Medi-Cal Redeterminations on Hold as Public Health Emergency Period EXTENDED through October 25, 2020

In April 2020, Center for Health Care Rights sent out an alert regarding Governor Newsom’s March 2020 Executive Order that allows Californians to keep their Medi-Cal benefits during this emergency period.

As of March 16, 2020, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has instructed all California counties to suspend processing Medi-Cal annual renewals and redeterminations of Medi-Cal eligibility that would discontinue or reduce Medi-Cal coverage during this emergency period, including assessing new Shares of Cost. On July 23, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar extended the federal Public Health Emergency until October 25, 2020.

This means that people with Medi-Cal should not have their Medi-Cal benefits terminated or reduced during the current emergency period of March through October 2020. At the earliest, Medi-Cal renewals and redeterminations will be processed as of October 31, 2020.

If you are or someone you know or work with is an older adult (60 +) or younger person on Medicare due to a disability living in Alameda County, whose Medi-Cal benefits have been terminated or downgraded as of March 17, 2020, please call Legal Assistance for Seniors/HICAP for assistance:  510-832-3040 or 510-839-0393.  You may also fill out a Request for Assistance for here: https://www.lashicap.org/contact/

LAS stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

Legal Assistance for Seniors is always concerned about injustice against oppressed groups. At this time, it is vital that we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. There is a well-documented, centuries-long history of racist, state-sanctioned violence towards Black individuals like Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Ahmaud Arbery, and Trayvon Martin. Like so many, we are enraged and saddened by the police killings of Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Steven Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others.

This moment demands that we act with urgency in support of Black lives. We honor the bravery and respect the commitment of those protesting across the nation amidst a pandemic. This uprising gives us hope that there is a growing majority that is willing to fight for the systemic changes needed to dismantle White Supremacy and replace it with systems grounded in equality, justice, and opportunity for all. As an agency, we are proud to serve the diverse communities of Alameda County. It is sobering that the injustices that many of our clients and staff have endured over their lifetime are still faced by their children and grandchildren. We are committed to looking inward, educating ourselves, furthering the discussion, and doing the difficult, uncomfortable, and necessary work to combat racism and inequality in all forms

California Launches Effort to Combat Senior Isolation & Keep Seniors Safe

The California Department of Aging and the California Health and Human Services Agency recently announced a new effort, encouraging residents to continue to stay home to protect the most vulnerable and also to check in with older neighbors to make sure they feel connected and offer to help them obtain food, medication, or other supplies to keep them home and safe from COVID-19. 

The campaign includes a pledge and a statewide hotline — 833-544-2374 — in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. 

Information provided by Justice in Aging.

Social Security Recipients Will Automatically Receive Economic Impact Payments

The CARES Act that was signed last week included the issuance of “economic impact payments” or stimulus checks to people who earn under a certain threshold.  It previously required Social Security beneficiaries (who are not typically required to file tax returns) to file an abbreviated tax return to ensure that they would receive these payments. 

It has since been amended to not require Social Security beneficiaries to file tax returns.  Instead, Social Security recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.  Note that this also applies to Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries. See here for the press release from the Treasury: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm967