Benefits Check Up – On line service of the National Council on Aging available to assist Seniors in determining whether they may qualify for assistance with medical benefits, as well as legal and financial issues. www.benefitscheckup.org
Department of State for the Federal Government: 202.647.5225 or after 10:00 EST call 202.647.4000; www.travel.state.govfor issues on deaths while traveling out of the country.
Federal Trade Commission: The FTC is interested in receiving written complaints about problems with purchasing funeral goods and services. Free pamphlet “Consumer Guide to the FTC Funeral Rule.” Available by writing to: Federal Trade Commission 915 2nd AVE Floor 28 Seattle, Wa 98174 - 877.382.4537 www.ftc.gov
Federal IRS: 800.829.1040 may assist with questions on forms. To order Tax Information for Older Adults call 800.829.3676
Medicare Hotline: 800.633.4227 (1.800.MEDICAR) may answer questions about Medicare, policies, insurance fraud and special Medicare beneficiary programs. Additionally, you may inquire at www.medicare.gov for the booklet “ Choosing a Medicap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare”.
Seattle Veterans Action Center: 206.625.4656
Social Security Administration: Seattle: 206.763.9222; Toll Free 800.562.6350.
U.S. Veteran’s Administration: 800.552.7480.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance(VITA) program available through the local IRS office provides services for seniors, non=English speaking taxpayers and the disabled: 800.829.1040.
Washington State Attorney General’s Office Consumer Resource Centers: (Statewide) 800.551.4636 (Voice); 800.276.9883 (Hearing Impaired TTD); www.atg.wa.gov
Washington State Department of Health Living: to store your advance Directive online with the Will Registry, go to www.uslivingwillregistry.com
Washington State Office of Vital Statistics: 360.236.4300. For King County, call 206.296.4768 for filing or obtaining copies of a death certificate.
Washington State Department of Licensing, Funeral and Cemetery Office for complaints against a funeral home, cemetery or crematory: P.O. Box 9012, Olympia, WA 98507. Phone 360.664.1555.
Washington State Department of Veteran’s Affairs: 800.562.2308.
Washington State Ferry System: 206.515.3460, which provides for the spreading of ashes in Puget Sound for free.
In 2008, my husband became critically ill following surgeries. After 4 long unresponsive months on a ventilator, I was faced with the very real and difficult decision of whether to continue life support. Luckily for me, having been active in Honor My Wishes for several years, we had talked about end of life issues. Several years earlier we both had our Advance Directives filled out, signed and witnessed. Quality of life, not quantity, was important to him. Though the decision was difficult and painful, discontinuing life support was the right decision.
Nancy (McCormack) Wik