Silver Sands

mhmhEfforts in the United States by government, hospitals and many hospice and palliative care programs have slowly planted the seed of the end-of-life care movement in Chinese communities here in recent years. Along with learning about and writing advance health care directives, most of Chinese adults bravely say they know life has its end and they want to take a graceful bow while the theater curtain falls on their lives.

However, exiting this stage of life beautifully is often difficult when the time comes, unless people have planned ahead. This is why education for the concept of successful aging is so important.

September is National Guide Dog Month. The celebration of the work that guide dogs do each day was inspired by actor Dick Van Patten, who wanted to raise awareness and money to help guide dog schools.  Many people who depend on guide dogs also depend on disability benefits. People who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to a disability suffer from severe ailments that make them unable to work and provide for themselves.

However, sometimes it is possible — with a little help — for people with disabilities to become self-sufficient through work.   If you are getting disability benefits, we understand how difficult the prospect of trying to work can be. We also understand that the possibility of having medical and financial benefits cut off can be frightening. But rest assured, Social Security has some great work incentives in place that allow people with disabilities to “test the waters” and prove that they can work before any benefits are stopped. That makes it inviting to try. Even if things don’t work out, the benefits will still be there for you. 

Do you need a letter from Social Security verifying your benefits? The fastest, easiest, most convenient way to get a benefit verification letter these days is to go online to .   You may need a benefit verification letter for a number of reasons. Perhaps you need proof of income for a loan or to verify your monthly income for housing, or state or local benefits.

You may need proof of your current Medicare health insurance status. In some cases, a person may need proof of retirement status, disability status, or age. For any of these situations, a benefit verification letter will provide the proof you need.  Sometimes a benefit verification letter is called a budget letter, benefits letter, proof of income letter, or proof of award letter. Don’t let the different titles confuse you; they are all the same thing: a benefit verification letter.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, people across the country will join in recognizing the many contributions of Hispanic Americans, and in celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture.   For years, Social Security’s website has been a leader in providing information and services in Spanish. Find out what we have to offer by visiting

 This year, we launched a brand new mobile-friendly site that offers the same great service on your mobile device when you’re on the run. Try it out on your smartphone at . There, you can learn all about our programs and online services, and view more than 100 Spanish public information pamphlets, leaflets, and fact sheets.