Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Facebook Site to Highlight State Services

From our friends at United Way of SEPA.

A new facebook page titled HelpinPA has been launched to provide greater access to Pennsylvania's health and human services.

The site provides current information and updates about a variety of PA's health and human service programs, events, and resources. Citizens and community organizations can learn more about:
  • Health Insurance Programs
  • Special Health Care Needs Services
  • Prenatal Services
  • Breast Feeding Support
  • Services for Older Pennsylvanians
Each week, the Departments of Insurance, Health, Public Welfare and Aging will highlight and share information about their programs and services.

For more information you can visit the HelpinPA facebook page or go to www.helpinpa.state.pa.us.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Budgeting for a New LPN Salary

The Budgeting Post-school presentation is a helpful budgeting guide for learning and/or educating others on how to budget expenses with the salary of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Although this tool specifically references LPNs, it is also applicable to all workers who need help with budgeting.

Use this presentation for:
  • Identifying expenses (rent, utilities, child care, savings, etc.)
  • Reviewing a sample monthly budget for an LPN (single with no children)
  • Considering needs vs. wants
  • Information on paying back student loans
  • Different ways to save money

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Attention First-Time Homebuyers!

You may still be able to claim the first-time homebuyer credit! The recently enacted Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010 extends the closing deadline for first-time homebuyers from June 30 to September 30, 2010.

What does this mean? It means if you entered into an agreement to purchase your home on or before April 30, 2010, and are set to close on the purchase of the home before September 30, 2010, you can still receive the credit.

Special filing and documentation requirements still apply. In order to receive the credit, eligible taxpayers must complete Form 5405 and provide one of the following documents:
  • A copy of the settlement statement;
  • A copy of the executed retail sales contract (for mobile home purchasers only); or
  • A copy of the certificate of occupancy (for newly constructed homes that do not have a settlement statement).
There are 3 options for claiming the credit on a qualifying 2010 purchase:
  • If you haven't filed your 2009 taxes yet, you can claim the credit on Form 1040 for the 2009 tax year. You can use IRS Free File to prepare the return, but you must print the return and mail it to the IRS with a copy of the required documentation described above;
  • If you have already filed your 2009 taxes you can claim the credit on an amended return using Form 1040X; or
  • Regardless of whether or not you have filed your 2009 taxes, wait until next year and claim the credit on your 2010 taxes using Form 1040.

More details on claiming the credit can be found in the instructions to Form 5405, as well as on the First-Time Homebuyer credit page on the IRS.gov website.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Foreclosure Guides

The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition has published two publications aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure can be a stressful and complicated process. These guides were produced to help homeowners understand the process so that they can take control.

GPUAC’s Summer/Fall 2010 Foreclosure Prevention Guide was developed to assist professionals such as housing counselors, attorneys, and lenders. It was created by the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, a group of bankers, housing advocates, government officials, and community leaders working to combat the foreclosure crisis. Another guide is Navigating the Slippery Slope of Foreclosure, which is a brochure that provides step-by-step instructions homeowners should take, based their individual circumstances, to avoid losing their homes.

Both guides can be used by social workers and case managers when homeowners at risk of foreclosure turn to them for help.

Image courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/respres/2539334956/

Friday, July 9, 2010


Pregnant women and new mothers have a new way to get health information – a nationwide free text message service. This service, called “Text4Baby,” grew from a coalition of mobile service providers, health professionals, and government agencies. Mothers will receive text messages timed to where they are in their pregnancy or the baby’s age up to the baby’s first year.

Topics covered in the text messages include seasonal flu prevention, nutrition, prenatal care, oral health, smoking prevention, immunization schedules, and safe sleep. Mothers will get no more than three text messages per week. Messages can also connect mothers to clinics and support services for prenatal care.

You can sign up for messages by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish messages) to 511411. To learn more, please visit text4baby.org.

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonjon_2k8/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Insurance Coverage and Information About Insurance Options

Starting today, new insurance coverage and information is now available to most people throughout the country.
  • New Information: Starting today, a new website, www.healthcare.gov, is available to answer questions about insurance coverage options by state as well as information on prevention, care quality, and understanding health care reform.

    Get the College Prep Services You Need at CACDC

    The College Access Center of Delaware County (CACDC), located on the Widener University Campus, provides a wide variety of services for preparing for college, including:
    • SAT/ACT Prep and Exams
    • Extensive College Prep Resources
    • Wired for Learning - Academic Atmosphere
    • Year Round College Prep Advising
    It is never too early to early to start preparing for college, and CACDC provides college preparation for even the middle school level. CACDC focuses on ensuring optimal success in the college application process.

    You can find out more about CACDC, sign up for their mailing list, and check out their calendar of events by following this link: http://www.collegeaccessdelco.org/

    Free Training to Earn EMT Certification

    If you are at your best in an emergency, this training might be for you.

    PathWays PA, a Holmes-based nonprofit organization, has partnered with Delaware County Community College to offer free training for Emergency Medical Technician certification.

    Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) respond to situations that can vary from heart attacks to automobile accidents. “EMT training is a great way to combine a desire to help others with the ability to earn a good, family-supporting income,” said Lyn Kugel, Director of Self-Sufficiency Projects for PathWays PA. On average, EMTs in Delaware County earn $30,000 per year.

    PathWays PA’s training prepares technicians for any situation they might face. The program combines a six-week class study support class focusing on math and English skills with the certification trainings. Participants first complete CPR certification, and then complete First-Responder training (50 hours of training over four weeks) and 77 hours of EMT training through the community college.

    EMT classes at PathWays PA are open to individuals who are currently unemployed, who have limited employment, or who meet income eligibility requirements. People who are interested in serving others, who can think and take action quickly, and who are willing to work with everyone are encouraged to apply.

    In addition to quick reaction times and a willingness to work with others, EMT participants should also be able to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry it for 10 feet.

    For more information, email Jennifer Oglesbee .

    Philadelphia Summer Meals Directory Available

    Each summer tens of thousands of Philadelphia children go without the school breakfasts and lunches they rely on. To ensure that children do not go hungry, free meals or snacks will be available to low-income children at more than a thousand recreation centers, churches, schools, parks, and community centers through out Philadelphia.

    The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has published a directory of programs offering free meals for children in Philadelphia this summer. To find a summer meals program you can: