STATE SENATOR JIM ANANICH | FEBRUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER

Michigan seniors have earned the right to enjoy their later years with dignity and financial security. As your senator, my goal is to make sure you can spend this time focusing on what matters most to you, and I’m fighting hard in Lansing to ensure that Michigan families have the stability they deserve.

Every letter, email, and call to our office has helped me to better represent you, and I hope to continue hearing from you as we embark upon a new year full of new opportunities.

If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know. You can reach me through email anytime at SenJAnanich@senate.michigan.gov, by phone at (517) 373-0142, or toll-free at (855) 347-8027.



Jim Ananich
State Senator
District 27
Toll-free: (855) DIST027 or (855) 347-8027
Website: SenatorAnanich.com
Email: SenJAnanich@senate.michigan.gov


Home Heating Help

In the dead of winter, heating bills can become a burden that cause many to struggle just to keep their house warm, but fortunately, The Heat and Warmth (THAW) Fund can help.

THAW has multiple utility assistance programs available, including affordable payments plans for customers of the DTE’s Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP) and the Consumers Energy Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE) plan. They also offer resources for utility payment assistance and/or state emergency relief.

See which you may qualify for at http://THAWFund.org/Programs

In addition, here are some helpful phone numbers if you have questions about your heating bill:

DTE Energy: (800) 477-4747
Consumers Energy: (800) 477-5050
Michigan Gas Utilities: (800) 401-6402


Make Sure Your Health is Covered with Medicare

Access to affordable and dependable health care is an issue for people of all ages but, fortunately for older adults, Medicare is an available option.

Medicare is the federal government program that provides health care coverage if you are age 65 or older, under age 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a certain amount of time, or under age 65 and living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 if you meet certain criteria. If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you can enroll online in just a few minutes. Simply fill out a Medicare application through the Social Security website at SSA.gov/Benefits/Medicare or visit your local Social Security office.

Medicare offers multiple options for insurance coverage, including planning for hospital stays, medical costs, or prescription drugs. In addition, Medicare Advantage through private insurance is available to those who need or want additional health care coverage options.

Although the open enrollment period for 2020 has passed, you can still visit Medicare.gov or call (800) 633-4227 for more information about how you can qualify for coverage.


Every 10 years, the U.S. government is constitutionally required to count the people living in our country. It doesn’t matter if you’re a natural-born citizen, a Green Card holder, or an immigrant — every person living in our country matters.

The 2020 Census questionnaire will contain a short set of questions asking about the people living in your household. It’s critical that you fill out these forms and return them.

Be Counted: U.S. CENSUS 2020

The results of the 2020 Census:

BY APRIL 1, 2020, every home in Michigan should receive a Census questionnaire. Thanks to upgrades in technology, you will be able to return your answers via MAIL, PHONE, or ONLINE.


Earn extra income while helping your community

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. These temporary positions include Census takers, Census field supervisors, recruiting assistants, clerks and office operations supervisors.

Interested? Learn more and apply online at 2020Census.gov/Jobs or call (855) JOB-2020 (562-2020).

How to avoid scams

Between March 12 and 20, most households will receive a postcard invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census. Those who don’t answer will then receive the traditional paper form in the mail. If you don’t respond, the bureau will send a Census taker to knock on your door to collect your household’s data.

Real Census employees won’t ask for your full Social Security number, money, donations, or for bank or credit card numbers.

Check to make sure that the person has a valid identification badge with his or her photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you still suspect fraud, call the Census Bureau at (800) 923-8282 to speak to a representative.


Your Local Senior Center Can Help

The Flint Township/Carman-Ainsworth Senior Center is a partnership between the Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools and Flint Township, funded by the Genesee County Senior Millage. This wonderful resource offers a wide variety of activities and services to senior residents, from useful phone numbers to a loan closet program.

In need of medical items like wheelchairs or walkers but can’t afford them? The Center has a loan closet with items available for borrowing. Simply put down a $25 deposit on the items you need and, when you return them, you get your money back. In addition to wheelchairs and walkers, bath seats, commodes, and toilet seats are also available.

The Flint Township/ Carman-Ainsworth Senior Center
Phone: (810) 732-6290
Address: 2071 S. Graham Road, Flint


Are you ready for REAL ID?

On Oct. 1, 2020, the federally mandated REAL ID law will go into full effect and, if you travel by air, this law will impact you.

REAL ID is the post-9/11 federal requirement setting higher security standards for identification. Once implemented, standard state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will not be enough when boarding flights within the U.S. or entering certain federal facilities, such as military bases or nuclear power plants.

Some people already have a REAL ID document, such as a valid U.S. passport, a DHS Trusted Traveler Card, or an enhanced driver’s license. A full list of acceptable REAL ID documents is available online at TSA.gov.

To get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state ID card, visit a Secretary of State Office and bring the following documents with you:

Snowbirds reminded to

RENEW EARLY

Residents heading south for the winter are reminded to renew their driver’s licenses and license plates before leaving Michigan.

You can renew plates for individually owned or leased
cars, pickup trucks, vans and motorcycles up to six months before they expire. Renew early online at ExpressSOS.com or at a Secretary of State office, even if you have not yet received your renewal information in the mail. License plate tabs will arrive by mail within two weeks. Driver’s licenses (for drivers age 21 and older) and state ID cards may be renewed up to a year early.

Motorists have the option of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID card at no extra cost when renewing. Certain paperwork and a visit to a branch are required, so drivers are encouraged to check Michigan.gov/REALID

or call the Department of State Information Center at
(888) SOS-MICH (767-6424) for more details.

Visiting a branch office? Schedule an appointment at Michigan.gov/SOSAppointments to help ensure your visit is 30 minutes or less.

DON’T DELAY.
REAL ID goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/RealID.


Meals on Wheels

No one should go without access to healthy meals. If you, or a senior you know, are struggling to pay for food, Meals on Wheels can help.

This program provides five nutritious meals per week to homebound, older adults. They also offer liquid nutrition for those who are unable to eat solid food and who have a prescription from their physician.

To qualify for Meals on Wheels, an adult must be:
• 60 years of age or older;
• Homebound (e.g. unable to leave home without assistance and unable to drive);
• Unable to cook for him/herself;
• Have no one willing to prepare meals on a regular basis; and,
• Able to feed him/herself.

For more information or to determine if you’re eligible for Meals on Wheels, contact:
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
(810) 239-4441 2300
2300 Lapeer Road
Flint, MI 48503

Valley Area Agency on Aging
(810) 239-7671
Lapeer Road Flint, MI 48503
225 E. 5th St., Suite 200
Flint, MI 48502


Phone Scams on the Rise – Don’t Get Cheated!

Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team are working diligently to put an end to phone scams, but this change won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, it’s important to stay diligent when answering the phone.

Here are some tips to be sure you don’t get scammed:
BEFORE you answer the phone, ask:

• Do I recognize the caller or the number?
• Don’t know it? Don’t answer it. If you don’t pick up, you can’t get scammed. • Am I on the do-not-call list? If so, and if it’s not a personal, charity, or
political call, then the caller is breaking the law.
• Do I want more unsolicited calls? Answering unsolicited calls verifies
you are a working number and can result in more calls.

If you answer the call:
• It is okay to hang up if you’re uncomfortable.
• If you think the call is legitimate, call back to verify.

NEVER give out personal information.
• This includes your name, address, birthdate, social security number, and bank account numbers.
• Remember, the IRS does NOT make phone calls demanding payment.
If you suspect scamming, report it to the Attorney General’s office at (877) 765-8388.


Helpful Resources

Adult Home Help/Chore Services: (800) 292-2550
Adult Protective Services, for reports of suspected abuse and neglect: (855) 444-3911
Area Agency on Aging 3A: (269) 373-5173
Attorney General – Consumer Protection Division, for cases of identity theft: (877) 765-8388
Attorney General – Office of Elder Abuse: (800) 242-2873
Bridge Card (EBT) – Customer Service: (888) 678-8914
Disability Ombudsman: (800) 288-5923
Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233
Elder Law of Michigan, Inc: (866) 400-9164
Elder Care Services for the elderly, for help with transportation, meals, etc. :(800) 677-1116
Elder Law of Michigan, Inc.: (866) 400-9164
Energy Assistance: (800) 292-5650
Food Assistance: (855) 275-6424
Fraud Reporting – Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, 24-hour hotline: (800) 222-8558
Home Heating Tax Credit Status: (517) 636-4486
Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department:
(269) 373-5200
Kalamazoo County Long Term Care Ombudsman: (269) 373-5173
Medicaid Customer Help: (800) 642-3195
Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) at the Area Agency on Aging 1B: (800) 803-7174
Medicare, includes Part D for pharmacy: (888) 633-4227
Medicare Savings Program: (800) 772-1213
MI Enrolls – Medicaid Managed Care: (888) 367-6557
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Medicaid Beneficiary Support: (800) 642-3195
Michigan Stroke Network: (866) 522-8676
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency: (800) 642-4838
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NMI): (810) 232-6498
Nursing Home Complaints: (800) 882-6006
Relay Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 7-1-1
Senior Services of Southwest Michigan/Meals on Wheels: (269) 382-0515 Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention: (517) 372-6666
Social Security Administration: (800) 772-1213
State SSI Supplement: (800) 481-4774
Substance Abuse Hotline: (800) 662-4357
Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline: (800) 273-8255
TAX statements for Adult Home Help: (800) 292-2550
THAW – The Heat and Warmth Fund: (800) 552-1183
Volunteers of America: (248) 945-0101
Vulnerable Adult Services: (800) 996-6228


More news:

STATE SENATOR JIM ANANICH June 2020 Newsletter Sen. Ananich on new executive order requiring businesses to refuse entry to unmasked patrons Senate Democrats call for removal of Lewis Cass statue in National Statuary Hall

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