— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger North Dakota for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

North Dakota State Capitol

— 2019 Legislature – Advocacy Activity 2/14/2019 This has been a slow week so far at the 2019 legislature. We can report that the Senate Appropriations sub-committee working on the budget for the Department of Human Services has approved funding for the Home and Community Bases Services items we have been supporting. These ideas increase access to services that help people stay at home for as long as possible. A program called Service Payments for the Elderly and Disables (SPED) was …

— AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites across North Dakota open in February to help people prepare their 2018 tax returns. This free service is available to low- and moderate-income taxpayers of all ages with special attention to those 60 and older. You do not have to be an AARP member to take advantage of the service. IRS-certified volunteers are trained to assist in filing accurate returns and help taxpayers receive all of the benefits, credits, and deductions to which they are entitled. …

— AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is looking to expand its team of volunteers for the upcoming tax season. Tax-Aide offers free tax filing help to anyone, especially those 50 and older, who can’t afford a tax preparation service. Tax-Aide volunteers make a difference in their communities by assisting many older, lower-income taxpayers who might otherwise miss out on the credits and deductions they’ve earned. Tax-Aide volunteers receive training and support in a welcoming environment. There is need for volunteer tax preparers, client …

— In a newly released AARP poll, North Dakota voters age 50 and over are united in their concern over health care and personal finance issues. The poll found that health care and Social Security are critically important issues to 50-plus voters as they cast their ballots this fall, and a strong majority (79 percent) believe it is unfair to deny coverage or charge those with pre-existing conditions more for health care. The survey is part of AARP’s “Be the Difference. …

— An expert witness testified in support of AARP’s concerns about Montana-Dakota Utilities’ proposal to raise natural gas rates during a North Dakota Public Service Commission technical hearing May 30-June 1. MDU is asking for a $3.6 million increase applied to residential customers and general service (large commercial users) customers. AARP formally intervened in this rate case allowing us to testify against the rate proposal during the hearing. AARP raised the following issues with MDU’s proposal: The collection of the increase …

— Starting in April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare, including 126,000 in North Dakota. Instead of a Social Security number, the new card will have a Medicare number that’s unique to each person with Medicare. The new card will help protect your identity and keep your personal information more secure. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same. Medicare will automatically mail new cards at no cost …

— As bitter cold temperatures settle in, most families are turning up their thermostats to stay warm. For some low- and fixed-income households, cranking up the heat is not always an option. The North Dakota Department of Human Services reminds people that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally-funded program pays a portion of home heating costs for qualifying low-income households. Older adults, people with disabilities, and families with children age five and younger …

— Montana-Dakota Utilities has another natural gas rate request proposal that includes a 5.9 percent increase for residential users. The North Dakota Public Service Commission is holding public hearings on the rate increase at 5 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Wednesday, Oct. 25. Prior to the hearing, AARP is providing a briefing for those interested in learning more and how you can voice your opinion to the Public Service Commission. At the conclusion of the briefing we will proceed …

— The recent cold temperatures may have left some low-income North Dakotans with home heating costs that are higher than their budget can handle. The North Dakota Department of Human Services reminds low-income individuals and families and seniors on limited fixed incomes that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally-funded program helps qualifying households pay a portion of their home heating costs, whether its natural gas, electricity, propane, coal, fuel oil, wood or kerosene. …

— As the days and nights get colder, some low-income North Dakotans may find the increase in home heating costs beyond what their budget can handle. The North Dakota Department of Human Services is reminding low-income individuals, families, and seniors that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applications are now being accepted at county social service offices in North Dakota. The federally-funded program helps qualifying households in need of assistance pay a portion of their …

— The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is looking for new volunteers across North Dakota. Volunteers do not need tax preparation experience because they receive comprehensive IRS training on tax forms and software at no cost. Instead, potential volunteers should have computer skills, enjoy meeting people and working with other volunteers, and be able to commit at least four hours a week from February 1-April 15. Schedules are flexible to accommodate winter vacations and other needs. Watch this short video to see …