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Last Farmers' Meetings
               
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

There will be a meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Thursday, March 21, 2013.
This meeting will be held at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church which is located at 9700 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70807.
The meeting will start at 10:00 A.M and end at 2:00 PM.

Memphis Marriott Hotel
article-image
There will be a meeting in Memphis, Tennessee on Monday, March 25, 2013 (deadline day). 
This meeting will be held at the Marriott Hotel & Resorts which is located at 2625 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee 38118 (1-240 and Perkins Road --- Exit No. 18), from 10:00 A.M until 8:00 P.M.  
We are also asking all of our members to call Portland (1-888- 508-4429) to get a Tracking Number for "each" claim that you may be filing.  They will give you this number even if you call from your cell phone.
However, due to the high volume of calls for which we are receiving at our office in Memphis and in keeping with the goal of mailing all the claim forms of our members --- which must be post marked by 11:59 P.M., the 25th --- we are not answering the phones at this time.
You can, however, send an E-Mail to bfaapresident@aol.com.  for questions regarding this matter.  Thank you! 

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Thank you Sis. Diane for the timely update on Black Farmers.

CONFERENCE LINE NUMBER and PIN -  that number 218-862-6420  and  Pin no:  5508843#   We hold conference from Monday - Thursday  9:00 p.m Eastern time and 8: p.m. Central time...CONFERENCE LINE NUMBER and PIN -  that number 218-862-6420  and  Pin no:  5508843#   We hold conference from Monday - Thursday  9:00 p.m Eastern time and 8: p.m. Central time...

Justice and Trust
http://www.justiceandtrust.com/

Announcement_to_PUBLIC_-_REGARDING_3_page_APPEAL_Petition_Sept__201...

Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Land Assistance Fund
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 8, 2013
Heather Gray, Director of Communications
404 765 0991
The Importance of Social Security to the Rural Black Community and Recommendations for Improvements Hearing from the rural Black community about Social Security
social security
Federation talks with rural residents in Alabama
ATLANTA....In 2012, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund joined with a coalition of national groups under the auspices of the Center for Community Change to explore the knowledge, perceptions and concerns about social security. The focus of the Federation was to hear from the rural Black community. See information below but for the entire report please go to Social Security in the Rural South on our website.
Below, read (1) one of the compelling stories and (2) see the list of recommendations from those attending the listening sessions in Georgia and Florida.
One of the Stories from Alabama
I am a veteran and got disabled about 9 years ago. In 2008 I filed for SSI* because I didn't have anything else coming in. I wasn't of retirement age or nothing like that. SSI* carried me through 4 years of paper work. I had all the documents saying that I couldn't breathe. I had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. I couldn't breathe. But, they carried me through almost 4 years of paper work to give me $647 a month.
But by grace, I was (ultimately) dealing with the VA (Veterans Administration) and the VA came in said "Wait a minute. We'll give you a 90% disability."
So they sent the papers to SSI telling them I'm getting a 90% disability and they can keep the $647." SSI contacted me and said I owed them $3,000 because I'm getting money for being in Vietnam. That wasn't right. I've got to pay them now. I pay them $25 a month for their fault.
Recommendations for Improvements to Social Security
  • All should pay their fair share into Social Security.
  • There should be credit offered for caregivers.
  • All social security benefits should be increased and not cut.
  • There should be a re-calculation of COLA.*
  • Recipients should be able to get their benefits without either going to an attorney or at the very least not have to pay large amounts to an attorney.
  • Survivors benefits should be changed to offer coverage for students up to age 22.
  • The age limit should not be changed as it would discriminate against physical laborers.
  • There should be an adjustment to formulas for SSI accounting for medical costs and benefits.
  • More people should be paying into Social Security.(e.g. working youth) and/or tax
  • those with incomes over $10k and leave the poor alone.
  • There should be better services for recipients such as providing relevant information and responses to questions and concerns in the
  • local and national offices. The communications - such as the 800 number - needs to be improved altogether.
  • There should be sensitivity training for social security employees. (the mindset
  • of these employees is often not good. For example, SSI means welfare to them.)
  • SSDI** needs improvement - there needs to be a faster process that would also include links to the Veterans Administration and other agencies to prevent "paybacks" by recipients if these agencies make mistakes.
  • There should be training and education with youth about social security so they can better plan their life altogether including, of course, their future.
* COLA - Cost of Living Adjustment

** SSDI - Social Security Death Index 

Here to Donate

  donation

Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 45th year, assists Black family farmers across the South with farm management, debt restructuring, alternative crop suggestions, marketing expertise and a whole range of services to ensure family farm survivability.

2769 Church Street · East Point, GA · 30344

404 765 0991 · www.federation.coop

This email was sent to bellopellebonsmith@yahoo.com by heathergray@federation.coop |  
Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund | 2769 Church Street | East Point | GA | 30344

Discrimination-claims process extended

Women and Latinos who were discriminated against on farm loans have until May 1 to file bias claims

A Virginia farmer and his mule take part in a 1999 demonstration by black farmers against the settlement of African Americans farmers' lawsuit against the Agriculture Department.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the application deadline for Latino and women farmers who can prove they were victims of loan discrimination between 1981 and 2000.

The government has set aside more than $1.3 billion in cash awards and tax-relief payments and $160 million in debt relief to resolve discrimination claims.

The USDA has acknowledged years of denied, reduced or delayed federal farm loans to Latinos, women, African-Americans and Native Americans. The government previously settled class-action suits filed by tens of thousands of black and American Indian farmers.

The agency previously set a March 25 deadline but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack extended it to May 1, “to make sure any potential claimant has a right of redress,” said Lilian Salerno, acting administrator for rural business. “He wanted to make sure no one was left out.”

Federal officials held forums across the country to explain the discrimination claims process, including events in Moreno Valley in January and in Indio in 2011.

For information on the process, call 888-508-4429 or go to www.farmerclaims.gov.

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