Social Services Locators
The United Way’s 211 service and the Mississippi Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Mississippi Get Help service are two options to help locate needed resources for older adults. Following is a description of the two services:
211 is a nationwide initiative, implemented locally. Calling 211 in Mississippi connects callers with a call center in Jackson that assists individuals and professionals throughout the state in locating community services and volunteer opportunities. It is not a crisis line but seeks to refer those seeking assistance to the appropriate agency or organization; the line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls they receive may pertain to health services, food, clothing, housing, government resources, education, employment, counseling, support groups, recreation, community groups, etc.
211 was implemented in Mississippi in mid-2006. Much of its initial emphasis was in building a database to respond to the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims. The database continues to grow and has much to offer, but may not be complete in addressing certain needs from your community. It is suggested that individuals periodically recheck this resource as it is further developed.
To reach 211 Mississippi, dial 211 from a Mississippi phone or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mississippi Get Help is a web-based listing of services for older adults and those with disabilities throughout Mississippi. Sometimes it may be difficult for someone to define their needs or the needs of another they are attempting to help. The website includes a Self-Assessment Tool to help in that process.
The website allows individuals to search for a variety of services based upon service type and location. Following is a sample of the service classifications included:
- adult day services
- Alzheimer’s support groups
- assisted living facilities
- caregiver support
- companion and sitting services
- documents and records
- elder law
- financial services
- geriatric assessment
- home health care
- home modification and safety
- housing assistance
- medication management
- prescription assistance
- reverse mortgages,
- veteran’s services
Like the 211 service, this is a relatively new service. Resources specific to your county may not be included in the database; however, information on certain state-based services may be of benefit and localized information should be incorporated in the future. The initial database focuses primarily on Jackson area and Gulf Coast resources. It is suggested that individuals periodically recheck this resource as it is further developed.
Mississippi Get Help can be accessed at www.mississippigethelp.org. If an individual does not have a computer, or is uncomfortable in using such technology, they can call or visit their local Area on Agency office for assistance.
Social Security and Medicare Basics
Social Security taxes pay for three kinds of benefits: retirement, disability and survivors. If an individual is eligible for retirement or disability benefits, other members of his or her family might receive benefits as well. Included in this provision is a spouse if he or she is at least 62 years old or under 62 but caring for a child under age 16 or 16 and older but disabled and entitled to benefits on your record; and children if they are unmarried and are under age 18, age 18-19 and attending K-12 school full-time, or 18 or older and disabled. If an individual is divorced, his or hers ex-spouse could be eligible for benefits on the individual’s record.
Retirement - Social Security retirement benefits begin at full retirement age (with reduced benefits available as early as age 62) if an individual has worked long enough. If born in 1938 or earlier, full retirement age begins at 65. The full retirement age gradually rises until it reaches 67 for people born in 1960 or later. If an individual delays retirement beyond full retirement age, he or she will get special credit for each month in which benefits are not taken until age 70.
Disability - Benefits can be paid to an individual at any age up to 64 ½ if he or she has worked long enough and has a severe physical or mental impairment that prevents working for a year or more or if one has a medical condition that is expected to result in his or her death. One should not delay filing until he or she has been out of work for a year as it can take several months to process a disability claim.
Survivors - If an individual dies before certain members of their family, some of their survivors may be eligible for benefits. These include widows, widowers (and divorced widows and widowers) children and dependent parents.
Medicare - Health care benefits are provided under the four parts of Medicare. Medicare taxes paid while working finance hospital insurance (Part A) that helps pay for inpatient hospital and skilled nursing care and other services. The other three parts of Medicare that are generally paid for by monthly premiums are: medical insurance (Part B) that helps pay for doctors’ fees, out-patient hospital visits and other medical services and supplies; Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans that allow people with Part A and B to receive all of their health care services through one provider organization; and prescription drug coverage (Part D) that helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. Additional information is available at www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227).
For more information about available Social Security benefits and services, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213, 24 hours-a-day. You can also call or visit your local Social Security office.
Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits
Who may be eligible?
- A veteran
- A veteran’s dependent
- A surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran
- An active duty military service member
- A member of the Reserve or National Guard
Benefits and Services Available:
Compensation-The VA can pay a monthly compensation to a veteran that is at least 10% disabled as a result of military service.
Pension- Wartime veterans with limited income that are permanently and totally disabled, and at least 65 years old may be eligible for a monthly pension.
The VA provides a number of health care services such as hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services, domiciliary, nursing home, and community based residential care, etc.
- Free health care is provided for veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998 for any illness possibly related to their service in that theater.
Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment - The VA provides assistance to veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment.
Education & Training -The VA pays for benefits to eligible veterans, reservists and active duty service members while they are in an approved education and training program.
Home Loans -The VA offers a number of home loan services to eligible veterans, some military personnel, and certain surviving spouses.
Burial -The VA offers certain benefits and services to honor our nation’s deceased veterans such as headstones and markers, Presidential Memorial Certificate, burial flag, etc.
For more information about specific benefits, visit the nearest VA office, call 1-800-827-1000, or visit www.vba.va.gov
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Strategic planning and reliance on whole foods in holiday meals can help keep healthy eating habits from falling by the wayside.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said consumers can combat nutritional nightmares by making measured, realistic changes.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sunny, summer days and fair skin tones are not the only risk factors for skin cancer. Cold days, cloudy weather and dark complexions do not eliminate to risk of skin damage and cancers.
"Basically, anytime the sun is below the horizon is the only time any of us are safe from the damaging effects associated with ultraviolet rays," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Rocheryl Ware sees members of her 4-H Junior Master Wellness Volunteer group as catalysts that can help change Mississippi's health landscape.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- As spring blooms outdoors, many people with allergies take refuge inside their homes, but indoor air pollutants can trigger allergic reactions, as well.
"Dust, pollen, cockroaches, pet dander, dust mites, and mold and mildew found inside homes can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms for many people," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Make routine cleaning a priority to help control these pollutants."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or MS-AND, has named David Buys as a recipient of one of its most distinguished awards.
A Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist, Buys was presented with the MS-AND Magnolia Award earlier this month.
The Magnolia Award recognizes individuals outside of the dietetics profession who make significant contributions to the field. It is one of four awards MS-AND makes each year.