July 20, 2018

Issue Focused Evaluation

Introduction

Raising children is not easy. However, caring for children when parents are no longer together can be even more difficult. Although parents may try to work out their differences regarding the care of their children, visitation schedules, or parenting responsibilities, this is not always possible. In some instances, the Court’s involvement is needed to help make the final decisions. Family Services offers the Issue Focused Evaluation (IFE) as a way of helping parents solve a specific concern through an evaluation that limits the extent and time the family is involved in the process.

For many parents, the evaluation process becomes a learning experience that helps them settle their differences without the need for a court hearing. This resolution also works towards the development of a healthy parenting arrangement that contributes to the positive growth and development of the children.

What to Expect

To take part in an Issue Focused Evaluation you must be referred from the Family Court. The Judge will enter an order defining the concern that will be evaluated and/ or the limits of what will be dealt with in the process. Because the the evaluation is limited, our involvement in the matter will be brief.

Shortly after the court referral, the case will be assigned to a Family Relations Counselor (FRC). A letter from the FRC will be sent scheduling the first appointment. In most cases, the first meeting is held with the parents together. This gives both parents a chance to share their concerns and proposals with the FRC and each other. NOTE: If you have safety concerns about meeting with your child’s other parent, you should contact your FRC when you get the appointment letter to talk about those concerns.

The FRC’s role in this process is to explore and assess the concerns of each parent and to make recommendations about a parenting plan that will benefit the children. To do this, the FRC will gather information from both parents and contact professionals involved with the family (such as teachers, doctors, therapists, and others) The IFE is not confidential, which means that this information will be shared with the parents, the attorneys, and Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) involved in the matter, and the Court.

So that information can be shared between the professional providers and Family Services, Authorization for Release of Information forms must be signed. If either party has copies of records/reports they may also submitted to the FRC. However, the person who wrote the record/report must be available to the FRC during the evaluation process to answer any questions the FRC may have about the report/record.

During the course of the IFE, the counselor may schedule additional individual appointments with one or both of the parents. Arrangements may also be made to meet with the children at one or both of the parents’ homes and/or the Family Services Office. This part of the evaluation process will be decided by the FRC based on the issue that was referred.

At the time the counselor’s work in the IFE in done, a final conference will be held with the parents and the attorneys/GALs in the case. When it is not possible to meet together, other arrangements will be made.

The final conference is when the FRC will share relevant information gathered during the IFE, present an assessment of the referred issue, and provide a recommended plan to resolve the matter. A written report summarizing the information shared in the final conference will also be handed out in this meeting and given to the Court.

If this information and report does not help the parents come to an agreement, the matter will most likely go to trial. At that time, the FRC’s recommendations and report may be used as evidence and the counselor may testify.

What Parents Need to Do

The participation and cooperation of the parents throughout the Issue Focused Evaluation process is essential. It is very important that a commitment be made to cooperate with the Family Services in the following ways:

  1. Keep scheduled appointments and arrive on time for all meetings.
  2. Do not bring your children to appointments that are scheduled for you.
  3. Fill out the Issue Focused Evaluation Questionnaire completely and accurately before the first appointment and bring it with you to the first appointment.
  4. Sign the necessary Authorization for Release of Information forms and bring all requested information to appointments.
  5. Make the children available, both at home and at the Family Services Office, if requested by the FRC.
  6. If your children are going to be interviewed, explain to them that the FRC wants to meet them, but let them know that they will not be asked to choose between their parents.

SOURCE: Connecticut Judicial Branch

Unemployment Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

– 1.  What is Unemployment Insurance?Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are either looking for new jobs, in approved training, or awaiting recall to employment. The funding for unemployment insurance benefits comes from taxes paid by employers. Workers do not pay any of the costs. To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have earned sufficient wages during a specified time (monetary eligibility). To collect benefits, you must meet certain legal eligibility requirements.
– 2.  What are the basic eligibility requirements to apply for unemployment?

  • Be fully or partially unemployed;
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own [the law imposes disqualifications for certain types of separations from employment];
  • Be physically and mentally able to work full time*;
  • Be available for full-time work*;
  • Be registered with the American Job Center;
  • Be actively seeking work by making reasonable efforts to find employment each week;
  • Participate in selected reemployment services if you are identified as a dislocated worker by the profiling system;
  • File your weekly claims as directed.

*Individuals who cannot work because of a physical or mental impairment that is chronic or expected to be long-term or permanent may qualify for benefits if they are available for suitable part-time work.

– 3.  How do I file a new or reopened unemployment claim?A claim should be filed as soon as possible after you are separated from employment.

  • You may file your initial (new) claim or reopened claim 24/7 online using www.FileCTUI.com.
  • If you are unable to file a new claim online, please visit one of our American Job Centers locations. Go to our website at www.FileCTUI.com for office locations.Do not delay in filing a claim if you do not have your separation packet which includes a pink slip. Your claim will be taken without it. Your claim is effective the Sunday of the week in which you first file for benefits. Ordinarily, you do not get paid for the weeks prior to the week you filed your initial claim.
  • Have your Social Security card and separation packet, if one was provided. If you are separating from the military, have separation form DD214, Member-4. Federal employees should bring separation form SF-8 and a copy of their most recent pay stub. If you are not a US citizen, you must have proof that you are work authorized  in the USA. Do not delay filing a claim if you do not have these documents. Your claim can be filed without them, with the exception of those claimants that are required to provide proof of work authorization documents in this country. However, there may be a delay in payment until the document(s) are received.

– 4.  How do I file my weekly unemployment continued claims?You may file a weekly claim for benefits online or by our automated Telebenefits Line, in English or Spanish. If you file online, our web address is: www.FileCTUI.com. The automated Telebenefits Line can also be used for claim inquiries and provides general information on Unemployment Compensation Benefits.

Automated TeleBenefits Phone Numbers – filing weekly claims and claim inquiries
        Ansonia (203) 230-4939
        Bridgeport (203) 579-6291
        Bristol (860) 566-5790
        Danbury (203) 797-4150
        Danielson (860) 423-2521
        Enfield (860) 566-5790
        Hamden (203) 230-4939
        Hartford (860) 566-5790
        Interstate 1-800-942-6653 (from out-of-state) or
(860) 256-3900 (from in-state)
        Manchester (860) 566-5790
        Meriden (860) 344-2993
        Middletown (860) 344-2993
        New Britain (860) 566-5790
        New London (860) 443-2041
        Norwich (860) 443-2041
        Stamford (203) 348-2696
        Torrington (860) 482-5581
        Waterbury (203) 596-4140
        Willimantic (860) 423-2521
TDD/TTY Users Call: 1-800-842-9710.

– 5.  How much will I get?We look at wages for a 12-month period that is called the Base Period. The time is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the calendar quarter in which you initiated the claim. Individuals who cannot establish monetary eligibility using wages in the previously described base period will use an alternate base period.  The alternate base period consists of the four calendar quarters immediately preceding the quarter in which the claim is filed. To determine if a person has sufficient wage credits, the law requires that he or she must have total base period earnings that equals or exceeds 40 times the Weekly Benefit Rate. Normally, the maximum number of weeks of regular benefits payable is 26.
– 6.  What wages are used in determining monetary eligibility?Wages are drawn from a one-year period (four calendar quarters) to calculate eligibility. This one-year period is called the Base Period. By law, neither the quarter in which your claim is initiated nor the calendar quarter immediately preceding that quarter can be used for this calculation. Therefore, the Base Period normally will be the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of the new claim.

  • If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: January, February, or March
    The Base Period will be the first nine months (Jan-Sept) of last year and the last three months (Oct-Dec) of the year before last;
  • If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: April, May, or June
    The Base Period will be all twelve months (Jan-Dec) of last year;
  • If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: July, August, or September
    The Base Period will be the first three months of the current year (Jan-Mar) and the last nine months (Apr-Dec) of the last year;
  • If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: October, November, or December
    The Base Period will be the first six months (Jan-June) of the current year and last six months of the last year.

– 7.  How will my part-time job affect my benefits?If you are working part-time, your Weekly Benefit Rate will be reduced by an amount equal to two-thirds (2/3) of your gross wages for that week, rounded to the nearest dollar. To be eligible for this payment the law provides that:

  • You must be employed less than full-time; the number of hours you are working during the week is less than the number of hours customarily considered to be full-time for that job and/or employer;
  • You must be able to work and available for work as defined by law;
  • You did not refuse additional hours.

– 8.  How will my Pension Benefits affect my benefits?If you receive a pension, the law requires that the Weekly Benefit Rate be reduced by the pro-rated weekly amount of the pension that was contributed by the employer . A pension reduction of the Weekly Benefit Rate will increase the number of weeks for which Unemployment Compensation Benefits can be paid. You must still be able, available, and looking for full-time work to be eligible for Unemployment Compensation Benefits.

You can report your pension when you file your new claim. If you start to receive a pension after your new claim has already been filed, you must report your pension at www.filectui.com by selecting “receiving a pension”.

– 9.  Can I quit my job and collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?The general rule is that a person who voluntarily leaves suitable work without good cause, attributable to the employer, is not eligible for benefits. However, there are a few non job-related reasons for quitting under which a person may be approved for benefits. These include quitting to care for a spouse, child, or parent with an illness or disability, and quitting to escape domestic violence.

For good cause to be attributable to the employer, it must relate to the wages, hours, or working conditions of the job. A change in conditions created by your employer or a breach of your employment agreement which is substantial and adversely affects you may be good cause to quit. Also, if the job itself adversely affects your health or aggravates or worsens a medical condition, it could be good cause to quit.

Regardless of the cause, in most cases, good cause attributable to the employer may only be found if you took reasonable steps to inform your employer of your dissatisfaction and sought to remedy the problem before you left. If you quit, it is your burden to prove that there was good cause for leaving. When applying for benefits, after quitting a job, you will be scheduled for a pre-determination hearing by mail to establish whether you had good cause for leaving. Your employer will be notified of this hearing and will be invited to also send in a written statement.

-10. I was just fired. Can I collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?If you are fired or suspended, you may be disqualified for benefits if the employer can prove one of the following:

  • Willful misconduct in the course of your employment. The term wilful misconduct means deliberate misconduct in wilful disregard of the employer’s interest, or a single knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly-enforced rule or policy of the employer, when reasonably applied, provided such violation is not a result of the employee’s incompetence. In the case of absence from work, an employee must be absent without notice or good cause on three separate instances within a 12-month period;
  • Conduct which is a felony under the law and occurred in the course of your employment;
  • Larceny of property or service whose value exceeds $25 in the course of your employment;
  • Participation in a strike which is illegal under law or regulations;
  • You were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 days or longer and had begun serving that sentence;
  • You were discharged or suspended because you were disqualified by law from performing the job for which you were hired as a result of a drug or alcohol testing program mandated by law;
  • If you are discharged, it is the employer’s burden to prove that there was wilful misconduct. When applying for benefits after being discharged or suspended from a job you will be scheduled to attend a pre-determination hearing to determine eligibility. Your employer will be notified of this hearing and will be invited to attend or to send in a written statement.

-11. My boss is doing … can he/she do that?The employer must pay you for work you have performed and in accordance with any contract or written policy. The employer can change the nature of a job in accordance with any contracts or written policies.

-12. I’m moving … what can I do about my Unemployment Insurance Benefits?If you move out of Connecticut, you may continue to file for Unemployment Compensation Benefits from out of state. This is called an Interstate claim. Connecticut will still be the paying state so you must continue to meet all Connecticut eligibility requirements.

-13. How do I file an appeal?Click here to obtain information on filing an appeal. -14. What other unemployment related programs are available?”(The Labor Department is not responsible for accuracy of the information provided by the following non-DOL programs)

National School Lunch Program (Conn. State Department of Education)
Children may become eligible for the free lunch program upon a change in a parents’ financial circumstances.-15. I will soon exhaust my Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Are there other services that may be helpful to me?▪ Contact United Way’s 2-1-1 infoline program. This is a free referral service, with information about workforce programs, community services, basic needs assistance, crisis intervention and much more. 2-1-1 is toll-free from anywhere in Connecticut and it operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service offers multilingual operators and TTY access. You can reach this service by calling 2-1-1 or visit the United Way website at www.211ct.org.

CTHires, CT Department of Labor’s no cost on-line job bank, offers individuals the ability to search for jobs based on multiple search criteria such as location, occupation, employer, and more.  The Résumé Builder component of CTHires helps individuals build a résumé step-by-step, gathering essential background information and arranging skills, employment history, education and other essential information in an organized format for prospective employers to view.  In addition, the Virtual Recruiter component of the system allows individuals to save a job search and run it periodically to identify new job postings that match their search criteria. Job search results are sent to an individual’s email account. You can access CTHires at www.CTHires.com.

▪ Information regarding the Subsidized Training and Employment Program (Step Up), summer and seasonal jobs  at state agencies that are open to all jobseekers, and the Veterans Manufacturing Job Match program can be found on the main page of the Labor Department’s web site at www.ct.gov/dol.

SOUCRE

Frequently Asked Connecticut Bankruptcy Law Questions

Attorney Theresa Rose DeGray

Q: What is bankruptcy?

A: Bankruptcy is a legal process for people who cannot afford to pay their bills, and offers them a fresh start. The right to file for bankruptcy is granted by federal law, and all Connecticut bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts located in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford.

Q: How can Bankruptcy help me?

A: Bankruptcy can eliminate unsecured debt, end collection harassment, stop foreclosures, prevent repossessions, stop wage garnishments and bank executions, and/or restore utility service.

Q: How often can I file bankruptcy?
A: You can file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy every eight (8) years. Chapter 13 Bankruptcies can be filed every six (6) years.

Q: What is the difference between a consumer bankruptcy and a corporate bankruptcy?

A: A consumer bankruptcy is for individuals or married couples that have personal, and not business, debt. A corporate bankruptcy is for a corporation, or non-human entity.

Q: What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

A: A Chapter 7 results in a total discharge of most unsecured debt. A Chapter 13 is a repayment plan. Please see our Laws Page for an extended discussion on this topic.

Q: What does it cost to file for Bankruptcy?
A: We charge a fee for our services which will be quoted at our initial consultation. In addition to our fee for services, the bankruptcy court also charges filing fees.

Q: How can I pay for my Bankruptcy?

A: We offer affordable payment plans and accept all forms of payment, including cash, check, and debit cards from the person filing for bankruptcy. If a non-filer wishes to pay for our fees for their family member or friend, we will accept a credit card from that person. We honor MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

Q: What property can I keep?

A: You may keep all “exempt” property like your home, car, wedding rings, home furnishings, etc. All property that is not exempt is subject to liquidation and the resulting monies used to pay back your creditors. Do Not Be Alarmed: we strive to maximize your exemptions and protect all of your property.

Q: Will bankruptcy wipe out all my debts?

A: Yes, both Chapter 7 and 13 are designed to give you a fresh start with a clean slate.

Q: What is a discharge?

A: A discharge is a court order that says you do not have to repay your debts, but there are some exceptions, such as child support.

Q: Will I have to go to court?
A: Yes, in a Chapter 7 case, you will have to attend a proceeding once which is like a “court hearing,” although, it is very informal and presided over by a trustee and not a judge. A Chapter 13 case may require more than one court appearance, usually two or three.

Q: Will bankruptcy affect my credit?

A: Yes, but there are easy ways to rebuild your credit in a relatively short period of time following your final discharge.

Q: Will I be able to keep any credit cards?

A: No, you will have to fully disclose all of your debts and accounts, which will be closed and discharged. Bankruptcy is an all or nothing process. Full disclosure of your assets and liabilities is required and subject to penalties of perjury.

Q: Can I keep and use my debit card?

A: Yes, a debit card is not a credit card.

Q: Can I get a credit card after bankruptcy?

A: Yes, and you will be counseled on how and when to apply, and which type of card works best to rehabilitate your credit.

Q: Are utility services affected?
A: Current services will not be affected if the account is current or near current. Requests for new services after a bankruptcy may result in the utility company requiring a deposit.

Q: Can I be discriminated against for filing bankruptcy?

A: Absolutely not. Filing bankruptcy is a right given and protected by Federal Law.

Q: I am married, can I file by myself?

A: Yes, you may file as a married individual.

Q: If I am married and I file individually, will my spouse’s credit be affected?
A: No, your spouse’s credit will not be affected if he or she does not file.

Q: Can filing bankruptcy stop bill collectors from calling?
A: Yes, they will be prohibited from harassing you.

Q: Can I discharge my student loans by filing bankruptcy?

A: Generally student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. There are a few exceptions to this general rule.

This firm is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief amongst other things, under the Bankruptcy Code.

Mindful Money Management: 3 Strategies for Financial Success | By Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, AWMA®

How do you feel when you think about your financial situation? If you experience anxiety, uncertainty, or other unpleasant symptoms, you are not alone. Finances are a significant concern for many people. A 2017 study by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America entitled “Mind, Body, and Wallet,” found that money is cited as the #1 source of stress for a majority of American workers. The same survey showed that worry about personal finances is the leading cause of emotional stress and contributes to lower physical wellness.

But managing your money does not have to be an upsetting experience that negatively impacts you. Applying mindfulness techniques to your finances can help you cultivate a deeper awareness of your total financial picture, enabling you to approach your financial decisions with greater conviction and calculated risk.

What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an intentional focus on the present moment. It has evolved over time to become a secular, psychological practice of developing and sustaining attention to thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and environmental stimuli that impact our experience of “now”.

Non-judgmental awareness of each moment is cultivated through mindfulness. Practitioners challenge themselves to attain a heightened sensitivity to the present through a variety of techniques including, but not limited to, meditation, pauses, and gentle movements. The impact of mindfulness on physical, mental, and social well-being is documented widely through scientific and academic studies.

Strategy 1: Create Space
Mindfulness promotes a consistent, ongoing process of using our senses to become more attuned to what is going on inside our bodies and outside us in our surrounding environment. This disciplined activity of “creating space” on a regular basis enables practitioners to experience feelings of groundedness and centeredness in the midst of racing thoughts and life’s busyness.

Try incorporating this strategy of “creating space” to your approach to your finances. Do you think about your finances beyond just paying the next bill that’s due? Do you know what you save and spend and check your statements? Do you review your insurance policies and ensure they continue to make sense for your needs?

Consider dedicating time – it can be as brief as a few minutes, or as long as 30 minutes, as long as it’s recurring – to pay your bills and consider questions like this as part of understanding your total financial picture. Formally reserve this time in your calendar and don’t cancel the appointment.

In the same way you go to the gym on a regular basis to take care of your physical health or ensure that you get a certain number of hours of sleep for your mental health, “create space” in your lifestyle to take care of your financial health.

Strategy 2: Plan with a Purpose
Mindfulness emphasizes awareness and non-judgment. Through mindfulness, we discover that our thoughts are narratives that we create as a result of our own unique perceptions and life experiences. Repeated practice of mindfulness empowers us to let go of the constant chatter – especially the negative thoughts – that monopolize our focus, and just be.

Adopt this same open, curious awareness to your financial situation. Without worrying about how you’ll do it, ask yourself “What do I want to do with my money?” Reflect on this question repeatedly during the spaces that you have created in your schedule, and observe what bubbles up for you. If the same priorities emerge each time you reflect on this question, these could be the goals that form the foundation of your unique financial plan.

When you are able to articulate clearly without judgment what is important to you and what you want to do with your money you can formulate a purpose-filled financial plan comprised of actions and behaviors that you can implement to make your financial goals a reality.

Strategy 3: Invest with Intention
Mindfulness facilitates sustained focus. It enables practitioners to cultivate greater clarity and improve their capacity to tune out distractions. As a result, mindfulness facilitates the ability to make decisions.

Apply this objective, intentional focus to your investment strategy. Do you know what you have invested your money in? Do you know why you chose the investments you selected? Are your investments in line with your values, comfort level with risk, and do they consider your tax situation?

When you invest with intention, you know what you invest your money in and why. This disciplined approach provides comfort and structure when the financial markets – and life – inevitably surprise us.

When you apply techniques promoted through mindfulness to manage your money, you can obtain greater control over your finances, confidence with your financial goals, and comfort that you are taking steps to realize your financial dreams.

By Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, AWMA®

Disclosure:

Caroline Wetzel is a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) and Vice President, Private Wealth Advisor with Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC.  Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC and Procyon Institutional Partners, LLC (collectively “Procyon Partners”) are registered investment advisors with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This article is provided for informational purposes only and for the intended recipient[s] only. This article is derived from numerous sources, which are believed to be reliable, but not audited by Procyon for accuracy. This article may also include opinions and forward-looking statements which may not come to pass. Information is at a point in time and subject to change. Procyon Partners does not provide tax or legal advice.

For more information:

Caroline Wetzel, CFP®, AWMA®

Vice President

Private Wealth Advisor

Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC

1 Corporate Drive. Suite 225  |  Shelton, CT  06484

M: (844) Procyon |  D: (475) 232-2713 |  F: (475) 232-2736

cwetzel@procyonpartners.net   |  www.procyonpartners.net   |  https://www.linkedin.com/in/caroline-wetzel/

Ever wonder how to become a Notary?

The following is provided as a quick and convenient source of general information about the appointment of Notaries Public in the State of Connecticut.   For more detailed information, please consult the Notary Public Manual on the website below.

Qualifications, Fee & Examination

Section 3-94b of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) provides that any person eighteen years of age or older, who either resides in, or has a principal place of business in Connecticut may apply for appointment as a Notary Public.

All applicants must submit a completed application form, pay the application fee of $120.00, and pass a written examination administered by the Secretary of the State’s Office.  The examination is contained in the application form and the applicant completes the examination under oath.  Successful applicants will receive a certificate of appointment.

The Term of Appointment

Notaries in the State of Connecticut are appointed for terms of five (5) years.   Each term is separate

The Oath of Office & Recording the Certificate and Oath

All notaries, whether new or renewal appointments, are required by Section 3-94c CGS, to take an oath of office before they can perform any notarial acts.  The notary’s certificate of appointment contains a panel for recording the administration of the oath.   The oath may be administered by any official having the authority to administer oaths (see Section 1-24 CGS), but notary’s may find it convenient to take the oath of office from the town clerk at the same time they record their certificate, see below.

Section 3-94c CGS also requires that the oath and the notary’s certificate be recorded with the town clerk in the town in which the notary resides, if the notary is a Connecticut resident.  Nonresidents who have qualified for appointment because their principal place of business is in Connecticut, must also record their oath of office and certificate.  That recording is made with the town clerk of the town in which their place of business is located.  It is very important for all notaries to remember these requirements, which must be completed within 30 days of receiving the Certificate of Appointment.

Renewal of Appointment

All five year terms of appointment expire on the last day of the month in which the notary was originally appointed.  Renewal applications are mailed three months in advance of the expiration date to the address recorded in the Notary Public Database.   If a notary fails to record changes of address, it will be unlikely that they will receive the renewal application.  As a consequence, the notary’s term may expire.   For further information see “Changes of Name & Address” below.

Changes of Name or Address and Replacement Certificates of Appointment

If a notary who is a Connecticut resident changes his or her name or residence address, the notary is required to report that change to the Secretary of the State’s Office within thirty days. Nonresident notaries must maintain a principal place of business in Connecticut and must report any change in their business address, as well as changes in residence address. Forms for reporting such changes are available from this web site’s forms page. When completed, the forms must be filed with the Secretary’s office with the appropriate fees ($15.00 for Change of Name and Change of Address, $5.00 for Duplicate Certificates).

When the form has been processed, a new certificate will be issued. It is not necessary for the notary to take an oath of office upon receiving a replacement certificate, but if the notary has relocated to a new town of residence or principal place of business, the replacement certificate must be recorded with the town clerk in the new town of residence.

Resignation

A notary may resign his or her commission at any time, by advising the Office of the Secretary of the State, in writing, of his or her intention to resign and the effective date of that resignation.

Complaints

Any person may file a formal complaint against a notary public. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the Notary Public Unit of the Secretary of the State’s Office. A complaint must allege a specific violation of Connecticut Notary Public Law. It must also include photocopies of relevant documents.

SOURCE: http://portal.ct.gov/SOTS/Legislative-Services/Applying-for-Appointment-as-a-Connecticut-Notary-Public

Federal Tax Refunds During Bankruptcy

You can receive tax refunds while in bankruptcy. However, refunds may be subject to delay or used to pay down your tax debts. If you believe your refund has been delayed or offset you can check on its status by going to Where’s My Refund tool or by contacting the IRS’ Centralized Insolvency Operations Unit at 1-800-973-0424. The unit is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. eastern time.

Discharge: If you successfully complete your bankruptcy plan you will receive a discharge of debt. A discharge releases you (the debtor) from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. Some taxes may be dischargeable. Whether a federal tax debt may be discharged depends on the unique facts and circumstances of each case. Consult your bankruptcy attorney to determine which tax debts may be discharged.

SOURCE: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/other-types-of-bankruptcy-chapters-9-12-15

Medicare Program – General Information

Medicare is a health insurance program for:

  • people age 65 or older,
  • people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and
  • people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).

Medicare has:

Part A Hospital Insurance – Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A because they or a spouse already paid for it through their payroll taxes while working. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care. Beneficiaries must meet certain conditions to get these benefits.

Part B Medical Insurance
– Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover doctors’ services and outpatient care. It also covers some other medical services that Part A doesn’t cover, such as some of the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

Prescription Drug Coverage – Most people will pay a monthly premium for this coverage. Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare. Everyone with Medicare can get this coverage that may help lower prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage is insurance. Private companies provide the coverage. Beneficiaries choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like other insurance, if a beneficiary decides not to enroll in a drug plan when they are first eligible, they may pay a penalty if they choose to join later.

SOURCE: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/MedicareGenInfo/index.html

Not an April Fools Joke: Means Test Numbers Going Up!

2Means Test Numbers April 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out if you qualify for FREE:

Qualification for Bankruptcy is based solely on income. It is calculated using your last six months of income. The Means Test used to determine qualification allows you to make up to certain amounts of money based on your state and household size. We’re excited about the new Means Test Numbers (above) as they are going up, therefore allowing many more people to file for Bankruptcy relief.

Please click here to schedule your free consultation which includes a FREE Means Test.

New Medicare Cards Start Mailing in April 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to prevent fraud, fight identity theft and keep taxpayer dollars safe. They will mail the new Medicare cards from April 2018 through April 2019. Learn how they will mail the new Medicare cards in phases by geographic location below.

New Medicare Card Mailing Strategy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is required to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new, unique Medicare Number will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on each new Medicare card. Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare on a flow basis by geographic location and other factors.

These mailings will follow the sequence outlined below. Additional details on timing will be available as the mailings progress. Starting in April 2018, people with Medicare will be able to check the status of card mailings in their area on Medicare.gov.

New Medicare Card Mailing Waves Wave States Included Cards Mailing
1 Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia April – June 2018
2 Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon April – June 2018
3 Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin After June 2018
4 Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont After June 2018
5 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina After June 2018
6 Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming After June 2018
7 Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virgin Islands After June 2018

 

SOURCE: CMS.GOV

Basic Principles of the CT Child Support Guidelines

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“The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model. The Income Shares Model presumes that the child should receive the same proportion of parental income as he or she would have received if the parents lived together. Underlying the income shares model, therefore, is the policy that the parents should bear any additional expenses resulting from the maintenance of two separate households instead of one, since it is not the child’s decision that the parents divorce, separate, or otherwise live separately.

The Income Shares Model has proven to be the most widely accepted, particularly due to its consideration of the income of both parents. Thirty eight states follow the Income Shares Model. Four states and the District of Columbia have shifted over to the Income Shares Model since Connecticut last revised its guidelines in 2005. The other models used by states are “Percentage of Obligor Income” (ten states) and “Melson Formula” (three states). The Income Shares Model reflects presently available data on the average costs of raising children in households across a wide range of incomes and family sizes. Because household spending on behalf of children is intertwined with spending on behalf of adults for most expenditure categories, it is difficult to determine the exact proportion allocated to children in individual cases, even with exhaustive financial affidavits. However, a number of authoritative economic studies based on national data provide reliable estimates of the average amount of household expenditures on children in intact households. These studies have found that the proportion of household spending devoted to children is systematically and consistently related to the level of household income and to the number of children.

In general, the economic studies have found that spending on children declines as a proportion of family income as that income increases. This spending pattern exists because families at higher income levels do not have to devote most or all of their incomes to perceived necessities. Rather, they can allocate some proportion of income to savings and other non-consumption expenditures, as well as discretionary adult goods. This principle was reflected in past guidelines, since 1994, and is continued in these guidelines. Again, following the pattern of prior guidelines declining percentages at all levels of combined net weekly income begin outside the darker shaded area of the schedule. However, the commission had no economic data that supports a conclusion that this pattern continues when parents’ net weekly income exceeds $4,000. This commission therefore decided to not extend either the range of the schedule or the application of the concept of declining percentages beyond its current $4,000 upper limit.

Economic studies also demonstrate that a diminishing portion of family income is spent on each additional child. This apparently results from two factors. The first is economy of scale. That is, as more children are added to a family, sharing of household items is increased, and fewer of those items must be purchased. The second is a reallocation of expenditures. That is, as additional children are added, each family member’s share of expenditures decreases to provide for the needs of the additional members.

Based on this economic evidence, adjusted for Connecticut’s relatively high income distribution (as explained later in this preamble), the guidelines allow for the calculation of current support based on each parent’s share of the amount estimated to be spent on a child if the parents and child live in an intact household. The amount calculated for the custodial parent is retained by the custodial parent and presumed spent on the child. The amount calculated for the noncustodial parent establishes the level of current support to be ordered by the court. These two amounts together constitute the current support obligation of both parents for the support of the child. Intact households are used for the estimates because the guidelines aim to provide children the same support they would receive if the parents lived together. More than this, however, support amounts would be set unduly low if based on spending patterns of single-parent families, as they generally experience a high incidence of poverty and lower incomes than intact families.”

Source: The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines

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