Thursday, June 11, 2020

Food Assistance During the COVID-19 Emergency

RMV Implements Further Credential Extensions to Some Expiring in June, July, and August


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RMV Implements Further Credential Extensions

Many Expiring Licenses, Registrations, and Other Credentials Further Extended

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has implemented further extensions to the renewal timelines for expiring motor vehicle inspection stickers, passenger plate registrations, professional credentials, and driver's licenses and learner's permits, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Commercial Permits (CDLs / CLPs).

While the RMV previously announced extensions for most credentials, passenger plate registrations, and inspection stickers expired or expiring in March, April, and May, an additional extension has been applied to those credentials, and an extension has been added to some credentials expiring in June, July, and August.

These extensions replicate the ongoing measures the RMV has taken to reduce the need for customers to physically visit an RMV Service Center or one of its business partners’ facilities, allowing for "social-distancing" by decreasing non-essential travel and customer volume. Additional longer-term extensions will also allow the RMV to ensure "social-distancing" guidelines are met as demand for in-person service and renewals resumes during the Commonwealth’s reopening phases.
 

The following new changes to expiration extensions are now effective:

  • Driver’s licenses and ID cards, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs), that expired or will expire in March, April, and May 2020, will now expire in September 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.
  • Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in June have been extended until October 2020; those that will expire in July have been extended until November 2020; and those that will expire in August have been extended until December 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.
    • The specific expiration date typically coincides with an individual’s birth date. Customers holding an RMV credential marked “Limited-Term” that has expired or will expire between March 1 and August 31, 2020 should visit Mass.Gov/RMV for more information and to check the validity of their credential.
  • The RMV also recently introduced an online renewal option for CDL holders if they are self-certified in the Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) category for medical certification.
  • Learner’s permits, including Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs), that expired or will expire in March, April, and May 2020, will now expire in December 2020. Learner’s permits that will expire in June, July, and August will also be extended until December 2020. This extension will allow additional time for permit students and driving schools to complete in-car instruction and a road test when those functions are authorized to restart safely.
    • Road tests for CDLs are still being conducted during the state of emergency. Massachusetts State Police manage CDL road tests, and require anyone taking a CDL road test to bring and wear a face covering for the entirety of the road test.
  • In accordance with updated guidance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all CDL Medical Certificates expiring between March 1 and May 31, 2020, have previously been extended until June 30, 2020 and no additional extension will be applied. However, all CDL Medical Certificates expiring between June 1 and August 31 have been extended until September 30, 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time. Extensions to CDL Medical Certificates are intended to prevent license downgrades and elective medical visits, as well as alleviate demand on medical providers, during the State of Emergency.
  • The annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspection stickers that have expired or will expire in March, April, and May 2020 have been extended until July 31, 2020. No additional extensions will be applied and inspection stations are open at their discretion within the public health guidelines to perform this work.
  • All passenger plate registrations that have expired or will expire in March, April, and May 2020 have been extended until July 31, 2020. The RMV has also applied a 30-day extension to registrations that expire in June, which will now expire on July 31, 2020. Registration renewals can continue to be performed online at Mass.Gov/RMV during this time.
  • All school bus, school pupil (7D), and bus registrations that will expire in June have been extended 30 days until July 2020.
  • Professional credentials for School Bus Certificates, School Pupil Transport Licenses (7D), Inspector Licenses, Inspection Station Licenses, Driving Instructor Licenses and Driving School Licenses that have expired or will expire in March, April, and May have previously been extended until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted. The RMV has added June expirations to the previous extension and professional credentials that expire in June have 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted to renew.


Below is a summary of newly announced extensions. 

Credential Current Expiration Date (on credential) New Expiration Date
Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards

Class D, M, and DM Licenses & Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs)
Mass ID Cards
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
September 2020
September 2020
October 2020
November 2020
December 2020
Learner’s Permits

Class D, M, and DM Permits & Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
December 2020
December 2020
December 2020
December 2020
December 2020
December 2020
CDL Medical Certificates

CDL Medical Certificates March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020
September 30, 2020
September 30, 2020
September 30, 2020
Registrations

Passenger Plate Registrations March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
School Bus, School Pupil, and Bus Registrations June 2020 July 31, 2020
Inspection Stickers

Commercial and Non-Commercial Inspection Stickers March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
All Motorcycle Inspection Stickers May 2020 June 30, 2020
Professional Credentials

School Bus Certificates
School Pupil Transport Licenses (7D)
Inspector Licenses
Inspection Station Licenses
Driving Instructor Licenses
Driving School Licenses
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
90 days after State of Emergency is lifted
Details on all of these extensions and additional information on RMV services and the RMV’s response to COVID-19 can be found here.

The RMV Business Partner Website has been updated to include details and recordings from recently held webinars hosted by the RMV to address issues arising as a result of the pandemic.

Did a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility Take Your Stimulus Check?

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission


Did a nursing home or assisted living facility take your stimulus check?

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Do you or a loved one live in a nursing home or assisted living facility? Are you (or they) on Medicaid? If you said “yes” to both, please read on and prepare to get mad. We’ve been hearing that some facilities are trying to take the stimulus payments intended for their residents on Medicaid. Then they’re requiring those people to sign over those funds to the facility. Why? Well, they’re claiming that, because the person is on Medicaid, the facility gets to keep the stimulus payment.

But here’s the deal: those economic impact payments are, according to the CARES Act, a tax credit. And tax law says that tax credits don’t count as “resources” for federal benefits programs, like Medicaid. So: when Congress calls these payments “tax credits” in the CARES Act, that means the government can’t seize them. Which means nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t take that money from their residents just because they’re on Medicaid. And, if they took it already, get in touch with your state attorney general and ask them to help you get it back.

This is not just a horror story making the rounds. These are actual reports that our friends in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office have been getting – and handling. Other states have seen the same.
If you’ve experienced this already, tell your state attorney general’s office first, and then tell the FTC: ftc.gov/complaint. If a loved one lives in a nursing facility and you’re not sure what happened to their payment, talk with them soon. And consider having a chat with the facility’s management to make sure they know which side of the law to be on.

Need more back-up? Then let me get legal on you for a minute. You can go right here to get the federal tax law that says refunds aren’t considered a “resource” in federal benefits programs. And you can click this link to get the Congressional Summary that talks about the funds as tax credits not countable as resources for federal government programs. (It’s on page 3.) And here’s even more helpful information from the National Center on Law & Elder Rights for people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Again, though: if this has happened to you or a loved one, find your state attorney general’s office contact information at naag.org and talk with them right away.

Credit Reports are Now FREE, Every Week

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

Credit reports are now free, every week

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Financial Impact of the Coronavirus

If you’re feeling anxious about your financial health during these uncertain times, you’re not alone. That’s why the three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report — for free.

This is some helpful news, because staying on top of your credit report is one important tool to help manage your financial data. Your credit report has information about your credit history and payment history — information that lenders, creditors, and other businesses use when giving you loans or credit. 

Now it’s easier than ever to check your credit more often. That’s because everyone is eligible to get free weekly credit reports from the three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. To get your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. The credit reporting agencies are making these reports free for the next year.

If you’re one of the many Americans struggling to pay your bills right now because of the Coronavirus crisis, here’s what you can do:
  • Contact the companies you owe money to. Ask if they can postpone your payment, put you on a payment plan, or give you a temporary forbearance.
  • Check your credit report regularly to make sure it’s correct — especially any new payment arrangements or temporary forbearance. The recently passed CARES Act generally requires your creditors to report these accounts as current.
  • Fix any errors or mistakes that you spot on your credit report. Notify the credit reporting agencies directly. You can find out more by reading Disputing Errors on Credit Reports.
Find more advice and tips on handling the financial impact of the Coronavirus, and subscribe to the FTC’s Consumer Alerts.
Tagged with: coronavirus, credit report

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Make the Connection l An Online Resource Tool to Connect Veterans to Information & Resources

>>Click HERE to link to MakeTheConnection.net for additional info>>

MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.