BVHS Weekend Column: Kidney Cancer

When kidney cancer is caught early, it is very treatable and often curable….

Kidney Cancer, by Joshua Ebel, MD;  Blanchard Valley Urology Associates

The kidneys are vital organs serving many important roles in your body including, filtering your blood and controlling your blood pressure. Unfortunately, they are also prone to developing abnormal cysts and tumors, some of which are cancerous.

Kidney cancer is in the top 10 most common cancers in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with kidney cancer this year alone.

While kidney cancers were once typically diagnosed in advanced stages, most kidney cancers are now diagnosed incidentally and at early stages when patients undergo abdominal computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans or ultrasounds for often unrelated complaints. Some patients with kidney cancer will develop microscopic or visible levels of blood in their urine, which should prompt an evaluation by a urologist to rule out kidney cancer, among other causes such as bladder cancer or kidney stones.

It is important to know that not all abnormal growths in the kidney are cancerous. Many people have cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in their kidneys that are often non-cancerous. However, some more complex appearing cysts should still be evaluated by a urologist. There are also solid tumors of the kidney that are not cancerous but can grow or cause bleeding and should be followed by a urologist. Specialized testing such as dedicated magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), scope procedures or even biopsies helps urologists in better evaluating some cysts and tumors.

When kidney cancer is caught early, it is very treatable and often curable. Advanced kidney cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body is more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is important to treat kidney cancers before they spread.

Traditional surgery for kidney cancer involved large incisions and prolonged hospital stays. Now, newer approaches, like robotic surgery, allow many patients to keep their kidneys and only have the portion affected by cancer removed. This is called a partial nephrectomy. Larger cancers still require removal of the entire affected kidney (radical nephrectomy), but this can also be performed using a surgical robot, which allows patients to have smaller incisions and recover faster from surgery than with the traditional approach.

So, what is robotic surgery? The Da Vinci surgical robot is a system controlled by a surgeon, such as a urologist, which allows for the greater visualization and dexterity needed to perform complex operations through a series of incisions, most of which are less than half an inch.

As with any potential cancer, it is important to find a center that offers a wide range of specialists and has the newest technologies but is also accessible to you and willing to make you a priority. In addition to urologists, kidney cancer management can require a team of oncologists, interventional radiologists and nephrologists to help manage your care. You should additionally look for a urologist that has the latest training in kidney cancer surgery.

 

 

St. Luke’s Palm Sunday Services

Join Pastor Ralph Mineo on Facebook for his message”From Triumph to Suffering”

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, North Baltimore,

April 5, 2020, 10:15 a.m.

Palm/Passion Sunday

Pastor Ralph Mineo will offer a message titled

“From Triumph to Suffering”

based on Matthew 21:1-11

In-person services have been suspended. 

All are welcome to join us at

https:www.facebook.com/ralph.j.mineo

as we continue on our journey to the Resurrection!

OHIO COMMUNITY COLLEGES DONATE VENTILATORS AND PPE

MORE THAN 200,000 PPE ITEMS DONATED TO SUPPORT THE STATE’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19…..

 COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s 23 community colleges have donated more than 200,000 medical face masks and pairs of gloves to hospitals and local first responders across the state, according to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.  Twenty-five much-needed medical ventilators are among the colleges’ donations.

 

“Our campuses have answered Gov. DeWine’s call to provide PPE equipment and other critically needed medical supplies to those on the frontlines,” said Jack Hershey, President and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.  “Many of these medical workers and first-responders have been educated on our campuses, so it is doubly gratifying that our colleges are able to support these graduates and their colleagues in this way.”

 

About 800 N95 masks, 1,150 breathing masks, 12,000 other masks and 223,000 pairs of regular and sterile gloves were donated, Hershey said. 

 

The colleges, which are currently registering students for summer courses, are closed right now to in-classroom instruction. They have the equipment because they offer certificates and degrees in numerous health care programs, including nursing, EMT, laboratory technicians, and respiratory care.

 

Colleges also donated other health care items, including thermometers, lab coats and shoe and hair covers. Some have offered their parking lots for drive-up testing as well as the use of other campus facilities, if needed.

 

“In addition to donating equipment and supplies, the colleges are providing support of other kinds to their students, faculty and members of the community, including mental health support, food pantries and helping to successfully navigate remote learning environments,” Hershey said.  “Many have already offered use of their facilities and video-conferencing capabilities.  A number of colleges of our colleges are using their webpages to provide community resources information, and many will be offering emergency funding assistance to students as needed. These efforts are an excellent extension of the close relationship our colleges have with their local communities.”

 

The OACC represents the presidents and trustees of the state’s 23 public two-year institutions, working to advance our community colleges through policy advocacy and professional development.  For more information, please visit www.OhioCommunityColleges.Org

 

Ways to Improve Sustainability in Schools

We should strive for  sustainability in order to keep the planet healthy for future generations. You can improve sustainability in your school with these tips….

Sustainability is ever-increasing in importance as people become more conscious of how much we waste, contribute to pollution, and consume resources. To keep the environment healthy, both for its own sake and for that of future generations, we can make changes in our homes, workplaces, and centers of learning. That last location is especially vital to sustainability efforts because schools can lead by example in helping to educate children on the importance of environmental awareness from a young age. While society still has a long way to go, these same children may one day produce innovations that take us further in the effectiveness of eco-friendly endeavors. Even though schools are currently closed, you can make plans to implement these simple ways to improve sustainability in schools for next year.

 



Have Ways to Recycle

With recycling, it’s easy to get students involved in sustainability. You can set up recycling bins in classrooms and in the cafeteria where the children put paper items and certain plastics. Figure out what types of waste are produced on a regular day at your school and obtain the corresponding bins for those. Rather than just stop there, though, you can organize certain days where teachers incorporate recycling into their lessons so that students know why it is so important. All this will help to make recycling a habit for the students while also creating a more eco-friendly culture within the school.

Increase Energy Efficiency

In addition to physical items, the school can work to save wasted energy. Small actions, including turning off lights when a room is not in use or making sure that entryways into the building stay shut when the HVAC system is on, can conserve electricity. The various appliances in the facility should be energy-efficient as well. Instead of incandescent lights, you might install LED lights around the school, for instance.

Use Sustainable Building Materials

Making major changes to the school building itself may not be necessary. However, when it comes to repairs and outdoor areas, you can use materials that have less of an impact on the environment. If you need to construct a new room or fix a large part of a room, take the opportunity to make sure you’re using insulation effectively. The HVAC system will not need to work as hard to cool or heat the room as a result. For benches and playground equipment, use sustainable materials such as plastic lumber, which is made up of recycled bottles and other containers. An effectively designed playground will be safe, fun, and include sustainability seamlessly so that it does not impede its usability.

 

A Menu Fit for Family Mornings

Add flavor to your brunch with the sweet taste of honey as part of a remade rendition of a breakfast favorite: chicken and waffles…..and more

(Family Features) Many spring celebrations call for fabulous food, specifically dishes fit for brunch, even if your “crowd” is simply your nearest loved ones gathered at the family table. A wide variety of recipes may fit the festivities, but a combination of comforting bites with sweet and savory flavors is perfect for appeasing all appetites.

This menu of morning recipes includes Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Honey Chicken as a filling option to base the meal around with Breakfast Casserole as a more traditional dish. For a sweet sendoff, this Brown Sugar Bundt Cake is best served warm as a midday dessert or can be added to your plate as a simple side.

Find more brunch recipes at Culinary.net.

A Sweet Morning Eat

Add flavor to your brunch with the sweet taste of honey as part of a remade rendition of a breakfast favorite: chicken and waffles.

This recipe for Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Chicken combines sweet with savory to shine as the main course for your gathering.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Honey Chicken)

Find more recipe ideas at honey.com.

Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Honey Chicken

Recipe courtesy of chef Jenny Dorsey on behalf of the National Honey Board
Servings: 4

Chicken:

  • 8          boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2          cups buttermilk
  • 2          tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons orange blossom honey
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 2          teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon onion powder
  • 2          teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • vegetable oil, as needed

Waffles:

  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 2          teaspoons orange blossom honey
  • 1          teaspoon orange zest
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4    cups whole milk
  • 2          large eggs
  • 1/4       cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 3/4       cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • honey
  1. To make chicken: Rinse chicken thighs and pat dry with paper towels; place in large bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, rosemary and honey. Pour buttermilk mixture over chicken; cover and let marinate 8 hours or overnight.
  3. In separate mixing bowl, combine flour, remaining salt, remaining pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and ancho chile powder; stir.
  4. Remove each piece of chicken from buttermilk, shake to remove excess liquid and dredge in flour mixture. Shake off excess.
  5. In deep fryer, heat oil to 375° F. Fry chicken until internal temperature reaches 175° F or juices run clear, approximately 5 minutes per thigh.
  6. Drain on paper towels.
  7. To make waffles: In large mixing bowl, mix flour, honey, orange zest, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, chives and cheese until combined.
  8. Use waffle maker to cook four waffles in batches.
  9. Place chicken on waffles and drizzle with honey.

A Dairy-Fueled Brunch Dish

Whether it’s just part of a brunch spread or the focus of your meal, an egg-based casserole is a perfect way to appease a morning crowd.

This version of Breakfast Casserole calls for potatoes, ham, eggs, milk and cheese for a simple dish that requires little preparation before popping in the oven.

Visit milkmeansmore.org for more morning dishes.

Breakfast Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound red or white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • water
  • 1/2       small onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          cup reduced-fat and reduced-sodium, chopped, cooked ham (about 4 ounces)
  • 1          cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese
  • 4          eggs
  • 1 1/2    cups skim milk
  • 1          tablespoon mustard
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large saucepan, cover potato pieces with enough water to just submerge. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add onion. Return to simmer, covered, about 5 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Drain well. Cool slightly.
  3. Coat 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place potato-onion mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Sprinkle ham and cheese on top.
  4. In medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in milk, mustard and remaining salt. Pour over layers in baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

A Bundt Cake for Brunch

Many brunch festivities may center around classic breakfast foods like quiches and fresh fruits, but you can take your gathering to the next level with a treat to pair with nearly any dish.

This Brown Sugar Bundt Cake can be the simple, sweet side your guests crave as a complement to the savory recipes on the table. Made using just a handful of household ingredients, including the flavor-boosting addition of C&H sugars, it can be created in about an hour and served warm during your next at-home brunch gathering.

Find more sweet treat ideas at chsugar.com.

Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

Recipe courtesy of “Browned Butter Blondie” on behalf of C&H
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10        tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4    cups packed C&H Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       cup C&H Granulated Sugar
  • 2          large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons vanilla
  • 1          cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • C&H Confectioners’ Sugar, for dusting
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease 10-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix on low speed.
  5. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with yogurt. Begin and end with flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and use offset spatula to level batter.
  7. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. If cake browns too quickly while baking, cover with foil after 35 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack 20 minutes. Invert pan onto baking rack and gently tap bottom of pan to release cake.
  9. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.

SOURCE:
Domino Golden Sugar
United Dairy Industry of Michigan

UPDATED–Photo Gallery: 4-Hers say “Thanks”

“Thank you Essential Workers”…….More photos added

The Ohio State University Extension 4-H staff in Wood County shared a few pictures with theNBXpress, along with this message: “Our Wood County    4-H Members are reaching out to thank Essential workers during these challenging times.”  #4happreciatesyou       #4hgrowshere

Thank you farmers for continuing to raise animals and getting ready for Spring planting”
“Thank you Doctors and Nurses”
Thank you Essential Workers” (These siblings are the Westgates from NB)

 

Jenny Morlock , 4-H Program Assistant for OSU Extension in Wood County said ” I just want to reach as many people as possible to let them know how much they are appreciated and teach our kids we can still reach out to others no matter what obstacles we have. Oh, and these kids are all from the  Klassy Kids 4-H Club from your neck of the woods (Southern Wood  County)!”

Spring Fingerling Fish Sale.

Payment and order are due to the district office no later than Tuesday, April 21, 2020……

The Wood Soil and Water Conservation District is offering a spring fingerling fish sale.

Fish species offered include: Bluegill, Hybrid Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Fathead Minnows, and White Amur.  Order forms are available on the website at www.woodswcd.com or by stopping by the office at 1616 E Wooster Street (Greenwood Centre – The Courtyard) Bowling Green, OH. Please call ahead if stopping by the office, 419-354-5517 #4.  Fish pick-up is Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 9:30 AM at the Wood County Fairgrounds. Payment and order are due to the district office no later than Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

 

Serve a Sweet Treat

Yummy carrot cake. Watch video to see how to make this recipe!…..

(Culinary.net) Surprise your family with a dessert fit for the season. This Carrot Cake recipe is a traditional take on the timeless treat and created using everyday ingredients. 

Find more dessert inspiration at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Carrot Cake

  • 2 1/4    cups flour
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1          cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4    cups sugar
  • 3          eggs
  • 1 1/2    cups carrots, shredded
  • 1          cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2/3       cup walnuts

Frosting:

  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 3/4       cup butter, softened
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2    cups powdered sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. In mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add in carrots and crushed pineapple.
  4. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Fold in walnuts.
  5. Pour batter into two lightly greased 8-inch round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely. Remove cakes from pans and slice off tops to level cakes.
  6. To make frosting: In mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  7. Spread two large spoonfuls frosting over top of one cake and stack second cake on top. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

CREATIVE CANINE ONLINE PROGRAMMING AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE

FROM THE AKC MUSEUM OF THE DOG….

 New York, NY – The AKC Museum of the Dog has made available a collection of educational content and online material for audiences to access and enjoy the museum’s collection, programs and resources while the Museum is temporarily closed to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Audiences are able to experience the museum through a virtual tour of its current exhibition, “Mush! A Tribute to Sled Dogs From Arctic Exploration to the Iditarod.” This virtual tour, which can be accessed on the museum’s website, includes high resolution photos of the artwork on display and contains extensive contextual and informational labels. The goal of the virtual tour is to further engage those at home by prompting discussion questions and art challenges.

The popular “Paws To Read” program, designed to provide children an opportunity to get creative and be inspired by some of the best children’s fiction books, has also gone virtual. Pre-recorded children’s book readings will be uploaded to the Museum of the Dog’s Facebook and YouTube channel for children to read along online. The books that will be featured in these segments are:

  • Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp
  • Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
  • I Will Love You Anyway by Mick Inkpen
  • Stubby by Kathy Borrus

Furthermore, individuals can go on Museumofthedog.org to access free downloadable worksheets that feature a variety of activities for families. This includes:

In addition to these worksheets, the museum is also encouraging families and children to get creative with their dogs through art at home! Children can create artwork using any household materials and submit a photo of their art for the Community Wall. The art will be featured on our Community Wall frames digitally in the Museum galleries as well as our @MODCommunityWall Instagram account. Guidelines for submission can be found on the website.

The AKC Museum of the Dog is also offering an exclusive membership offer. For a limited time only, individuals who sign up for a Museum of the Dog membership at the Family/Dual Level will received a free Dog Lovers Puzzle to help banish boredom! All new memberships will begin on the date the AKC Museum of the Dog reopens in New York City, however, those who sign up will receive the puzzle and members-only online programming and activities while our galleries are temporarily closed. 

About the AKC Museum of the Dog

Founded in 1982, The AKC Museum of the Dog is dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of the art, artifacts and literature of the dog for the purposes of education, historical perspective, aesthetic enjoyment and to enhance the appreciation for and knowledge of the significance of the dog and the human/canine relationship. The museum is home to over 700 original paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, and porcelain figurines, a variety of decorative arts objects and interactive displays depicting man’s best friend throughout the ages. The AKC Museum of the Dog is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization funded mainly by private and corporate gift donations.

For more information on the AKC Museum of the Dog visit www.Museumofthedog.org

Get social! Follow the AKC Museum of the Dog on Facebook at @akcmuseumofthedog, Twitter at @akcMOD and Instagram at @museumofthedog.

Free Family Entertainment from Home

Take a mental break from hunkering down at home…..

(Family Features) As people from coast to coast hunker down at home, some with children, taking a mental break from a new and unfamiliar lifestyle with the world of entertainment can be a way to relax and disconnect.

All you need is a TV with a Wi-Fi connection to access free, family-friendly movies to keep the kids entertained while at home, as well as other films for parents to watch after the kids have gone to bed (or after a day in the home office is done). 

An option like Tubi, the world’s largest free, ad-supported movie and TV service, features a library of more than 20,000 on-demand movies and TV shows on more than 25 different devices, including mobile devices, smart TVs, video game consoles and more, without the hassle of credit cards and subscription fees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When you can’t get out and explore the world like you’re used to, your home TV screen is a great way to make a virtual escape,” said Maude Garrett, pop culture expert and founder of the Geek Bomb website. “The wide selection available on Tubi makes it a great option for family members of all ages, and even better, it’s free so families can tune in again and again.”

Young viewers can follow the adventures of countless classic and contemporary characters such as:

  • Throwback series like “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “My Little Pony” and “Dennis the Menace”
  • Today’s cartoon favorites like “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Transformers Rescue Bots”
  • Educational programs and documentaries like “Learn with Verne” and “The Traveling Trio,” an adventure-filled series following three siblings

Grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy family time together with a wide range of full-length films, including:

  • The story of a young adventurer racing to uncover the secrets of a sunken ship that may hold a vast fortune and an ancient curse in Steven Spielberg’s “Adventures of TinTin”
  • The chronicles of a young sea turtle named Sammy and his friend, Ray, who swim around the world enduring the challenges of the oceans in search of Shelly, the love of Sammy’s life in “A Turtle’s Tale”
  • A light-hearted look at what happens when kids rule the world in “Opposite Day,” featuring comedian Pauly Shore, among others
  • A modern spin on the classic “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” with Will Arnett and Megan Fox, following four pizza-loving mutated turtle brothers who unleash their ninja skills on New York City, which has been ravaged by the evil Shredder

To take advantage of the expansive library of film and TV titles that can let your family enjoy a getaway from the safety of home, and to learn more about starting your free subscription, visit Tubi.TV.


SOURCE:
Tubi

Go Simple with Salmon

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

(Culinary.net) Make your next family meal quick and tasty with a recipe that calls for common ingredients and simple preparation. These Southwest Salmon Patties are ideal for putting on the table on those busy weeknights, bringing the family together despite hectic schedules.

Find more family meal inspiration at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Southwest Salmon Patties

Serves: 4

  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 4          teaspoons lime juice
  • 3          tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2    cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1          pound skinless, boneless salmon filets, chopped
  • 4          ounces whole green chiles, drained and chopped
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       cup vegetable oil
  1. In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro.
  2. In large bowl, combine salt, pepper, 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, salmon, chiles, scallions and 3 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture. Form salmon mixture into four patties. Cover patties with remaining breadcrumbs.
  3. In skillet, heat oil. Add breaded patties and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve with remaining mayonnaise mixture.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Social Security Recipients WILL get Stimulus Checks

“It’s the ONE question nearly all Social Security recipients are asking: Will I get a Coronavirus stimulus check? 

Social Security Recipients WILL get Stimulus Checks
 
WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 31 — “It’s the ONE question nearly all Social Security recipients are asking: Will I get a Coronavirus stimulus check? If yes, do I get one even if I haven’t filed a tax return in recent years? The answers are YES and YES!, says Jeff Szymanski, political analyst at the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].
 
The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) passed by Congress provides for substantial stabilization of America’s economy during the unprecedented medical crisis now sweeping the country. The Act provides critically needed funding in key areas like expanded unemployment benefits and specific aid to many business segments facing extraordinary disruption, along with financial relief payments to most Americans, subject to income guidelines below.
 
“Under the Act’s provisions, Americans having a valid Social Security number will receive direct cash assistance, specifically including those who receive welfare and Social Security benefits. Relief payments will be $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, and $500 per child, for individuals with incomes at or below $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household) and couples with income at or below $150,000. Individuals earning up to $99,000 and couples up to $198,000 will receive a reduced payment, prorated according their higher income level,” according to Szymanski.
 
The procedural details on how the approved payments will get into the hands of recipients are still being finalized, but these are the general elements:
 
·      According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, most payments should be in the hands of recipients within three weeks
 
·      Eligibility for cash payments is based on income as reported in your most recent income tax return (note: adjusted gross income is the figure used)
 
·      If you did not file tax returns and are receiving Social Security payments, the IRS can use your Form SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement or your Form RRB-1099 Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement to send your check
 
·      If you have received a tax refund in the last two years by direct deposit, that’s where your money will be sent. If not, the IRS will mail a check to your “last known address”
 
·      The IRS will mail a notice confirming distribution of your payment, along with IRS contact information if you haven’t actually received the confirmed payment
 
·      You do not need to do anything in advance. For many recipients, the IRS has your banking information and will likely execute direct transfers to your account
 
AMAC’s sister organization, The AMAC Foundation, updates a site five days a week entitled The Social Security Report. For the absolute latest daily information on this vital program, visit www.socialsecurityreport.org. Many of this week’s headline and latest news posts on The Social Security Report deal specifically with The CARES Act (Stimulus Bill), and those seeking more detailed information will find it a valuable resource.
 
But to reiterate, reports Szymanski, “YES, Social Security recipients are eligible and need do nothing at all to receive their $1,200 per person relief payments due them. If you are required to file a tax form, it is likely that having done so already may speed up delivery of the payment.”