LIVE CHAT – MD Strong, Roadmap to Recovery – May 18, 2020

Maryland Strong—Roadmap to Recovery and How does it affect people with disabilities and all Marylanders?

This is a transcript and some notes of the Chat Box from our recent LIVE Chat.

Image Center Live Chat 5/18/20

Special Guests: Secretary Carol Beatty, Secretary, MD Department of Disabilities

Christian Miele, Deputy Secretary, MD Dept. of Disabilities.

From Me to Everyone (in Waiting Room):

Hi all! Welcome to the IMAGE Center! If you’d like to contact us later, please email us at info@imagemd.org or visit imagemd.org.

From DeeDee to Everyone:

Can someone put that website in the chat?

From Me to Everyone (in Waiting Room):

https://odhh.maryland.gov/coronavirus/

For food insecurity issues, please call 211

From Me to Everyone (in Waiting Room):  02:29 PM

Please stay muted until we open up for questions

Please check with your county’s or jurisdiction’s website for the latest because Maryland is taking a regional approach to reopening

mdtap@mdtap.org

or visit their website: mdtap.org

info.mdod@maryland.gov

410-767-3948

From Josh Rouch to Everyone:

and the email – info.mdod@maryland.gov

From Me to Everyone (in Waiting Room):

thank you, Josh!

From Me to Everyone (in Waiting Room):

http://www.mdod.maryland.gov/news/Pages/SDBsurvey.aspx

If you’d like to sign up for the agency’s email list, there’s a link on the website: http://www.mdod.maryland.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

From Kim McKay to Everyone:

MDOD website:  www.mdod.maryland.gov

From Me to Everyone:

http://www.mdod.maryland.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

From Kim McKay to Everyone:

MDTAP http://mdod.maryland.gov/mdtap/Pages/MDTAP-Home.aspx

From Kim McKay to Everyone:

MDOD Constituent Services:  -email:  info.mdod@maryland.gov or call 410-767-3660

From Me to Everyone:

thank you!

From Kim McKay to Everyone:

MDTAP email  mdtap@mdtap.org   Or use the request form on the MDTAP website.

Christian.miele@maryland.gov for connection on focus groups

From Me to Everyone:

Thank you Kim!

From Marlene Riley to Everyone:

totally agree! Why is there a wait list for a program that makes sense financially and for quality of life???

From paula to Everyone:

I agree too!

From Kim McKay to Everyone:

For connection to any of the food programs, call 2-1-1.  2-1-1 Maryland operators have the info on each of the programs mentioned.

From Me to Everyone:

Info@imagemd.org or 410-982-6311

 

 

 

Posted in Ask Mike, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Disability, Food Resources, Live Chat | Leave a comment

IMAGE Live Chat – Monday, May 11th Voting

Update, May 21

Training Opportunity from People on the Go Maryland, Friday May 22nd.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1104524378003&ca=64b9eb05-3e68-4ee4-a020-012adb2727f6

 

This is a transcript of some of the discussion and the Chat box in our weekly Zoom call. 

Thank you to our Special Guests on Voting Issues:

Sharon Manecki – National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.

Ben Jackson – Disability Rights Maryland

Sharon provided an overview of the challenges to voting in Maryland starting in 2016. They have been telling the Board of Elections concerns about the voting process particularly accessibility and privacy protections with regard to the secret ballot.  They have also been working through the legislature and the courts to address it.

This upcoming election, there is a Paper ballot – complete it, sign it and either mail it in, drop it off at the designated locations. If you need an electronic copy, you will need to contact the Board of Elections.

Email will have a link, you’ll get a password and you’ll get the electronic ballot. Then you have to print it out, sign it, drop it off in person or mail it back.

Online Resources:

Main State Board of Elections Website: https://elections.maryland.gov/

Disability Rights Maryland Voting Page: https://disabilityrightsmd.org/voting/

National Federation of the Blind Voting Resource Page: https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/center-excellence-nonvisual-access/national-center-nonvisual-election-3

National Council on Independent Living Voting Resources page: https://ncil.org/votingrights/

Transcript from the Chat Section:

From Cheryl (she/her) to Everyone:

these are the in person voting locations https://www.elections.maryland.gov/elections/2020/20_PP_Vote%20Centers_and_Drop%20off%20Locations.pdf

From Ben J to Everyone:

BenJ@DisabilityRightsMD.org

From Susie M to Everyone:

So, you can fill out the paper ballot and send it back?

From lweintraub@aucd.org to Everyone:

What about plain language

From Ben J to Everyone:

https://www.vote411.org/

From Me to Everyone:  vote411.org is a non-partisan website that usually breaks down the poll questions and they send out information to candidates

From Mika Wills to Everyone:

if you do not belong to a political party, you should not expect to receive anything in the mail for the primary election, correct?

From NDeVaughn to Everyone:

when is the very last date to register if you want to vote in the upcoming election?

From Me to Everyone:

you can register in person on election day – June 2nd. You have to go in person to one of the polling places.

From NDeVaughn to Everyone:

thank you

From Cheryl (she/her) to Everyone:

you can register online up until the 27th

From NDeVaughn to Everyone:

great! thank you

From Cheryl (she/her) to Everyone:

I think Donna is trying to ask a question

From Me to Everyone:

If you assist a voter to vote, there’s an affidavit to complete. Try to ensure as much privacy as possible.

From Me to Everyone:

Thank you!

From martin zimmerman to Everyone:

Baltimore county has update for Seniors  food pickup  410 887 2040 for appointment

Posted in Ask Mike, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Disability | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

IMAGE Live CHAT – Monday, May 4th – Health & Wellness

IMAGE Center LIVE CHAT – Monday, May 4th

This is a transcript of some of the discussion and the Chat box in our weekly Zoom call.)

Welcome to our weekly chat series. Today’s topic is health and well-being including mental health!

Some Tips from Mike Bullis:

  • Brush your teeth, wash your face, get dressed.
  • Listen to your favorite music or favorite movie.
  • Don’t use marijuana or alcohol too much.
  • Take a nap. If you need a rest, get one. Sometimes you need to recharge. These times are stressful and simple things aren’t as easy as it seems
  • Get outside!
  • Don’t watch too much news.
  • Stay connected with family, friends, colleagues. Get outside your own bubble. Connect with people are GOOD for you!
  • Know the difference between being depressed and depression. It’s okay to be depressed from depressing situations, but recognize when you need to get some professional help
  • When you’re at home, try to separate from work. Take a break and push work out of your mind.

Ed Caldwell is here to talk about some of the physical fitness and nutrition tips:

The number one excuse, the most popular excuse for not being physically active, they don’t have enough time. But you have to make the time because you have to make it fit in with your schedule.

Walking is a great exercise. You can burn a lot of calories and helps build immunity by getting outside. Embrace the outdoors. You get vitamin D from the sunshine. That’s one of many exercises. While you have time now, try rearranging to create a space for home workouts.

Beware of Boredom Eating! Find something to do instead. Try a new hobby. A bright side of the lock down is the focus on small local business especially food such as locally grown food. That benefits the local community and often the food is healthier.

From Me to Everyone:

Have everyone! Welcome to our Live Chat and Happy May the 4th!

You can reach the IMAGE Center at 410-982-6311 or info@imagemd.org

From Shiffon Gray to Everyone:

great list Mike very helpful thanks -Shiffon

From Me to Everyone:

Hi Ed from Planet Fitness! Thank you for joining us!

From Cheryl to Everyone:

I’ve gotten some good accessible exercise resources from ARI’s FB page. hold on while I find everything

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3946604088713891&id=118036534904018

https://ymaryland.org/covid19/exercise

From Me to Everyone:

Thanks, Cheryl!

From Cheryl to Everyone:

Accessible Exercise videos:

also, I mentioned last week that BCBS, Aetna, & United waived co-pays for telehealth physical therapy during covid, so now might be a good time to get some fitness advice from a physical therapist for free, especially if you have a physical disability

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

Special Olympics also has a great program right now for adaptive exercises.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2863037773816713/?ref=share

here is a Facebook group you can join

From Me to Everyone:

(part of the discussion about healthy home food delivery options)

Butcher Box – https://www.butcherbox.com/

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

Sprout Natural Market has wonderful options for healthy eating. You can also contact me for additional options if you are interested.

From Cheryl to Everyone:

Baltimore County Together is doing pop up produce pick up every Saturday. you have to order in advance https://www.baltimorecountytogether.org/

From Me to Everyone:

Where to buy local while social distancing: on farm pickups and more

From Cheryl to Everyone:

healthy harvest, territory foods, and imperfect foods are also mailing

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

Thrive Market is also a great delivery service for healthy food options.

From Cheryl to Everyone:

Axis Project out of NYC is also doing a lot of great wheelchair accessible FB live videos on their FB page  https://www.facebook.com/TheAxisProject

From Me to Everyone:

Thanks, Cheryl!

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

also Infinite Flow Dance on Facebook has a lot of videos – https://www.facebook.com/InfiniteFlowDance/

adaptive dance videos

From Stephanie Schwartz to Everyone:  02:35 PM

There are some classes available through the Baltimore County Senior Centers for older and disabled individuals who live in Baltimore County.  I have a link here: https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/aging/centers/

Additional information:

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/aging/centers/onlineclasses.html

From Jaanine S to Everyone:  02:35 PM

The One Voice Recovery Community Center (RCC)

3 Milford Mill Rd. Pikesville MD. 21208 Open M&W 3-9pm

Jaanine Smith/Coordinator

jaaninesmith@prologueinc.org

office. 410.653.6190 x1110

waterline. 410.935.6721

Monday through Saturday 9am-7pm

Susie Michaels warm line is

443.839.8322

From Me to Everyone:

Welcome Susie Michaels! Susie is with One Voice Recovery Center West. We are a peer run center offering services to people with substance abuse disorders or co-occurring disorders.

Thank you, Jaanine! We’re glad to have you here!

From Jaanine S to Everyone:

susanmichaels@prologueinc.org

Please send either Susie or I a friend request and we will send you an invite

oops sorry. Susie has warm line hours Monday through Friday 10 to 5

From Paula to Everyone:

Susie, I notice on your page you ask people how they’re doing, and if they’re not doing well you follow up by saying do you want to talk. Do you spend a lot of time on the phone?

From Jaanine S to Everyone:

GREAT JOB SUSIE!!!!

From Audrey Sellers to Everyone:

And great job, Jaanine!

From Shiffon Gray to Everyone:

thanks for sharing Susie

From Jaanine S to Everyone:

I love you Susie ?

From Cheryl to Everyone:

can we have Baltimore Votes come do their Vote by Mail 101 training?

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

a lot of local health departments have mental health departments and peer support programs. I know they hire individuals who are in recovery themselves. Check out your county’s health department

From Cheryl to Everyone:

Amanda there’s a specific certification process and most counties want you to be certified prior to hire. it’s 46hrs of training and 500 hours of paid or volunteer fieldwork

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

ok that makes sense, Cheryl. I wasn’t sure of the requirements.

From Sharon Payne to Everyone:

and accessible voting.

From Me to Everyone:

Thanks everyone!

Don’t forget you can support the IMAGE Center’s Lifeline IMPACT Fund and help us continue our mission!

DONATE NOW!

You can also support us when you shop on Amazon through Amazon Smile!

Posted in Ask Mike, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Disability, Mental Health | Leave a comment

IMAGE Center Live Chat for Monday, April 27, 2020 – Finances

Updates May 6, 2020

Useful Budgeting tools from the University of Maryland Extension :

Budgeting to Acquire Savings_0

Use It -Consumer Interactive Budgeting Tool Instructions to use – Consumer Interactive Budgeting Tool Budgeting to Acquire Savings_0

Use It -Consumer Interactive Budgeting Tool

Updates on Guidance about the Stimulus money from the Social Security Administration:

SSA rep payee and stimulus payment

Visit their website for more information: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

This is a summary of the discussion for the IMAGE Center Live Chat for Monday, April 27, 2020 – Finances

Please note: We’ve done our best to summarize the discussion and provide citations and resources for the discussion, but please double check the information with the appropriate agency.

From Amanda to Everyone

Hi everyone! Amanda Taylor here with The IMAGE Center: ataylor@imagemd.org

From Me to Everyone

Hi Amanda! HI everyone!

You can reach the Image Center via email info@imagemd.org

From Michele Guyton to Everyone

Hi All,

From Susie M

Susie Michaels from One Voice Recovery Community Center NW.

3 Milford Mill Rd. Pikesville, MD 21208

Open Mondays and Wednesdays.  3 to 9pm.  opening again sometime in the future.

From Cheryl to Everyone:

hi Michele!

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:  02:09 PM

I am on the call today to collect info and make sure that we are on top of the issues facing this community. I appreciate the invite and feel free to contact me anytime.

From Susie M

visit our Facebook page: One Voice Recovery Community Center NW by friending me Susie Michaels or Jaanine Smith and we’ll invite you in.

Mike Bullis introduced the IMAGE Center and the topic.

First question: Is this check this year, going to affect their taxes for next year? Hindley responded that the stimulus money is not going to be included for taxes next year.

If you are on SSDI, it is not earned income so it will not count against your SSDI and does not need to be reported.

CARES ACT states that the benefits being conferred through the ACT are not considered taxable events or deemed income.

Welcome to Michele Guyton from District 42B! Michele introduced herself. She was invited and her office fielding so many calls from area small businesses and is here to learn what issues are and how she can help.

Mike noted that IMAGE qualified under the Paycheck Protection Act as nonprofit and we got some funding through the program.

It is Mike’s understanding the Unemployment is a taxable event, but the extra $600 a week that has been put into place is NOT taxable. He asked Calvin Mitchell, IMAGE Board member.

Calvin said he had not seen anything about whether it would be or not.  This is Crystal, that it is if you want them to take the taxes out when you apply, so assuming parting of it is.

Calvin said they have not declared it non-taxable.

Bong noted that you could do an option to claim withholding.

Mike said that for example, if you were receiving $284 a week and then they were going to add the extra $600 on top of that, based on the language in the CARES Act, that portion wouldn’t be taxable.

Nothing has been stated yet. Delegate Guyton is researching.

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

I’m working on that now

Unemployment monies are all taxable -reported as part of gross income

MD Dept. for Labor Frequently asked questions about CARES Act

https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uicaresfaqs.pdf

Increase in benefits information:

https://www.dllr.state.md.us/whatsnews/uipuc.shtml

If the payment goes back to the IRS because the information is wrong, then the IRS will cut a paper check and send it.

Terri asked When are people getting their checks?

It’s based on AGI where you filed your taxes that the lower the income, the faster you get it. The highest earning people don’t get it until July.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2020/04/21/stimulus-checks-schedule/#6a84f33a7b84

If someone went to a tax preparer and got a refund anticipation loan, the stimulus money went to that back account. So then they have to wait an additional time frame for that get straightened out.

Official site for tracking or applying for payments:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

From Justine to Everyone:  My mic is experiencing issues. The question I get a lot is are there going to be exceptions for the disability community to receive a stimulus check?

From Jeremy to Everyone

If just started getting SSI in 2020 will I be eligible for the stimulus check.

Not claimed as a dependent, but he will have to file for it since he didn’t file a tax return. Updated for people on Social Security or SSI, but they updated that.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

According to the IRS, SSI recipients will receive it without having to file a return.

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

Stimulus check not taxable

From Mypowell to Everyone:

What happens to the college students who have never filed before?

From Me to Everyone:

If they have been claimed by their parents as a dependent, they will not receive it. If they have not, they would need to file a separate return to request it.

Eligibility: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

From Mypowell to Everyone:  So the parent doesn’t get any money back for College students because they are 17 and older

From Cheryl to Everyone: that’s correct

From Mypowell to Everyone: Shouldn’t the college student have the ability to request the stimulus especially given the cost of moving the college students home emergency and many of them having lost income?

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:  You can track both eligibility and your status at

IRS.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

College students are not eligible unless they have filed themselves.  I have three  claimed as dependents.

From Mypowell to Everyone:

Once, your child is 17 no money

Essentially, the receipt of Stimulus checks is based on your dependency status. If you’re claimed as a dependent, you will not receive a stimulus check. All forms are available on the website:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

Click on “Get My Payments”.

Payments were coming in sooner for people who recently filed their 2019 Income tax return and the IRS has the most up to date information.

It was noted that the Maryland Dept. of Labor is taking the unemployment site down each night from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. for daily maintenance.

Most people reported that when the site is working, they had no issues and it’s an easy site to navigate.

From MARTIN to Everyone: stimulus check is not counted as income for benefit programs SNAP,TCA,TDAP.OHEP,PAA,, the three types of unemployment is counted  as unearned income for  SNAP,TCA,TDAP, but not for PAA and OHEP and the extra $600 payment does not count for MA but other two unemployment checks  does as unearned income  thanks Marty

From Melissa to Everyone:  Unemployment questions: Have a 20 year-old who worked in Delaware and MD, can she file in both states?

How do college students who worked in Delaware while away at college and also PRN in MD with gig work –where do they file?

The recommendation for people with incomplete work histories to go ahead and apply to see if they’re eligible.

From Melissa to Everyone:  Unemployment is not contingent on dependency status.

From Ben J. to Everyone:  https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/claimfaq.shtml#morethanone

  1. What if I have worked in more than one state in the last 18 months?

You may have an option to file against any one of the states in which you worked and have monetary eligibility. You may choose to combine the wages of the states in which you worked to establish a combined wage claim, which may result in a higher weekly benefit amount.

To determine in which states you may have an option to file, contact the states in which you worked to explore all options. Your combined wage claim may be filed in any state in which you have employment and wages in the base period of the state and you qualify based on combining your wages. These claims cannot be filed using the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Internet Website. For more information, you may call a Maryland Claim Center, “Claim Center Telephone Numbers” or contact the states in which you worked. Other states’ telephone numbers are listed at “State’s Unemployment Insurance Contact Information.”

From Melissa to Everyone:  Ben–Thank you

From Amanda to Everyone: Does anyone have personal experience with this, or can you comment on the current delay and how lenient unemployment has been? For example, if someone receives a letter that is dated awhile ago and the mail was delayed and they missed entering the weekly claims, will unemployment be lenient? I know they are backdating payments, but not sure about the weekly claim requirement.

From Cheryl to Everyone:  Ben works for Disability Rights Maryland fyi

From Me to Everyone: Thanks, Ben!

How can I apply for benefits when all the SSA offices are closed?

You have to apply for SSDI, you can not apply for SSI unless you’re also applying for SSDI.

SSDI it is based on work that you have done and taxes you have paid. The only way you can apply for SSI is if the SSDI benefit isn’t enough. If you have never worked and apply for SSI so you have to wait until the system opens.

The best thing to do is to apply by calling the local Social Security Office. There’s an online place you can look for the local offices.  Social Security Field Office: https://www.ssa.gov/locator/

Another note is that you have a My Social Security account through ssa.gov, you can do some limited business online such as requesting a replacement card or an award letter.

Question: Is SOAR taking new applicants?

SOAR is a program for people with mental health disabilities at risk of homelessness to apply for SSI, but SOAR is still taking applications.

From Melissa to Everyone:

I am the Baltimore County SOAR Lead and you can still apply for both based on the information I have from BHA.  I will double check my information

From Cheryl to Everyone:  Melissa is SOAR taking new applicants?

From Melissa to Everyone:

I will post the information

Yes. MH homeless or risk of Homelessness

I am having tech issues

I will post the information (please see below in the transcript).

From Me to Everyone:  Thank you Melissa! You can also email it to me at hcomstock@imagemd.org

From lbelcastro to Everyone:

  1. What if am living in another state, but worked in Maryland?

If your base period earnings are in Maryland, but you do not live in Maryland, you would file your claim against Maryland. Your claim would be governed by the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. You can file your claim via the Internet at mdunemployment.com or by telephone using one of the telephone numbers listed on the Unemployment Insurance Home Page under “Claim Center Telephone Numbers.”

If you move after establishing a Maryland claim, call the Claimant Information Service to have your address changed.

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

Anyone who has missed the unemployment mail deadlines can contact me (or Delgate Belcastro) we can intervene if there are delays or problems due to that.  Have had to get involved in several of those situations.

From Melissa to Everyone:

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a mental disorder and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.

2019SOAROutcomes-508

Prologue SOAR Referral 12-2019

SOAR –Bco Power Point Presentation 3-2020

SSA SSI news release (1)

Amanda on the call: They’re waiving the job search requirements because with the lockdown, no one is able to go on job interviews. How lenient has Unemployment been. For example, the mail has been delayed so correspondence is late coming to people. If someone is missing filing their weekly claims, will unemployment be lenient? We know that they’re backdating payments for claims, but not sure about the weekly claim requirement?

Mike asked how long the additional $600 per week was going to continue. The consensus was that it would continue until the end of July.

From Amanda to Everyone:

Thank you, Michele! Can you post the best contact information for you and Delegate Belcastro if you are able? Thank you!

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

michele.guyton@house.state.md.us

From lbelcastro to Everyone:

Lisa.belcastro@house.state.md.us

From Amanda to Everyone:

Thank you so much!!

From Melissa to Everyone:

Caroline Bolas

Consultant/Director: SOAR Initiative

Initiative of Maryland Behavioral Health Administration

(240) 314 0331

Caroline.bolas@maryland.gov

Overview

Over the last 14 years, the SOAR model has been used to assist over 80,047 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness with applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the two disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Of the applications assisted using SOAR, 65 percent, representing 43,486 persons have been approved for SSI/SSDI upon initial application since SOAR began (Table 1).1 An additional 6,591 persons, whose applications were denied initially, were approved on reconsideration or at an ALJ Hearing (Table 2). Taken together, since 2006, the SOAR approach is responsible for assisting 50,077 persons who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness to access Social Security disability benefits.

In 2019, there were 4,273 approvals on initial SSI/SSDI applications. Decisions on SOAR-assisted initial SSI/SSDI applications were received in an average of 108 days in 2019 with an al

Question was posed about being able to hire Personal Care Assistants and the impacts on hiring. Some of the concerns expressed were the extra benefit with unemployment creating competition for hiring because the unemployment benefit is higher. Another issue was people not wanting to go to work or into people’s houses due to the transmission of corona virus.

Bong has said that many personal care staff are still going on home visits and but conversely, many are finding that it isn’t for the amount of hours that are given which aren’t a lot of hours. Maybe 15 hours per week. For them it isn’t worth it because of everything that is happening. It does make it harder to get staff out to people.

Mike noted that they are advocating with the Maryland Dept. of Health, the Governor’s office that there should be a wage Pass through benefit for people who work in personal care assistant and working in facilities in order to increase the payments to motivate people to work. And it has to be a wage pass through meaning the facilities can’t take the extra, it has to go to the employees. It’s is pending and we have sent some letters.

Arkansas just recently passed a pass through. Medicaid does allow for it to happen; the question is can we push for that to happen in Maryland. We just haven’t had a clear response yet to the question, but we’re hopeful.

Some of the issues are differences between the state plans and CMS regulations so the concern is getting things aligned.

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

Does this letter have legislative leadership?  I’m happy to sign on to a colleague letter or distribute one if needed.

Mike offered to send the information on to Delegate Guyton & Delegate Belcastro.

Crystal from the IMAGE Center revisited the issue of residents of nursing facilities that are not infected that are hoping to discharge, but the problem is the similar, changing some of the regulations, CMS has to get some changes enacted so people could discharge early or utilize the Medicaid long term waiver. We have people waiting on the waiver program and that is the only thing keeping them in the facility and they would prefer to wait at home with family providing support until the process is completed.

We want people to be able to leave the facility and go home temporarily and NOT lose their place on the waiting list. It is definitely something that CMS has to approve. There’s not been any movement on this, mainly because it wasn’t something they were thinking about.

Not automatically lose their Medicaid long term care if they leave the facility and for people who are waiting for the Medicaid for the planning process to happen at home rather than in the facility.

The flip side is trying to keep people from the community going into the nursing homes? How can they be prioritized as well so they don’t wind up in the hospital or a facility?

There was consensus that this is something that we will work forward on getting this pushed up to the appropriate levels.

From lbelcastro to Everyone:  Someone had a questions about weekly claim certs that have yet to be filed, you should be able to get your answer here:

https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/webcert/

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:

feel free to contact me offline if that would be helpful

From Amanda to Everyone:  Thank you, Delegate Belcastro!

From lbelcastro to Everyone:  Yup, contact me as well!

From Melissa to Everyone:

SSA updates related to SOAR SSI/SSA claims

Social Security Administration (SSA)

SSA is the agency that oversees the federal disability programs. It also has had to significantly modify its operations as a result of COVID-19. Much more information can be found on its website at: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

At present, SSA local field offices are closed for in person appointments. Many staff members are working remotely, and some staff are going in to check mail and undertake other essential duties.

Local Field Offices are focusing on critical services. These include taking disability applications for the most severe disabilities, including cases involving terminal illness, Wounded Warrior cases; and those who qualify for presumptive disabilities, compassionate allowances, or Quick Disability Determination processes. SSA is also concentrating on resolving payment-related issues such as if claimants do not receive their monthly payment; or are currently experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness, or if benefits were suspended

From Santa Wallace to Everyone:  Thanks for having these weekly sessions, Mike! Very helpful and informative!  Leaving for work zoom. Hope to be back next week

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:  That makes a lot of sense right now. If you send an email with specifics, I will contact Dept. of health today and ask.

From William Fields to Everyone:

Someone stole my identity with Social Security last year. I didn’t unlock my Social Security account.

Question from Mika about Unemployment and SSDI, would the $600 put them over the allowance. Hindley noted that it won’t affect DI at all because it is unearned income.

From Melissa to Everyone:

SSA Press release

News Release

SOCIAL SECURITY

Supplemental Security Income Recipients, Act Now – Go to IRS.gov – A Message from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul

Action Needed for People Receiving SSI with Dependents and Who Do Not File Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment

“Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who don’t file tax returns will start receiving their automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department in early May. People receiving SSI benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment. They should immediately go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Information section to provide their information. SSI recipients who have dependent children and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Tuesday, May 5, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly

From Michele Guyton to Everyone:  03:04 PM

Thank you for the invitation- hope to hear from you soon.  I need to go but hopefully can join next week.

From Me to Everyone:  Thank you Delegate Guyton!

From Cheryl to Everyone:  I just got an email from my PT place that Aetna, United, and BCBS are waiving copays for telehealth PT sessions. could be useful info for someone

From Me to Everyone:  That’s great!

From Melissa to Everyone:

SOAR Information sent it is posted

From Crystal to Everyone: It’s been great to hear from everyone today! Stay well 🙂

From Me to Everyone:

Hi Melissa, I’m transcribing the information and posting it on our IMAGE Blog. There was so much information today I didn’t want to miss anything!

District 11 Town Hall on Tuesday, 4/28 in the evening. Anyone is welcome to participate! Register here: http://tiny.cc/nko8mz

Other updates:

Also the Rotary Club is offering free grocery delivery services. It doesn’t look like they have a specific geographical area, however I would imagine that they are working with folks that live in Baltimore County. Read below for more information:

Rotary International Volunteer Shoppers

Rotary members are available to shop for and delivery groceries, medications and other essential items to those at risk for COVID 19 or unable to leave their homes on a volunteer basis.  Volunteers do not have background checks.  They are Rotary members.

Call 240-781-6586 any day from 9:00am – 6:00pm to request assistance.  It takes between 24 and 72 hours to fill a request.

No charge for the shopping services. Payment for goods purchased at the store is through credit cards only.  Volunteers pay for the food with their own credit card. Once an amount is known, the recipient gives their credit card number to Rotary International to be charged the amount spent. Volunteers will shop with SNAP EBT cards too.

Mike Bullis thanked everyone for calling and participating in the calls and answering questions. Please contact the IMAGE Center with questions or concerns! The office number is 410-982-6311 or via email at info@imagemd.org

Help us continue to serve our community during this crisis by supporting our Lifeline Impact Fund!  Donate to our IMPACT Fund today! 

Or support IMAGE while you shop Amazon! Shop Amazon Smile and support IMAGE!

 

Posted in Ask Mike, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Disability, Disabled Employment, Food Resources, Isolation, Live Chat | Leave a comment

LIVE CHAT on Monday, April 20 – Independent Living

IMAGE Center LIVE CHAT – Independent Living Skills during COVID Crisis

Monday, April 2020

From IMAGE Center to Everyone:

mbullis@imagemd.org

hcomstock@imagemd.org

From martin zimmerman to Everyone:

In Baltimore County a number of Libraries now have  free public WiFI and some other options for internet access via Comcast.

Details in the Document here:  wifi-access

From Josh Rouch to Everyone:

awesome

From Susie Michaels to Everyone:

Susie Michaels and Jaanine Smith Facebook page: One Voice Recovery Community Center NW. friend us and we’ll invite you in to the page.  Also my phone number is 443.839. 8322 and work e mail is: susanmichaels@prologueinc.org

Jaanine’s email is jaaninesmith@prologueinc.org

+410.935.6721 is Jaanine’s phone

From IMAGE Center to Everyone:

Vanessa has been using doggie pick up bags in place of gloves. She finds it easier to use than getting gloves and off, but they’re convenient, easy to use, and really function as that needed barrier.

From Jaanine S to Everyone:

https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/#cookbook-recipe-24635

From Josh Rouch to Everyone:

CVS is offering free presciption delivery during the pandemic

From Cheryl to Everyone:

www.baltimorecountytogether.org for produce pick up

From Kariza Goncalves to Everyone:

I’m not sure if this applies to all prescriptions, such as the ones that need to be refrigerated.

From IMAGE Center to Everyone:

Mike noted that all the governors’ press conferences are available to view on CSPAN. Governor Hogan’s are also available on Facebook and YouTube.

From Josh Rouch to Everyone:

What can I do to help our community in Baltimore County/city? Volunteer? I am furloughed and have a lot of free time

From Crystal to Everyone:  02:58 PM

Thank you, Cheryl!

Baltimore Votes has offered to run webinars about the vote by mail by request for groups

https://facebook.com/events/s/vote-by-mail-101-get-out-the-v/247388066453704/?ti=as

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vote-by-mail-101-get-out-the-vote-before-april-28-tickets-102938788688?aff=eand

From Kariza Goncalves to Everyone:  02:58 PM

United Way of Central Maryland is offering different ways to Volunteer during socialize distancing protocols.

https://www.volunteermd.org/need/?q=COVID&age;=&agency;_id=&county;=&dateOn;=&distance;=&zip;=&need;_impact_area=&need;_init_id=&qualification;_id=&cat;_id=&meta;%5B%5D=&meta;%5B%5D=&meta;%5B%5D=&allowTeams;=&ug;_id=&s=1

 

From IMAGE Center to Everyone:  03:01 PM

Here’s the Link for Need a Hand/Lend A Hand- District 11

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1060156311021617/

A network of individuals in Baltimore County that are willing to shop and run errands for neighbors.

From Josh Rouch to Everyone:

I read somewhere that Comcast is offering free internet for 60 days for people who can’t afford it

From IMAGE Center to Everyone:

The full information about the free wi fi locations from the Baltimore County library will get posted on the blog. Thanks, Jaanine for bringing that up!

Mike Bullis thanked everyone for calling and participating in the calls and answering questions. Please contact the IMAGE Center with questions or concerns! The office number is 410-982-6311 or via email at info@imagemd.org

Help us continue to serve our community during this crisis by supporting our Lifeline Impact Fund!  Donate to our IMPACT Fund today! 

Or support IMAGE while you shop Amazon! Shop Amazon Smile and support IMAGE!

 

Posted in Ask Mike, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Disability, Isolation, Live Chat, Success Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Covid-19 Information from the IMAGE Center

We’re using this page to share information of interest and use to our community. Please check our Live Chat posts for other useful links!

The IMAGE Center is committed to continuing to serve consumers during this time. If you would like to help support our mission, please consider donating to our LIFELINE IMPACT Fund today!

To contact IMAGE Center staff, please call 410-982-6311 and leave a message. Please let us know what information you’re requesting so we can forward to the appropriate staff!

Please note information is current when posted, but due to the rapidly changing nature of this emergency, information can become outdated. Please double check with the agency or organization to verify.

Updates: May 13, 2020

From the Social Security Administration’s  Office of Communications:  Raising awareness about the Social Security Imposter Scam and the COVID-19 scam.  As you are probably aware, scammers contact people via text or phone pretending to be from Social Security and tell them that their Social Security number or account is in jeopardy.  They have also mailed letters expressing that Social Security benefits will be suspended or discontinued because of COVID-19.

Below are links to blogs about the scams.

COVID-19 Scam Blog
https://blog.ssa.gov/inspector-general-warns-about-new-social-security-benefit-suspension-scam/

Imposter Scam Blogs
https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-is-taking-action-to-prevent-scam-calls/

https://blog.ssa.gov/inspector-general-warns-public-about-widespread-social-security-scam-texts/

Please be wary of anyone who asks for sensitive information and account numbers via unsolicited phone calls and texts. Verify the request by contacting the agency through their published public information.

Updates: May 7, 2020

Food Resources for Seniors in Baltimore County

resources update

FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR OLDER ADULTS

 

 

 

 

Warning: SCAM letter circulating

scam letter representing MHBE affiliate

HC-FY20-016 Representing as MHBE Affiliate 5-7-20_Redacted

Updates: May 6, 2020

Updated Guidance from the Social Security Administration regarding stimulus payments:

SSA rep payee and stimulus payment

Visit their website for the latest information: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

2020 U. S. Census information meeting for Baltimore County

On Tuesday May 12th the Complete Count Committee of Baltimore County will host a virtual 2020 Census community meeting that will feature a compilation of testimonies from trusted partners/messengers. (flyer attached)  Please share and promote throughout each of your personal and professional networks. The purpose of the meeting is to allow residents to hear from trusted voices and messengers in the community on why the Census is important now, more than ever. Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-census-community-meeting-tickets-103275441626

National Disability Rights Network has an information page on your rights during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.ndrn.org/resource/know-your-rights-during-covid-19-series/

Updates: April 27, 2020

Family and Kinship Navigator Services continue to be available during these uncertain times. Kinship Navigator services are available to provide support to families living in Baltimore County who are raising a relative’s child/children.

FY20 FN Fact SheetFY20

Family and Kinship Referral Form

FamNavServices_Bro_FY20

Baltimore City Water Bill Payment Assistance

ALERT – Baltimore City Water Bill Payment Assistance 4.27.2020

ALERT-Utility Scams 4.27.2020

New Sites Make Testing Available Five Days A Week

NAMI is holding remote mental health support groupshttp://namibaltimore.org/online-supportgroups/

Also the Rotary Club is offering free grocery delivery services. It doesn’t look like they have a specific geographical area, however I would imagine that they are working with folks that live in Baltimore County. Read below for more information:

Rotary International Volunteer Shoppers

Rotary members are available to shop for and delivery groceries, medications and other essential items to those at risk for COVID 19 or unable to leave their homes on a volunteer basis.  Volunteers do not have background checks.  They are Rotary members.

Call 240-781-6586 any day from 9:00am – 6:00pm to request assistance.  It takes between 24 and 72 hours to fill a request.

No charge for the shopping services. Payment for goods purchased at the store is through credit cards only.  Volunteers pay for the food with their own credit card. Once an amount is known, the recipient gives their credit card number to Rotary International to be charged the amount spent. Volunteers will shop with SNAP EBT cards too.

Towson University Offering Delivered Meals  ToGoMeals_4-20-20

Updates: April 20, 2020

Expanded WiFi access from Baltimore County Public Library and other low or no-cost internet access options – wifi-access

Contactless Produce Pickup from www.baltimorecountytogether.org

Updates: April 17, 2020

Joint letter from Disability Rights Maryland and the Maryland Association of Centers for Independent Living advocating for accessibility of essential businesses during the pandemic.

Business Leader Letter

From the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel

Attached please find FAQs relating to the State of Emergency. This document provides answers and resources on topics like food, student loans, scams, taxes, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions During the State of Emergency

April 16, 2020

BGE Suspends Service Disconnections Through June 1

https://www.bge.com/News/Pages/Press%20Releases/200416-BGE-Suspends-Service-Disconnections-for-Nonpayment-Waives-New-Late-Payment-Fees-through-at-Least-June-1.aspx

Community Services for the Deaf resources during Corona  https://www.csd.org/coronavirus

National Federation for the Blind resources page https://www.nfb.org/resources/covid-19-resources

Baltimore County Coronavirus Information & Updates https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/news/coronavirus.html

Baltimore City Coronavirus Information & Updates  https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/

Harford County Coronavirus Information & Updates  http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/2813/COVID-19-Facts-and-Information

Posted in Coronavirus, Covid-19, Food Resources, Isolation, Live Chat, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIVE CHAT Monday, April 13th Transportation!

Thanks to everyone who joined in our IMAGE Center LIVE CHAT – Transportation on Monday, April 13, 2020! We had some great discussion. Below is the transcript of the chat during the discussion.

Please note that we have done our best to get the most up to date information but as this situation is extremely fluid, please double check with agencies for the most up to date information.

Maryland Transit Administration website provides updated information: mta.maryland.gov/coronavirus 

Transit Information Contact Center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-539-5000.

Mobility information can be accessed by calling 410-764-8181

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:  Hi everyone! This is Amanda Taylor: ataylor@imagemd.org

From Steven Gravelle to Everyone: Hello Amanda.  This is Steve Gravelle from The Arc Baltimore

From Jade Gingerich to Everyone:

Jade Gingerich from MD Dept of Disabilities is here

hey Mike!

From mdlclaptop to Everyone:  Lauren Young from Disability Rights Maryland is here….hello to all.

From Image Center to Everyone:  Hi Everyone! We’ll be trying to capture notes and information as the discussion happens.

Hi Martin! Glad you could join us!

From Cheryl Gottlieb to Everyone: hi Lauren!

From Kariza Goncalves to Everyone:  Kariza Goncalves from Stevenson University…hello all!  I’ve been seeking employment at the IMAGE Center and Mike has been kind enough to add me to the weekly Zoom meetings!

From Image Center to Everyone:

Hi Kariza! We’re glad you’re here!

Terri Seitz – Ztrip is an app that is similar to Uber but they have a van for people in wheelchairs.

From Cheryl Gottlieb to Everyone:  imperfectfoods.com

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

Safeway pharmacy delivered my medicine and it was wonderful – same day availability. They typically have you fill out a form in person but they made an exception and just went through with the delivery.

Thrive Market is a delivery service for healthy food options, supplements, etc. but I have heard they are backed up like other services.

From Linda Pearl to Everyone: Huge storm. I’m checking out and turning off my computer.

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:  Purple Carrot and Daily Harvest are other healthy food delivery options. Purple Carrot has a lot of vegetarian/vegan options.

From Image Center to Everyone:

The Maryland Farmer’s Market Association has developed a map to help people to find local farmers and markets. Some have curbside pickup and delivery. You can use the map here: https://marylandfma.org/food/where-to-buy-local-while-social-distancing-on-farm-pickups-and-more/

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:

Great resource, Heather!

From Jaime McKay to Everyone: The website being discussed is available at https://www.transit.dot.gov/coronavirus

From Cheryl Gottlieb to Everyone:

can I please get a copy of the fact sheet

MTA MobilityLINK & Covid-19 Fact Sheet from Disability Rights Maryland

From Jade Gingerich to Everyone:  Has anyone tried/had to access covid testing using public transit?

From Image Center to Everyone:

check mta.maryland.gov/coronavirus for the most recent and accurate information

Call the Transit Information Contact Center or Mobility if you need to speak with someone with a specific question

Jaime, can you give us the phone number? (see below)

From Kariza Goncalves to Everyone:

Question, how is mobility taking social distancing precautions with their passengers? less passengers, drivers wearing masks, using the buses only…etc?

From Jaime McKay to Everyone:

Hi, IMAGE Center.  Riders needing assistance with trip planning can contact the Transit Information Contact Center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-539-5000.

From Image Center to Everyone:  Thanks, Jaime!

From Jaime McKay to Everyone:  Mobility information can be accessed by calling 410-764-8181. I am pleased to assist.

From stephanieschwartz to Everyone:

Meals on Wheels in Baltimore County does have Grocery Assist Program that can accept their SNAP benefits

https://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org/programs-partnerships/  Go to the bottom for more information and the application link for Grocery Assist

From Brockington Crystal to Everyone: Thanks, Stephanie!

 

Other Updated information:

Maryland Transit Resources under Covid19.

The following information is provided courtesy of the National Federation of the Blind

Public Transportation Information for Specific Systems

MTA: MTA continues to operate but Marc, Light rail, and most fixed transit bus lines are on a reduced schedule. Some fixed route bus lines have been suspended.  Mobility is operating to provide essential trips only, which includes medical appointments, grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, dialysis, and jobs deemed essential.  Individuals using the fixed route bus service must board and disembark at the rear door unless they need access to the wheelchair ramp.  Fares have been suspended.  For the most up-to-date information about MTA, visit https://www.mta.maryland.gov/.

MTA Commuter Bus: MTA Maryland Commuter Bus is operating on an “S” schedule only.

Baltimore Metro Subway and Light Rail: Metro Subway and Light Rail will operate on a Saturday schedule on weekdays.  See all MTA transit changes here .

MTA Express BusLink Service: MTA is temporarily discontinuing 11 routes that recently experienced an average of 82% decline in ridership.  These routes include all nine peak-hour Express BusLink routes and LocalLinks 38 and 92, which primarily serve schools that are now closed.

RTA: RTA fixed route is operating on an enhanced “Saturday/Sunday schedule” and all FARES will be temporarily suspended. RIDERS should use the Transit App for real-time data and schedules. The  Modified Schedule is available but may change.  RTA paratransit service has changed its hours of operations to 9:30AM to 4:45PM Monday through Friday.

Metro Rail: Metro has reduced rail service such that trains will now run every 15 minutes on the Red Line and every 20 minutes on all other lines. Weekday hours are still 5:00AM to 11:00PM.  Metro rail will bypass more than a dozen stations. Click to Find out which stations are closed .

Metro Bus: Metrobuses are running on a Sunday schedule with no supplemental routes. Bus drivers will have the authority to bypass bus stops to “maintain safe social distancing aboard buses,” Metro said.  Riders should use the rear doors to enter and exit unless the accessible ramp is needed.  Fares will be waived.

DC Circulator: The DC Circulator is for the most-part operating with reduced service.  The National Mall Route has been suspended, as has all late night service.  Riders should use the rear doors to enter and exit unless the accessible ramp is needed.  Fares will be waived.

Ride On and Ride On extra: Ride On bus service has been reduced to an Essential Service Plan. Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation expects buses will be delayed and encourages users to check the status of their usual buses before leaving for their bus stop. Ride On follows a new reduced service plan that maintains coverage of Ride On routes so that residents can access food, essential services, and essential jobs. Passengers are now required to board at the rear door of the bus. Passengers can board through the front doors if a lift is needed to accommodate a disability or stroller. During the emergency, all Ride On services will be temporarily free to all passengers. Flex service is suspended.

The Bus: The Prince George’s County system will suspend routes 11, 12, 14, 15x, 21x, 22, 23, 25, 27, 34, 35s, 51 and 53 while running reduced service on 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 and 32. The routes still running will be free. Riders will only be allowed to enter using the rear doors, to limit contact with the driver. However, exceptions will be made for people with disabilities or those with strollers.

ART: Art is operating on a reduced schedule. ART 41, 42, 45, 51, 55, 77 and 87 are running on a Saturday schedule. ART 42 and 87 will end at the Pentagon instead of Pentagon City, ART 45 will start an hour early at 6:30 a.m. and ART 43 will run every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. along its weekday route. All other routes are suspended.

PRTC OmniRide: Local and Metro Express services will be free to limit interactions between the driver, fare box and riders. OmniRide Express services will still have fares, but there will not be a cash option or the option to reload a SmarTrip with cash on a bus. The main lobby of the OmniRide Transit Center is also closed.

FRED: FRED Transit‘s VRE Feeder Bus Service is operating on an “S” schedule. VQ1 and D6 will not operate.

Additional information can be found at https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/03/local-and-regional-transit-services-adjust-to-coronavirus-presence/

Mike Bullis thanked everyone for calling and participating in the calls and answering questions. Please contact the IMAGE Center with questions or concerns! The office number is 410-982-6311 or via email at info@imagemd.org

Help us continue to serve our community during this crisis by supporting our Lifeline Impact Fund!  Donate to our IMPACT Fund today! 

Or support IMAGE while you shop Amazon! Shop Amazon Smile and support IMAGE!

 

 

Posted in Ask Mike, Isolation, Transportation | Leave a comment

LIVE CHAT on April 6, 2020 – Mental Health

Update from April 27th:

NAMI is holding remote mental health support groups: http://namibaltimore.org/online-supportgroups/

Thanks to everyone who joined us on our LIVE CHAT on Mental Health Resources and Tips!  For the list of resources we’ve compiled, click here!

First the Transcript from the call:

IMAGE Center Live Chat

Monday, April 6, 2020

Topic: Mental Health Resources

Amanda Taylor here from The IMAGE Center! Email: ataylor@imagemd.org

Hi Everyone! Thanks for your patience while we work through this! Heather from the Image Center hcomstock@imagemd.org

We will be compiling resources from the call again today and we’ll be posting them on our blog. If you have any questions, please let us know!

Our Guest today is

Dr. Rebecca Wald, Minds In Focus

http://mindsinfocus.net/

Kari Gorkos with the Mental Health Association of Maryland

www.mhamd.org

We started with Rebecca Wald who gave a presentation similar to the one in this video from her YouTube Channel:

Transcript from the Chat Session:

From Shiffon Gray

I have a question. What about those who have family members in nursing facilities and the stress it might cause the person in the nursing facility as well as the family person that cannot see their family member in nursing facility. How does one find out if their relative in the nursing facility is not under stress and if so what can they suggest to the social worker to do for their family member. I do not have a relative in a nursing facility thinking of those who do.

From Anna Goldberg (regarding apps such as Calm for helping with sleep)many of those apps have content available for free fyi

Crystal noted that they are trying to do peer support by phone and work with individuals in facilities to get them their own phones so they can stay in touch with their families.

From Kia Cummings

Skype and DUO are great apps for folks in nursing facilities as well if helped by the facility staff.

From Me to Everyone:

Rebecca also suggested letters, recordings of music or yourself reading a book or a message and deliver that to the facility.

Question from Heather:

How can we maintain routine when the things that trigger our routines are not happening?

Rebecca suggested to create an artificial structure to help. For example, getting up and dressed like you’re going to go out. Or make arrangements with yourself to define your time such as staying out of bed during the day. If you feel your days are formless, plan an activity schedule to help put some structure in your day.

With medications – try to stay on your schedule. Set an alarm and try to get up at your usual time. This will help with any sleep issues.

Setting a phone alarm is great for remembering to take medications.

From Cheryl Gottlieb -MDH- not a question, statement. As a non-driver getting from place to place causes a tremendous amount of stress in my life 24/7. I didn’t go outside for 3 wks straight and honestly I’m relieved that there’s nowhere to go. The weight of all that stress got lifted. Just wanted to say that if people are relieved that they no longer have to deal with Mobility or MTA, that’s also a valid way to feel.

From Anna Goldberg to Everyone:

I am disabled, and I am also on the “team” Rebecca talked about for some other friends and family who are themselves disabled. Any advice for how to support the people on my team when we are all in crisis? We don’t live in the same area, and I am trying my best to advocate for them long distance, but I feel out of my depth sometimes.

From Kia Cummings to Everyone:

Just a comment: I have disabled children at home and stress is at an all-time high, I also have aging parents, so we find that keeping routine is easier if you create a mock area to do the work too. My family homeschools, and we do therapy daily; therefore, we make it a priority to schedule outside the bedroom and force ourselves to be productive with 1 activity a day.

How do you prioritize self-care if you are the caregiver?

From Angela Tyler to Everyone:

What do you recommend when you have 3 different generations and 3 different sets of needs in one home?

Rebecca suggested that everyone can help. As a caregiver try to set aside some time for yourself such as taking a walk alone or sitting outside.

Grandparents can support kids by listening to them read or their school work. Kids can support by helping with meals.

Rebecca noted that when we take care of ourselves, we are showing an example to our kids that self-care is a priority.

From Amanda Taylor to Everyone:  Can we recap the list of three things to do per day? 1. One non-screen, non-work activity. 2. Move! Find a way to be active. 3. Clean something! (Is this accurate? Please correct me if I am wrong!)

From Rebecca Wald to Everyone:

Amanda, the list I made for my family:

– work or school

– physical activity

– non-screen non-work activity

– clean something

But other things would probably appear on other people’s lists – for example, therapy exercises, etc.

Mike added that his experience was that when it was on a list, it wasn’t personal and was easier to get done. Everyone is working through their to do items on that list.

Martin Zimmerman to Everyone:

Hello, Just wanted to let people know that food stamps cases will have an additional amount for April and May (letters going out to explain this point),also no cases are being closed-,Food Stamp, TCA TDAP, also state medical assistance programs also are not being closed  (due to redets )thanks for all you do

From Anna Goldberg to Everyone

Setting clear expectations is a big part of making sure the routine or schedule is actually helpful and effective. my husband and I made one that was just one fun activity we’d do each night for every day of the week. they’re small, simple things, but it gives us something to look forward to 🙂

From Me to Everyone:  02:52 PM

Kari Gorkos with the Mental Health Association of Maryland

From Kari Gorkos to Everyone:

www.mhamd.org

From Me to Everyone:

Thanks, Kari!

What about applying for SNAP as a new recipient? or if you forgot to do a redetermination over the winter? Can you reapply now?

Martin noted that even though the offices are closed, they are continuing to work remotely and people can apply online.

From Kate Wallace to Everyone

https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/

Also customer service # is 1 800 332-6347  which will connect you to local office staff.

From Me to Everyone: https://www.imagemd.org/blog/

If you have questions or comments, please contact Mike at mbullis@imagemd.org

Support the IMAGE Center’s LIFELINE IMPACT Fund! Your donation will help us continue to serve our community!

Mike Bullis thanked everyone for calling and participating in the calls and answering questions. Please contact the IMAGE Center with questions or concerns! The office number is 410-982-6311 or via email at info@imagemd.org

Help us continue to serve our community during this crisis by supporting our Lifeline Impact Fund!  Donate to our IMPACT Fund today! 

Or support IMAGE while you shop Amazon! Shop Amazon Smile and support IMAGE!

 

Posted in Ask Mike, Isolation, Live Chat, Mental Health | Leave a comment

Mental Health and Abuse Resources

Age Friendly Baltimore County shared the following mental health resource with us on April 8th – Shepperd Pratt’s Virtual Walk In Crisis Clinic

Here is a list of mental health and abuse resources we’ve compiled:

Maryland Health Connection opened an emergency enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders through June 15, 2020. More information is available here: https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/

For Coronavirus phone support:
Call 2-1-1, then press 2 to connect with a helpline representative immediately to get additional information and resources.

Crisis Connect Tri-fold 211MD Business Card

Mental Health Association of Maryland

800-422-0009
https://www.mhamd.org/immediate-help/

General Statewide Coronavirus information: https://www.mhamd.org/coronavirus/

The Senior Call Check participants receive an automated call every day. These calls will take place within a time frame chosen by the participant. If the participant does not answer their first call, they will be called two additional times in the same day. If those calls go unanswered, an alternate person, selected by the participant, will be notified. This alternate could be an adult child, a neighbor, or anyone designated as a reliable contact. The alternate will then be asked to check on the participant. For those who do not have an alternate or whose alternate is unresponsive, the state will call local law enforcement to conduct a wellness check.

For more information on this program and to register, call 1-866-50-CHECK (1-866-502-4325) or visit aging.maryland.gov. Please help spread the word to seniors living alone at home.

This next information courtesy of NAMI Maryland

In the coming days and weeks, NAMI Maryland will be rolling out additional support and education to help our community process the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s job loss, isolation, caring for a loved one, or fractures in critical behavioral health services, we want to know how the abrupt changes in society and our day-to-day lives are impacting you.

Please take our brief survey to help us target the best way to help you. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KMLWJDH

Ways to Avoid Headline Anxiety and to Cope:

  • Avoid triggering topics in the news.
  • Limit your news consumption.
  • Be cognizant of your social media use.
  • Practice good stress management
  • Understand that it is normal to be somewhat concerned by this, but try not to let fear drive your anxiety to an unhealthy level.

To put this new and concerning situation into perspective:

  • Understand that it will be life-disrupting for awhile.
  • Settle in.
  • We’re ALL working as hard and as quickly as we can.
  • Grace is helpful. Anger is not.
  • Stay calm.
  • Keep your germs to yourself.
  • Limit large gatherings.
  • It’s going to be ok, but it’s going to be bumpy for awhile-

Please stay safe and protect your mental health! We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to email us at info@namimd.org or call the NAMI Maryland office at (410) 884-8691 if you have any questions.

Mike Finkle of On Our Own of Maryland provided several useful pamphlet resources that can be printed.

A comprehensive list of Warm Line Numbers can be found via their website in Google Docs.

Maryland Association of Behavioral Health Authorities – a list of behavioral health authorities from around the state of Maryland. MABHA DirectoryMABHAMay2019 (1)

Maryland Dept. of Health -Recovery and Wellness Support Resources for the COVID-19 Outbreak Fact Sheet – Wellness and Recovery Resources 4.1.2020

211 Maryland Crisis Connect Crisis Connect Tri-fold 211MD Business Card

Baltimore Crisis Response and National Suicide Hotline BCRI and National Suicide Hotline

Baltimore City

Behavioral Health System Baltimore, Inc.

Crisis: BCRI – https://bcresponse.org/
410-433-5175 (24 hour line for help and crisis)

General: Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore – https://www.bhsbaltimore.org/
410-433-5175 (staffed by BCRI)

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Department of Health, Bureau of Behavioral Health

Crisis: Baltimore County Crisis (run by Affiliated Sante) – https://www.thesantegroup.org/baltimore-county-crisis-services
410-931-2214

General: Baltimore County Bureau of Behavioral Health – https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/healthservices/mental/
410-887-3828

 

Harford County

Office on Mental Health of Harford County

410-803-8726

Local Addictions Authority

Harford County Health Department

410.803.8726

410-273-5681 Fax: 410-273-5556

Harford Crisis Center

800-NEXT-STEP
410-889-7884

Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-SAFE (7233)

National Sexual Assault Hotline
(800) 656-HOPE (4673)

Maryland Health Care Coalition Against Domestic Violence

https://healthanddv.org/resources/links-to-other-resources/

Baltimore County Family Violence resources

https://baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/community/family.html

PSA from the Police Chief with some resources for getting help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qoo2u5DVmKQ

Turn Around, Inc.

House of Ruth

Domestic Violence
informational video by Baltimore County Police Department https://foxbaltimore.com/news/coronavirus/balt-co-police-shares-resources-for-survivors-of-domestic-violence-during-the-pandemic

iwatch@baltimorecounty.gov
410-887-2223 (special victims unit)
Greater Baltimore Medical Center – ask for safe nurse

Elder & Medical Abuse Resources

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/community/elderabuse.html

https://chanabaltimore.org/find-help/elder-abuse/

Baltimore City Domestic Violence Resources:  https://mocj.baltimorecity.gov/domestic-violence-resources/links

Harford County resource list: http://harfordcountymd.gov/2255/For-Victims-of-Domestic-Violence-and-Sta

Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center

https://www.sarc-maryland.org/about/

Harford County Department of Aging

https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/651/Office-on-Aging

Special thanks to Mike Finkle of On Our Own Maryland, Kari Gorkos of MHAMD, and NAMIMD for the resources and information!

Support the IMAGE Center’s LIFELINE IMPACT Fund! Your donation will help us continue to serve our community!

Posted in Ask Mike, Isolation, Live Chat, Mental Health, Relationships | Leave a comment

IMAGE Center LIVE CHAT Monday, March 30, 2020 – Food Resources

Update, May 21

Maryland Department of Human Services Secures USDA Approval to Expedite Expansion of SNAP Program to Online Grocery Purchases, Curbside Pickup, and Delivery, Starting May 27, 2020

http://news.dhr.maryland.gov/reports/that/maryland-department-human-services-secures-usda-approval-expedite-expansion-snap-program-online-grocery-purchases-curbside-pickup-delivery-starting-may-27-2020/

List of Food Resources by County: Food Resources by County

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Frequently Asked Questions: P-EBT Flyer

Update, May 7

Food Resources for Seniors in Baltimore County

resources update

FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR OLDER ADULTS

 

 

Update from April 27th

Also the Rotary Club is offering free grocery delivery services. It doesn’t look like they have a specific geographical area, however I would imagine that they are working with folks that live in Baltimore County. Read below for more information:

Rotary International Volunteer Shoppers

Rotary members are available to shop for and delivery groceries, medications and other essential items to those at risk for COVID 19 or unable to leave their homes on a volunteer basis.  Volunteers do not have background checks.  They are Rotary members.

Call 240-781-6586 any day from 9:00am – 6:00pm to request assistance.  It takes between 24 and 72 hours to fill a request.

No charge for the shopping services. Payment for goods purchased at the store is through credit cards only.  Volunteers pay for the food with their own credit card. Once an amount is known, the recipient gives their credit card number to Rotary International to be charged the amount spent. Volunteers will shop with SNAP EBT cards too.

Towson University offered delivered meals: ToGoMeals_4-20-20

Update from April 8th

Maryland Hunger Solutions at 866-821-5552.  https://www.mdhungersolutions.org/

Can assist with completing the online application for SNAP Benefits.

Meals on Wheels in Baltimore County does have Grocery Assist Program that can accept their SNAP benefits

https://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org/programs-partnerships/  Go to the bottom for more information and the application link for Grocery Assist

A list of resources regarding legal rights during COVID-19 related to housing, rent, utilities is available from the Maryland Office of the People’s Counsel

http://www.opc.maryland.gov/Consumer-Corner/Publications#COVID-19%20Fact%20Sheets

Update from April 6, 2020:

FYI- The state of Maryland was recently approved by the US Department of Agriculture to temporarily increase everyone’s SNAP benefit to their household maximum monthly amount, regardless of income and earnings. This will go into effects for the months of April and May. Also people are getting automatically re-certified for their SNAP as well.

https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/

Also customer service # is 1 800 332-6347 which will connect you to local office staff.

Here is a transcription of the the chat notes from the LIVE CHAT on Monday, March 30 where we discussed the various food resources available.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, join us every Monday for a LIVE CHAT via Zoom. If you’d like to register for our next one on Monday, April 6th at 2:00 p.m. where we’ll be discussing Mental Health Resources – please register here!

IMAGE Center LIVE CHAT
Monday, March 30, 2020
This is a transcript from the Chat session to try to capture phone numbers and addresses for resources that came up during the conversation.

Hi everyone! Just checking in! If you would also like to check in, please type your name and email address in the chat. Thank you!
I am: Amanda Taylor. Email: ataylor@imagemd.org
Heather Comstock: hcomstock@imagemd.org
Maryland Food Bank 410-737-8282
Baltimore City for Delivered meals 410-396-2273
It does include weekends
Thank you! Rebecca.Mark@baltimorecity.gov
Maryland Access Point for the City 410-396-2273
Thank you! Allie Post, Family Crisis Center.
From Rebecca Mark to Everyone: Are there updates on the issue of grocery delivery for people on food stamps? (There was no consensus on how this was working but some brief discussion on looking for answers).
You can also dial 211
Kathy Shulman noted that the familyleague.org website has a food access list and all can be found on the mayor’s website as well. https://www.bmorechildren.com/freemeals
Anyone have any updates on folks using food stamps for grocery delivery? Rebecca Mark wanted to get an update
From Jaanine Smith to Everyone: Hi this is Jaanine Smith from the One Voice Recovery Community Center in Baltimore County. I wanted to know what the options are for food pick-up and delivery for folks that DO NOT drive?
Michelle Mills Maryland Access Point triage for all food questions. There’s a webpage with locations for stores and food pantries. 410-887-2594 Maryland Access Point Baltimore County
https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/foodresources.html
From Jill Hall to Everyone: Yes, they can pick up 3 meals plus 2 snacks at Baltimore County Schools 11-1 p.m.
From Jill Hall to Everyone: Police Athletic League (PAL) centers are doing 4-6 pm
From Heather Comstock to Everyone:
https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-expands-grocery-drive-and-go-distribution-during-covid-19-pandemic
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: Image Board Member Bong Delrosario noted that Taxi Access is still operating.
Mike noted that he’s seen offers on Next Door from neighbors offering to pick up groceries or other supplies
From Jaanine Smith to Everyone: what is taxi access?
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: http://mdod.maryland.gov/transport/Pages/Taxi-Services.aspx
Taxi Access
From Amanda Taylor to Everyone: Taxi Access is a service connected to MTA Mobility, which is similar to a taxi cab but connected to the ride share program for people with disabilities.
From Le to Everyone: To my understanding the Baltimore Co- Grab and Go sites are open to all. I went to the Stembridge PAL center on Saturday inquiring about their requirements to share with families.
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: Different sites have different requirements for identification. The schools are requiring information about the child and some are collecting vehicle information to verify eligibility, but it’s a constantly changing situation.
From Le to Everyone: Also the MFB (Maryland Food Bank) is currently working with school pantries to see if schools are willing to open their school pantries- under the discretion of the school principals.
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: 410-685-1212 for Yellow Cab if you have a Taxi Access Card. Bong noted that If you are in a wheelchair, you have to call 24 hours in advance. Call Center is not open on the weekends so if you need to schedule, call Monday through Friday
From kathyshulman to Everyone: The reason that meal programs for children changing quite frequently is that the regulations from USDA keep changing. related to how children can get meals. A regulation just got passed to have parents pick up meals for children.
From Antoine MedStar Health to Everyone: Thanks for the resource
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: IMAGE Board Member Janice Jackson noted that If you’re already on a meal delivery service, please contact them about the possibility of having more meals delivered
There are a variety of programs, so be sure to check in with them if you need more meal delivery service.
From Randi Ames to Everyone: I lost my connection and missed the discussion on resources in Harford County, can someone please post? Thank you.
From Image Staff Member, Crystal Brockington to Everyone: I have spoken with several home health providers and that will continue to provide services and have assured that they are considered Essential. They have implemented mandates that staff will wear more protective equipment during visits. As this continues they will also ensure that their workers are able to travel. If you have direct care workers that are direct hire and do not work for an agency, you should review their travel practices and personal protection habits with them. They are recommended to wash hands and wear mask and gloves to decrease the likelihood of infecting their clients.
If people in Harford Co. are looking for food resources they should contact the Harford Community Action Agency at 410-612-9899
MAP 410-887-2594
From Randi Ames to Everyone: Thank you!
From Michelle Mills to Everyone: Baltimore County MAP 410-887-2594
From Crystal to Everyone: Many Harford County Churches are also doing the drive thru Food Pick Up. There is a list at https://harfordcaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-food-resources.pdf
Kathy Shulman noted that 20-30 Baltimore city neighborhoods have a quarantine support network as a resource to share information.
From Michelle Mills to Everyone: Thanks Kathy!
District 11 Delegate Lisa Belcastro provided updates on resources in her district.
From Jaanine Smith to Everyone: please advise what is district 11?
From Me to Everyone: District 11 includes Pikesville, Owings Mills, Lutherville, Parts of Cockeysville.
District 11 residents who are volunteering to go to the grocery stores for neighbors. They’re organizing via Facebook. Delegate Lisa Belcastro said that they might be willing to cross some of the district boundaries to help out too.
From Antoine MedStar Health to Everyone: Any link or information on Baltimore City’s Quarantine Support Network?
From Jaanine Smith to Everyone: is this city only
From Jay Doyle to Everyone: https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/coronavirus.html
From Jay Doyle to Everyone: Above is the main county COVID-19 info page
From lbelcastro to Everyone
Need A Hand, Lend A Hand – District 11
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1060156311021617/
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: https://www.facebook.com/Del.LisaBelcastro/
Thank you, Delegate Belcastro!
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: Amigos of Baltimore County forming to work specifically with immigrant community
https://www.facebook.com/AmigosBaltimoreCounty/
From lbelcastro to Everyone: District 11 includes Pikesville, Owings Mills, Lutherville, Parts of Cockeysville.
From Heather Comstock to Everyone: If you need information, please contact Mike at mbullis@imagemd.org
From Heather Comstock to Everyone:
Cheryl Gottlieb
Cheryl.gottlieb@maryland.gov

We plan to continue to do these resource calls weekly. Join us next Monday at 2 p.m.!
Please visit the IMAGE Center website at:
www.imagemd.org or call our main line at 410-982-6311.

During these extraordinary times, the IMAGE Center continues to serve our consumers and our community! Partner with us as we do our best to find new ways to be present in the community by supporting our LIFELINE IMPACT Fund! 

Section 2204 of the $2 trillion Federal emergency relief CARES Act provides incentives for charitable donations during 2020 regardless of whether you itemize deductions. The primary benefit allows individuals to get an “above-the-line” deduction for up to $300

IMAGE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of the current financial statement is available by writing 300 E. Joppa Rd. Ste 312 Towson, MD 21286 or calling 410-982-6311. Documents & Information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage & copies from the MD Sec. of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Posted in Ask Mike, Isolation, Relationships | Leave a comment