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‘Free Services’

Free Income Tax Form Preparation Assistance At Las Vegas Centers

city of las vegasAARP_Logo_Red
Volunteers from AARP and the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will offer residents free assistance with personal income tax form preparation and electronic filing at six city of Las Vegas community and senior centers starting this month. Income restrictions will apply to qualify for assistance. Advance appointments are required at all locations. Bring a copy of your 2011 income tax return, Social Security card and all of your applicable 2012 paperwork to the appointment. Call a center below weekdays to schedule an appointment. Centers will be closed Feb. 18 for holiday observance. Go to www.eksnv.org for additional locations for free personal income tax form assistance.

AARP Free Tax Form Preparation
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Feb. 1-April 12, by appointment only.
Las Vegas Senior Center, 451 E. Bonanza Road, (702) 229-6454.
Call 229-6454 for details and to make an appointment.

AARP Free Tax Form Preparation (ages 50+)
Mondays and Thursdays, Feb. 4-April 11, by appointment only.
Centennial Hills Active Adult Center, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive, (702) 229-1702.
Call 229-1702 for information and appointments.

AARP Free Tax Form Preparation (ages 50+)
Tuesday afternoons, Feb. 5-April 9, by appointment only.
Lieburn Senior Center, 6230 Garwood Ave., (702) 229-1600.
Call 229-1600 for information and appointments.

AARP Free Tax Form Preparation
Tuesdays, Feb.12-April 9, by appointment only.
East Las Vegas Community Center, 250 N. Eastern, (702) 229-1515.
Call 229-1515 for information and to make an appointment.

VITA Free Tax Form Preparation
Tuesday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Feb. 19-April 11; by appointment only.
Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St., (702) 229-6125.
The VITA program is designed to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. All ages with income under $51,000 are welcome. Call (702) 229-6125 for appointments after Feb. 5.

VITA Free Tax Form Preparation
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m., through April 10, by appointment only.
Centennial Hills Community Center, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive.
The VITA program is designed to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. All ages with income under $51,000 are welcome. This location is sponsored by Ward 6. Call (702) 249-4948 for information and appointments.

Social Security Announces New Online Services

SocialSecurity
The Social Security agency is expanding the services available with a my Social Security account, a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits. More than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record instantly using their online account. Social Security beneficiaries also can change their address and start or change direct deposit information online.

“We are making it even easier for people to do their business with us from the comfort of their home, office, or library,” Commissioner Astrue said. “I encourage people of all ages to take advantage of our award-winning online services and check out the new features available through an online my Social Security account.”

Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients with a my Social Security account can go online and get an official benefit verification letter instantly. The benefit verification letter serves as proof of income to secure loans, mortgages and other housing, and state or local benefits. Additionally, people use the letter to prove current Medicare health insurance coverage, retirement or disability status, and age. People can print or save a customized letter.

To read more, please read SocialSecurty.gov‘s announcement HERE.

To open your own my Social Security account, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Generous Donations Keep No-Cost Legal Program Going Strong

Did you know that Clark County has a trusted resource for senior citizens’ legal services? The Southern Nevada Senior Law Program provides free, quality legal services to county residents who are age 60+. They are the only free legal service provider in Clark County that exclusively assists senior citizens.

You may know them as the former City of Las Vegas Senior Citizens Law Project. The Law Project was sponsored by The City of Las Vegas since 1978 and unfortunately, in July of this year, the City had to withdraw its financial support due to the economic decline. Determined to continue this valuable program and with the support of the senior and legal community, The Law Project transitioned from a government program to a free standing non profit entity on July 1, 2012.

Legal advocacy/assistance services are available in civil areas of law including simple wills, long-term health care planning issues, consumer disputes and small claims instructions, intervention in elder abuse, landlord/tenant and mobile home problems, homesteads, social security problems and other government benefits problems. The Southern Nevada Senior Law Program also helps with preparation of documents for handling medical/legal issues in the event that the client is unable to do so.

Sugar Vogel

The dynamic force behind the law program is Executive Director Sugar Vogel. Ms. Vogel began as a part time attorney in 1984. Over the years Vogel’s responsibilities grew as the senior law program expanded its scope of service. There are now 7 full-time attorneys, a number that includes both Ms. Vogel and her Deputy Director, Elana Graham.

“We work with our senior clients patiently and sensitively to ease their fears and resolve their legal problems,” Ms. Vogel explains. As an example of the personal, rewarding experience involving older people, Vogel remembered, “Mary and Tom had been married for 53 years and led a happy, relatively quiet life. They were devastated when Tom was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. This was the biggest challenge they had faced in all their years together.

“They felt lost and alone but knew they needed to prepare for the future.” A Senior Law Program attorney patiently answered their questions and explained options. She guided them through completing their Powers of Attorney for Healthcare, Directives to Physician and wills giving them peace in knowing their wishes were documented.

“Seven months later, Mary returned to us as a widow,” she recalled. “She tearfully told us how we had made a traumatic time more manageable and how grateful she was for our help. Since the assistance we had given the couple had been so valuable, she hoped we could help her move forward on her own.” After that, the attorney helped Mary update her will and re-title her home. “Mary was assured that we will always be here to help her in times of need.”

Although legal services are provided at no cost, the program gratefully accepts donations. “we have several grants and other sources of income,” Ms. Vogel announced, “but very often it’s the individual donor who keeps us going. Our goal is to continue to provide these important free legal services to the senior community and grow this program to meet the increasing needs of seniors and they meet the challenges of aging.

Because the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program is a 501 c 3 non-profit, all contributions are tax deductible. Even a very small donation is welcome. Interest parties can mail a check to SNSLP 310 S. 9th St. 2nd floor Las Vegas, NV 89101.

For more information please call (702) 229-6596