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Suicide Rate Reaches Fifty-Year High – What Can Be Done?

Information courtesy of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US suicide rate has reached a fifty-year high. In 2017, there were 47,173 deaths due to suicide, a 3.7% increase over 2016.  Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. The highest suicide rate was among adults between 45 and 54 years old. In the CDC report, the most common factors contributing to suicide included:

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Social Security and SSI to Increase for 2019 – COLA Biggest in Seven Years

Information courtesy of the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration has announced that there will be a 2.8% increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2019. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be the largest in seven years. The COLA for the nation’s eight million SSI recipients will begin on December 31, and the COLA will begin for Social Security recipients in January of 2019.

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Fifth Freedom 2018 Candidate Survey Results

Back in August, Fifth Freedom sent out disability issues survey to election candidates running for Indiana congressional seats and the Indiana State House. We ignored races where candidates were running unopposed, and sent the survey to the Indiana Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian Party headquarters, and when contact information was available, directly to the candidates themselves. We received answers from seven candidates: running for US Congress in Indiana’s 6th district: Tom Ferkinhoff and Jeannine Lee Lake, and running for the Indiana General Assembly, Loretta Barnes (District 13), Sue Errington (District 34), Dee M. Moore (District 18), Clyde Myers (District 59) and Frank Szczepanski (District 4).

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Social Security 2018 Red Book

Information courtesy of the Social Security Administration and the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities

The 2018 Social Security Red Book is now available! This informative guide explains Social Security work incentives, how working can affect your benefits, where to find local services, and more. The Red Book is a valuable resource for anyone who receives Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income, as well as educators, rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals.

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What’s New for ABLE Accounts? Major changes for savings accounts for people with disabilities

Information courtesy of the Office of the Indiana Treasurer of State, the Social Security Administration

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts allow people with disabilities to save for their future and pay for disability-related expenses without jeopardizing their access to public benefits. You can open the account for yourself, or an authorized individual can open one on your behalf, if you were diagnosed with a disability before the age of 26, and are either receiving or currently eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

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