Social Security

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More than 67,000 seniors in Kentucky are receiving letters this month advertising prescription drug and medical care savings programs from the Social Security Administration. And while financial fraud targeting older Americans is growing – it costs around $2.9 billion a year – these letters are the real deal.

The Social Security Administration letter explains a prescription drug and medical care savings program. But it leads with an exclamation that, frankly, can seem a little scammy: “You May Be Able To Save $1,608 Or More In Medicare Costs!”

Enough seniors thought it was a scam that earlier this week, the National Council on Aging put out a notice that this letter is, in fact, real. The Medicare Savings Program helps seniors pay for hospital and doctor’s office costs. Then there’s another program that helps pay for prescription drugs.

401kcalculator.org

The federal government is encouraging Kentuckians to sign up for an online service that lets you check your Social Security benefits.

To be eligible for an online account, you must be at least 18 years old, and have a U.S. mailing address, Social Security number, and valid e-mail address.

Social Security Administration spokesman B.J. Jarrett says those who don’t currently get benefits can also sign up to see what they’re eligible to receive in the future.

"Folks can review and verify their lifetime earnings history for accuracy. They can also see estimates of their future Social Security benefits--not only retirement, but if they were to become disabled, what their family could receive."

Nearly 1 million Kentucky residents receive Social Security benefits.

‘My Social Security’ accounts can be set up here.

Office of Rep. Rogers

Congressman Hal Rogers says a suspension of federal disability benefits for 900 recipients in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia is being lifted.

The Somerset Republican says he urged Social Security Administration officials this week to lift the suspension, saying the benefit payments were a matter of "life and death" for residents in the region. The Social Security Administration has said it is in the process of “redetermining” benefits for 1,500 people represented by a Kentucky attorney who was under investigation for suspected fraud.

Benefits were recently suspended for 900 of those people before Rogers intervened.

Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a conference call Thursday that the disability recipients were "innocent bystanders" to the alleged fraud conspiracy.

The nation’s leading organization for seniors will use this year's Fancy Farm picnic to launch a nationwide tour to help voters be better informed about Social Security and Medicare.