News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Summer Driving

The U.S. Department of Energy has a site for fuel economy information which many drivers may find helpful in saving money, finding the right car, and checking EPA ratings. Please take a look at www.fueleconomy.gov.

Social Security Benefit Estimates Now Available Online

Because of budgetary constraints, in 2011 the Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped sending estimated Social Security benefit statements on paper. For a number of years these statements had been sent to all workers age 25 and older and not currently receiving Social Security benefits. In addition to listing a worker’s lifetime earnings record (the basis for Social Security benefits), the statements contained estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members.

This month (May, 2012), the SSA unveiled a program to provide the same information electronically, on the SSA website. Any individual who wishes to sign up must be at least age 18 and have a valid Social Security number, e-mail address, and United States mailing address. Create an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do

The new electronic version of the benefit estimate statement provides the same information as the paper statement, a worker’s lifetime earnings record and estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members. At the same time, the government has resumed mailing paper estimated benefit statements to workers age 60 and older who are not currently receiving Social Security benefits.

Legal Assistance Referrals/Recomendaciones de Abogados

Speak to an Attorney for free, provided by Between Friends, an advocacy organization to help battered women and children of domestic violence. You can call to set an appointment at either at Rolling Meadows or a Chicago location. Please call for a specific location 773-274-5232 x23.

Also, please review the attached document to find dates of this service and free or low cost legal services:

legal-assistance_domestic-violence

Finding an apartment with RentSocial.com

RentSocial.com is a new website using social networking to search for an apartment. Similar to the consumer-reviewed site Yelp, users can leave remarks of buildings they currently or used to live in. You can also create your own RentSocial profile using your info from Facebook. The site gives an “activity feed,” where building owners, friends and neighbors can post messages. It’s all free of charge to users (the site makes money by charging building owners a monthly fee to be listed).