7 Things to Know When Considering Converting to a Green Home

Turning your home green is not only great for the environment, but it can also save you money in the long run. By making small changes to your home, you can reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the planet. In this article, we’ll discuss some simple and effective ways to turn your home green.

  1. Energy-efficient appliances: One of the easiest ways to turn your home green is to switch to energy-efficient appliances. This includes things like refrigerators, washing machines, and light bulbs. These appliances are designed to use less energy, which means you’ll save money on your energy bills and reduce your impact on the environment.
  2. Solar panels: Installing solar panels is another great way to turn your home green. Solar panels use the power of the sun to generate electricity, which means you’ll be able to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. While the initial cost of installing solar panels can be expensive, the long-term savings are significant.
  3. Reduce water usage: Water is a precious resource, and reducing your water usage is an important part of turning your home green. You can do this by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets, fixing leaks, and using water-efficient appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.
  4. Use natural cleaning products: Traditional cleaning products often contain harmful chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and your health. Switching to natural cleaning products like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice is an easy way to turn your home green.
  5. Plant a garden: Planting a garden is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and add some greenery to your home. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you’ll be able to reduce your reliance on store-bought produce, which often travels long distances and is packaged in plastic.
  6. Use sustainable materials: When renovating your home, consider using sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and recycled glass. These materials are environmentally friendly and often more durable than traditional materials.
  7. Recycle: Recycling is one of the easiest ways to turn your home green. Make sure you have a recycling bin in your home and that you’re recycling all the materials that you can. This includes things like paper, plastic, and glass.

Turning your home green is a simple and effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment. By making small changes to your home, like switching to energy-efficient appliances and using natural cleaning products, you can save money and reduce your impact on the planet. So why not start today and turn your home green?

Visit a Social Security Office Near You: A Quick and Easy Guide

Previously, many procedures such as applying for Social Security benefits or obtaining a card necessitated a visit to the local Social Security office. Scheluding an appoint might be required, request time off from work, travel to the office, and wait your turn. Almost all Social Security transactions can now be completed online, from the convenience of your own home. And Social Security makes every effort to make it as simple as possible for individuals to browse their website and conduct business, whether online, over the phone, or in person.

Whether you’re dealing with earned benefits, spousal benefits (and ex-spouse benefits), children’s benefits, or survivor benefits, or simply seeking information on topics such as taxes and Social Security or SS cost of living adjustments, understanding your options is critical to saving you time and stress.


Online vs. in-person

The Social Security Administration offers a variety of online services, including applying for benefits, estimating retirement benefits, applying for a Social Security card or replacement card, appealing a decision, and even estimating future benefits via a retirement calculator that allows you to compare various retirement dates and future earnings estimates.


In some instances, a visit to a Social Security field office is still essential. For instance, some online applications are only available in English; therefore, applicants who require assistance in another language may need to call or visit the office. Additionally, certain duties, such as reporting a death in order to get Survivor Benefits, must be completed over the phone or in person, though the funeral home will frequently notify Social Security of the death. Additionally, not all states accept applications online. Additionally, several jurisdictions that do provide online applications require applicants to have particular documentation, such as a driver’s license.


Though your unique situation may require you to call in or visit the office, starting with the Social Security’s website first is a good idea, which frequently has the answers to your inquiries and allows you to take care of your business much more quickly and efficiently than alternative channels.


Submit an application for Social Security benefits

Online applications for Social Security benefits can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. To begin, create or log into your my Social Security account and then click on Apply. You’ll proceed through a succession of screens in which you’ll be asked questions about yourself, your family, and your job. If you are unable to answer a question, you may skip it and return later. If for whatever reason you are unable to complete your application, you can “Return to a Saved Application” later without losing any of the information you supplied.


When responding to some questions, you may be unable to use periods, commas, or other special characters. For instance, you are not permitted to include periods in your address. The system will guide you through the steps and prompt you to return if anything is missing.


Depending on the type of application you’re making–for example, a replacement Social Security card or Retirement Benefits–you may need to provide your:

  • Number of the Social Security Administration
  • Certificate of birth or evidence of citizenship
  • Records of marriages and divorces
  • Documents relating to military service in the United States
  • A copy of the prior year’s W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax return

Often, your local Social Security office may contact your state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online for you at no cost. If they are unable to verify your information online, they can still assist you in obtaining it.


Social Security card replacement

The Social Security Administration does not charge for card issuance or replacement, although it does have some regulations about who can apply online. For example, residents of Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, and several other states cannot yet use the online service to obtain a replacement Social Security card, though residents of those states should check frequently to see if that capability has been added, as the service is expanding at a rapid pace. In Delaware and Wisconsin, you must have a driver’s license to use the online service. Additionally, in all locations, you must be a United States citizen who is at least 18 years old and has a United States mailing address.


If you are a United States citizen and have not recently received a replacement Social Security card or name change, you may be ineligible to use my Social Security’s online replacement card application.


How many Social Security offices are there in the United States?

In the United States, Social Security operates roughly 1,230 field offices, ten regional offices, six processing centers, and a central office in Baltimore. Certain states have a disproportionate number of offices. For instance, the New York Region is comprised of 100 field offices located throughout New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. The state of Texas has 70 field offices. Wyoming has less than a half-dozen. You can locate the field office that is closest to you here.

Social Security office hours will be extended to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning in early 2020. To plan, reschedule, or cancel an appointment, call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You may locate the location and contact information for your local Social Security office here:

What to expect when paying a personal visit

When you visit a Social Security Office, the documents you bring with you is determined by the purpose of your visit. Your visit may necessitate the following:

  • Number of the Social Security Administration
  • Certificate of birth or evidence of citizenship
  • Address
  • Evidence of household occupants
  • Documents relating to marriage or divorce
  • Documents relating to military service in the United States
  • A copy of the prior year’s W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax return

If you’re heading to the office for a disability hearing, you’ll need to know the dates of your doctor visits and the medications you’re currently taking. Each sort of benefit has its own part on the website, which details what documents you must bring in and whether it must be originals, photocopies, or digital.

Over 40 million people visit Social Security offices each year, yet not everyone schedules an appointment. The average wait time has been estimated to be around 25 minutes, while a few people have reported waiting up to an hour. The more prepared you are for the session, the more you understand what you are requesting, your rights, and the evidence necessary to support your aims, the more quickly and easily the appointment will likely be. You can gather a great deal of this knowledge online.

Added Resources

If you’re trying to apply for Social Security or obtain extra information, the Social Security Administration is typically a trustworthy source. Other resources, on the other hand, can be beneficial for more detailed information and news. Disability Help provides advice about how to maximize Social Security benefits while working, the best employment for seniors, frequent Social Security errors that could cost you money, and common Social Security scams.


Speeding Tickets for Out-of-state Drivers in Virginia

Virginia has stricter speeding laws than many other states, and it is a good idea for drivers to know these laws before they visit Virginia. When out-of-state drivers find themselves with a speeding ticket in Virginia, it is often too late that they discover that it carries a higher charge of reckless driving. More often than not, they also discover their best option is to hire a lawyer in Virginia to go to court for them.

Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is defined differently in Virginia than it is in most other states. If a person is driving 20 miles over the speed limit in Virginia, it is considered reckless driving. Reckless driving can carry serious consequences, as it is regarded as a criminal misdemeanor.

Charges Forwarded to Home State
Out-of-state drivers should also be aware that if they are convicted in Virginia, their home state will be notified. In some cases, there can be further consequences handed down by their home state, in addition to those received in Virginia.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
If you receive a speeding ticket, whether an infraction or a charge of reckless driving, it is of great interest that you hire an attorney in Virginia. Virginia attorneys are well-versed in the traffic laws of Virginia and can help. If you decide to contest the ticket, the attorney will go to court for you, making it unnecessary for you to come back to Virginia for court. The attorney will also know if there are options available to you for your particular case.

As seen here, Virginia has some of the strictest speeding laws of any state because their charges are based on speed and not individual incidents. If you have received a speeding ticket or a cost of reckless driving, the first thing you should do is hire an attorney in Virginia to help you with your court case. You will most likely save time, money, and possible additional charges if you let the attorney go to court for you instead of trying to defend yourself.

Is Claiming Disability the Same As Claiming Social Security?

A lot of Americans today claim social security disability Insurance (SSDI) as a means to help them out financially. What is often confusing is that having a permanent disability does not automatically make you eligible to receive disability payments. Neither is disability the same thing as social security payments that a person receives at retirement. The following are a few facts to help you to understand how these programs are different.

A Brief History of SSDI

The Social Security Act was made law during President Roosevelt’s administration on August 14, 1935. By contrast, SSDI was not instituted until nearly 20-years later on August 1st, 1956. It was signed into law by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and this program precedes the later introduction of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program that emerged in 1974 under the Nixon administration. The later program is not necessarily intended only for the blind and disabled; and hence, it is not what many understand or consider to be social security disability; yet, it does cover individuals who are born with a disability and cannot meet work quarter requirements under the SSDI program.

What Government Office Is Responsible for Maintaining the Disability Program?

The government office which maintains the SSDI program for disabled individuals is the Social Security Administration (SSA). It is the same government office that is responsible for handling the social security program intended for retired persons. So, it is understandable that since the same government organization is responsible for overseeing and administering both programs that some people might confuse one program for the other. It is important to remember that one program is primarily aimed at serving the needs of disabled people who may or may not have some work experience while the other program is primarily aimed at serving the needs of retired individuals. Further confusion may arise in the case of individuals who are both retirement age and disabled with a sufficient amount of work experience to qualify for both programs.

Who Is Eligible

It is well known that most Americans are eligible for social security retirement benefits when they reach the age of retirement: assuming they have worked and paid some degree of taxes leading up to retirement on which to assess the amount of social security due them. To gain an enlightened perspective on who is eligible for SSDI, it is best to read the SSA’s pamphlet on disability benefits to understand the program in all points. However, the typical way to determine eligibility for SSDI is that you must have a disability that is supported by the proper medical documentation, and you must also have worked the right number of work quarters for your specific age group when filing for SSDI. A work quarter is three-months long, and you can accumulate a maximum of four work quarters each year. As you age, the number of work quarters you must have accumulated in a ten-year period increases.

How to Apply

To apply for SSDI, you can pick up an application at any SSA field office or download the application from the SSA website. It is important that you fill out this application as accurately as possible because failure to do so can lead to legal problems. To ensure that your application is filled out correctly for best results, it is advised to acquire the help of a disability attorney who is experienced with successfully helping their clients navigate the application process without any hitches.

Where to Find More Information

The most straight forward way to find out more about SSDI and how it differs from social security retirement benefits is by researching the matter on the SSA.gov website or by calling the SSA and speaking with a representative. Due to the legal and technical nature of some of the SSDI program’s provisions, you may need the help of an attorney to properly understand and assess if you have a case. As a rule of thumb, you should never assume that the SSA representative is operating in your best interest, and you should write down the name and worker ID of any SSA representative you speak with in case you need to report any issues as a result of dealing with said SSA representative.