Most Common SSI Pitfalls
Daniel Fortuno, Benefits Education Center
Wed, Nov 15, 7:30pm on Zoom
The application process for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is oftentimes problematic, as many families are painfully aware. Daniel Fortuno from the Benefits Education Center in Long Beach, California, will be the guest presenter at our next educational event. He will be discussing the Most Common SSI Pitfalls and will be dealing with questions from attendees.
Join us on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30pm on zoom. (This presentation has been rescheduled from the 4th to the 3rd Wednesday because of the Thanksgiving holiday).
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Meeting ID: 861 2682 0161
NAMI East Bay Online Support Group
Time: 6:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada). Every week on Tuesday
Oct 17, 2023 06:00 PM
Oct 24, 2023 06:00 PM
Oct 31, 2023 06:00 PM
Nov 7, 2023 06:00 PM
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Meeting ID: 898 6417 8986
Wednesday, Oct 25, 5:00-6:30 on zoom (note time change)
Allies in Recovery is a program that trains families in CRAFT, an evidence-based approach that supports behavior change and increases connection between the family and their loved one. Dominique Simon-Levine and Laurie MacDougall will provide a brief overview of the CRAFT model and teach us a few key principles that we can implement with our relative.
Since our our presenters live on the East Coast, we are scheduling this meeting for 5:00pm – our time. We invite families to join us and share their challenges. Link is below. The meeting will be written up by Tom Thomas and also videotaped for posting.
Note time change!
Join Zoom Meeting. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84623108691
5:00 – 6:30 pm PST
Meeting ID: 846 2310 8691
Planning for the Future – When Caregivers are No Longer Present:
Summary notes – Planning for when Caretaker is Gone, Sept 27 – see video recording:
Warm up: Serenity Prayer (paraphrased) – know what things you can change and what things you can’t change and have the wisdom to understand the difference.
We can’t anticipate the amount and kind of grief our loved one will experience when we leave…and how this will impact coping
Legal/Financial: Estate planning generally means attorney involvement around Living and Special Needs trusts. Nolo Press does have a book on Special Needs Trust but you may want to have your efforts reviewed by a legal professional. Baron Miller’s book Laws We Need to Know – Understanding Rules and Programs for Persons with Mental Illness is recommended
We anticipate funding for more housing coming from state legislation and voter approval. The number of Board&Care facilities is declining due to costs and lack of support for operators.
Linder (Linder.firstname.lastname@example.org) talked about the family-initiated Vernon Street home in Oakland’s Lake Merritt area where plans are for 7 individual units and one shared apartment. The families will be owners through either a tenants in common or limited equity housing cooperative.
Daily functioning: Financial – the county does provide representative payees to handle SSI monies- we don’t know how mobile this service is. Whereas ATMs are handy to get cash, there is a security issue of users being targeted. Debit cards are a good alternative and since they require a passcode, they are not as vulnerable to being stolen as are credit cards.
Personal – is your loved one able to handle laundry, cooking, shopping, personal hygiene, medication usage and refills? IHSS (In Home Support Services) is a funded program that provides in home support, dependent on client needs. Meals on Wheels and www.care.com are also resources
Insurance – MediCal and Medicare are necessary for most county services, with exceptions being crisis situations and Wellness centers. Private health insurance can often provide services which are not advertised. Use of the word “parity” could a useful tool in a push for more services.
Socialization- Isolation is a common problem and social skills do not always come naturally. Wellness centers, run by agencies, are drop-in day centers offering social activities and groups – see list on our website www.namieastbay.org under Direct Peer/Consumer Services
There is a new process that is giving us folks with PSS (Peer Support Specialist) certificates. These are family members and consumers with lived experience who have gone through training and may be available for individual socializing relationships …something to consider once it is more established.
Case management: The county’s Full Service Partnerships, administered by agencies, are wrap around trans-disciplinary services for those most impaired by mental illness. Eligibility criteria are stringent. There are private case managers and case management can be arranged through fiduciary firms and Proxy Parent. On our website, go to Private Case Management Services
*note – for every rant about a service or staff, there is a rave. It all depends on the personal characteristics of the service provider, the receptivity of the client, and the connection they make. And, of course, eligibility can always be an issue to consider.
As our loved ones become elderly, there may be more outreach services available through the county’s Older Adult services. Another idea is to explore the issue of Assisted Living, which may be a possibility if there is cognitive decline or other such disabilities that take precedence over the underlying disorder.
Meet and Learn about PEERS
Wednesday, August 23, 7:30 on zoom (link below)
Recording can be found here:
Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services (PEERS) is a diverse local community organization for people with mental health experiences. Their mission is to promote innovative peer-based wellness strategies. They create culturally-rich, community-based mental health programs that honor diverse experiences and eliminate stigma and discrimination in Alameda County.
Kimberly Marquez-Cortes (Program Manager), Reza Hasani (Outreach Specialist), and Sarah Marxer (Evaluation and Policy Specialist) will be our guest presenters. Join us to learn about PEERS and their services
Neuroscience question time with Dan Lurie, PhD.Wednesday, July 26, 7:30-9:00 on zoom
Please join us for an interactive night of learning with Dan Lurie, PhD. Dan is a cognitive and systems neuroscientist who studies how the brain works, and the relationship between the mind and the brain. He’s particularly interested in how we control our thoughts and behavior, and why doing so is difficult for some people. Dan will give a brief presentation reviewing key ideas about how the brain works, but most of the time will be dedicated to answering questions from the audience, so please bring your questions!
Join Zoom Meeting:
See video recording at
“Patients Rights Advocacy”
Wed, June 28, 2023
Join us for a discussion with Francesca Tenenbaum, Director of Patients’ Rights Advocacy and Training, and Sharnice Jones, Director of Patients’ Rights Advocates, in Alameda County.
They will be discussing how they provide hearings to patients, their focused monitoring at facilities, investigations of complaints, and facility response to recommendations. The family perspective and that of the legally mandated Patients’ Rights Advocates are not always on the same page, so we want to use this opportunity to see how the two groups can help each other and work together.
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Meeting ID: 897 1776 1376
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+16699006833,,89717761376# US (San Jose)
Coping, Communication, Self Care
Dr. James Branson
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Video Recording of Meeting below
Dr. James Bramson will be the guest speaker at our next 4th Wednesday affiliate event on May 24. Dr. Bramson is a licensed psychologist and social worker with over 25 years experience as a clinical director, trainer/supervisor of psychology interns, organizational consultant, neuropsychologist, forensic psychologist and therapist. He is the director of the Mindful Alliance Center and co-founded the East Bay Mindfulness Center.
He will talk with us about communication techniques, limit setting, mindfulness and self care.
Our meeting will be on zoom Wednesday May 24, 7:30-9:00pm. Zoom link is
Meeting ID: 829 5585 0470
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