horses and burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.”
BLM protects the health and welfare of the wild horse and burro population and makes sure it is consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. They also offer an adoption program and have other ways for volunteers to get involved.
How your monthly benefit amount can differ based on the age at which you start receiving benefits;
How your decision could affect your family;
How you can retire and continue working; and
How you can get estimates of your benefit amounts online at Social Security’s website, www.socialsecurity.gov.
The Social Security website offers several tools to help you plan for your retirement, including an online Retirement Estimator to get immediate and personalized retirement benefit estimates. The estimator is a convenient and secure financial planning tool, allowing you to create “what if” scenarios. For instance, you can change your “stop work” dates or expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement options. Then when you’re ready, you can apply online for your retirement benefits.
Saturday is National Public Lands Day, Admission is Free to National Parks
Saturday, September 29 is National Public Lands Day. This is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. Find a volunteer site if you want to help improve our public lands by planting trees and native plants, collecting trash, improving trails, and more.
Find Free Legislative Information on the New Congress.gov
The Library of Congress recently unveiled Congress.gov. It’s a new website that will eventually replace THOMAS.gov as the government’s site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information.
The Congress.gov site includes bill status and summary, bill text, House and Senate member profiles, and a number of new features, including effective display on mobile devices. Learn more about the new site.
Many people realize that life insurance is an important way to provide for their families, but buying life insurance can seem daunting. How do you know if you’re picking the best coverage for you and your family?
The American Council of Life Insurers offers the following tips to help you pick out the best plan:
Decide if you need permanent or term life insurance. Permanent policies will provide money to your family no matter when you die. Term policies will pay only if you die during a specific period of time.
When you’re trying to decide between life insurance companies, ask family and friends for recommendations. You can also meet with an insurance agent to talk through your options.
Ask for the outlines of several plans so you can compare the features of the various options you’re considering.
Always answer the questions on your application truthfully.
Once you select a plan, store the policy with your other important financial documents, but not in a safe deposit box. Upon death, boxes are sometimes sealed temporarily by the bank, which could delay your family’s access to the coverage.
Review and update your policy from time to time, especially after major life events like marriages or children being born.
Kids.gov is the U.S. government’s website for children (grades K-8). Kids, parents, and teachers can use the site to get help with homework, access lesson plans, watch videos, play games, and more.
If you’ve visited Kids.gov previously, you’ll notice that the website has been completely redesigned. The vibrant new site provides areas for three specific audiences: kids (grades K-5), teens (grades 6-8), and grown-ups (teachers and parents).
Enjoy exploring all that Kids.gov has to offer, including the following examples:
September is National Preparedness Month. Have you taken steps to prepare for an emergency?
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), three elements of good preparation are:
Being Informed — Learn about the potential emergencies that can happen where you live and know the appropriate ways to respond to them.
Making a Plan — Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan what you would do in different situations. How would you get to a safe place? How would you contact one another and get back together?
Building a Kit — Find a list of suggested items to include in an emergency supply kit.
Taking these steps could help you and your family in the event of an emergency.
2014 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration is from October 2 - November 3
Online registration for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery will begin on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and end on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4).
This congressionally mandated program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas every year. Winners are randomly drawn from the people who enter and meet strict eligibility requirements. In order to be eligible, you must be from a country with low rates of immigration to the United States and meet the education or work experience requirements.
If you plan to apply, watch out for fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. government websites. Some companies posing as the U.S. government have sought money in order to “complete” DV entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. To learn more, see the Department of State warning.
Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Small Turtles
Since 1975, it has been illegal in the United States to sell or distribute small turtles with shells that measure less than 4 inches in length. However, small turtles continue to cause human Salmonella infections, especially among young children.
Recently, more than 160 illnesses from 30 states have been linked to exposure to turtles or water from their containers. Sixty four percent of victims are age 10 or younger, and 27 percent are age one or younger.
Salmonella infections often lead to diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, but in very rare cases they can cause death if not treated properly.
Contact with reptiles (such as turtles, snakes, and lizards) and amphibians (such as frogs and toads) can be a source of human Salmonella infections. Salmonella germs are shed in droppings and can easily contaminate their bodies and water, and from there they spread to people.
Here’s how to protect yourself:
Don’t buy small turtles from street vendors, websites, pet stores, or other sources.
Keep reptiles out of homes with young children or people with weakened immune systems.
Don’t keep reptiles in child care centers, nursery schools, or other facilities with young children.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after touching a reptile or anything in the area where they live and roam. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Adults should always supervise hand washing for young children.
Get Your Car Seats Inspected During Child Passenger Safety Week
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 12 years old. Deaths and injuries can be prevented by the proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
Child Passenger Safety Week, from September 16 to 22, is a good opportunity to make sure that your family and the families you know are properly using vehicle restraints. Visit www.safercar.gov/therightseat for guidelines and how-to videos on car seat and seat belt use and installation. You can also find car seat ease-of-use ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Teenagers use cell phones and computers to harass others by sending malicious text messages, uploading embarrassing photos or videos on websites, or taking over someone’s social media profile or creating a new one.
Although it takes place in cyberspace, there are several things you can do at home to protect your children from being harassed online. These tips will help you get started.
Prevent Cyber Bullying
You can prevent cyber bullying by knowing what your kids are doing online and establishing certain rules on the use of cell phones and computers. This will help minimize the chances that your teenager will harass someone online or be a victim of cyber bullying.
Install monitoring software on your kids’ devices and tell your children that it’s your responsibility as a parent to check their interactions when you consider it appropriate
Teach your kids to abstain from sharing photos or videos that might cause them problems if other people see them, especially people who are not their friends
"Follow" your kids on social media or ask another adult to do it on your behalf so you can stay up-to-date on what they are doing or saying
Tell them it’s important that they tell you if they are the victims of cyber bullying so that you can help them
Respond to Cyber Bullying
You can start to put an end to cyber bullying by doing the following:
Don’t answer cyber bullying messages and ask your kids to share with you all of the messages they’ve received
Block the bully on social media and eliminate or block the bully’s e-mail address
Keep all evidence of cyber bullying, including text messages and harassing e-mails
Report Cyber Bullying
States have laws and policies against bullying, so be sure to contact your school if your child is being harassed online. Schools can take several measures to respond to specific cases.
Parents can also report bullies to the social media sites as bullies often violate the company’s policies and terms and conditions. Parents can also contact the police. Cyber bullying is a crime when messages contain:
Threats of violence
Child pornography or photos with sexually explicit messages
Images taken from places where the person expected privacy, like a bathroom
Cyber bullying is also a crime when someone is stalking a victim or engaging in activities considered to be a hate crime.
Video Challenge on Cyber Bullying
Teens between the ages of 13 and 18 are invited to participate in a 60 second video challenge on what young people can do to prevent bullying at school. Prizes range from $500-$2,000 and winners will have their video published on Stopbullying.gov. The last day to submit videos is October 14, 2012.
Are You Prepared? Learn How to Protect Your Finances if a Disaster Strikes
If you had only a few moments to evacuate your home and could not return for several days or even weeks, would you have access to cash, banking services and the personal identification you need to conduct your day-to-day financial life?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers these tips to make sure you’re financially prepared if disaster strikes:
Periodically review your insurance coverage to make sure you know what is or isn’t covered.
Keep copies of your ATM/debit cards in an emergency kit in case you can’t access your actual cards.
Keep your bank account numbers in a safe place that you can access.
Consider keeping some cash on hand in your emergency kit.
Have easy access to phone numbers for financial institutions.
Lifeline Program Helps Provide Phone Service to Low-Income Families
The Lifeline program helps low-income households get telephone service by providing discounts up to $10.00 a month on one basic monthly phone service (landline or wireless).
Currently, more than 17 million households are subscribed to Lifeline. In order to enroll in Lifeline, potential subscribers must demonstrate their eligibility by showing proof of income or participation in a qualifying program.
The Lifeline program is paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF). According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications must contribute to the federal USF based on a percentage of their end-user telecommunications revenues. These companies include wireline telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.”
Some consumers may notice a “Universal Service” line item on their telephone bills. This line item appears when a company chooses to recover its USF contributions directly from its customers by billing them this charge. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to customers. Each company makes a business decision about whether and how to assess charges to recover its Universal Service costs.
If You're Feeling Anxious or Depressed, You Can Find Help
More than 35,000 people took their own lives in the past year, and today we are losing more military soldiers to suicide than battle, according to Secretary of Army, John McHugh, who recently briefed America on the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, which helps raise awareness of the resources available to those who are feeling anxiety and depression that could lead to suicide.
We provide links to all of government, and are able to see a broad overview of what is on Americans’ minds regarding the government. While we never track or record information about individuals and their visits, we do collect summary statistics on the pages and links viewed most frequently.
Tuesday is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people. On the anniversary, please observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM (EDT) to honor those innocent victims.
Visit 9/11 Commemorations and Memorials to learn about 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance; get information about memorials in New York, Washington, and Shanksville; and read about continuing security efforts and emergency planning.