Wednesday, May 9, 2018

FTC-IRS Initiative Aims to Make it Easier for Consumers to Report Tax-Related Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are teaming up to make it easier for consumers to report tax-related identity theft and to receive assistance to help recover.

The IRS will now allow consumers to report identity theft to the IRS electronically through the  FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website. Tax-related identity theft happens when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return and claim your refund. Victims of tax-related identity theft need to file an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, also known as IRS Form 14039, before the IRS can begin resolving the problem. Until this new initiative, consumers could only file an IRS Form 14039 manually.

Under the new FTC-IRS initiative, IdentityTheft.gov will be the first and the only place where consumers can submit an IRS Form 14039 electronically. A new FTC blog post provides more detail about how the process works.

Identitytheft.gov allows consumers to report identity theft and to receive a personal recovery plan. Consumers can also obtain an Identity Theft Report that can be used in place of a police report to help clear their credit reports of fraudulent information, and customized letters they can send to creditors, debt collectors, and others to help recover from identity theft causes.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Dollars for Docs

From ProPublica

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies are now required by law to release details of their payments to a variety of doctors and U.S. teaching hospitals for promotional talks, research and consulting, among other categories. Use this tool to search for general payments (excluding research and ownership interests) made from August 2013 to December 2015.

Also: Top 50 Companies - Click on a company to see how its payments break down by drug, device or doctor. Or see all companies.

And more...

Monday, April 16, 2018

How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, Are Thriving in America

From National Geographic:
Today an estimated 3.45 million Muslims in America are living in a climate of hostility, their faith distorted by violent extremists on one end and an anti-Muslim movement on the other. The rise in animosity was stoked by fiery anti-Muslim rhetoric from conservative commentators and politicians... Trump repeatedly has described Islam as a threat, retweeting anti-Muslim videos from a British hate group and keeping his distance from the religion, like when he decided the White House, for the first time in more than two decades, would not host a dinner to mark Ramadan.

In reaction to feeling targeted, Muslims are getting political. Groups such as the Pluralism Project are supporting and training dozens of Muslim candidates in Maryland alone to run for office. A hijab-wearing Somali-American woman now sits in the House of Representatives in Minnesota; a Muslim man is running for governor of Michigan. There are two Muslims in Congress and more running in this year’s elections.

Muslims in the United States are a racially and ethnically diverse group—and a growing one, despite a recent rise in anti-Muslim hostility. From dozens of different countries and representing multiple branches of their faith, Muslims now total about 3.45 million people, or one percent of the U.S. population. With roots dating back to the 16th century, the Muslim population is currently growing faster in suburbs than in cities, especially in southern and western regions. There are now more than 2,100 mosques in the U.S., up from 962 in 1994.



Friday, March 2, 2018

2018 Economic Programs Webinar Series

Interested in learning about the wide range of economic data and resources you can get from the Census Bureau? If you answered yes, then this webinar series is for you!

You will have the opportunity to learn about the types of data related to different topics and subject areas. Each session will demonstrate the value of our data through real life scenarios and plain language guidance. We will share on how you can access this information and why it’s important for you. This webinar series is for anyone looking for data and not sure where to begin.

Learn More About Census Trainings and Workshops

SAVE THE DATE: All Webinars Start At 2:00PM EST
No registration required for these free Census Bureau events.
March 15, 2018: Healthcare Data Webinar
April 17, 2018: Employment Data Webinar
May 24, 2018: Government Data Webinar
June 20, 2018: Construction Data Webinar
August 2, 2018: Professional and Scientific Data Webinar
September 12, 2018: Hidden Gems Data Webinar

Log in details will be provided 24 to 48 hours prior to each webinar.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What Should I Ask My Doctor During a Checkup?

From the National Institute on Aging:

Asking questions is key to good communication with your doctor. If you don't ask questions, he or she may assume you already know the answer or that you don't want more information.

Don't wait for the doctor to raise a specific question or subject; he or she may not know it's important to you. Be proactive. Ask questions when you don't know the meaning of a word (like aneurysm, hypertension, or infarct) or when instructions aren't clear (for example, does taking medicine with food mean before, during, or after a meal?).

Sometimes, doctors need to do blood tests, x-rays, or other procedures to find out what is wrong or to learn more about your medical condition. Some tests, such as Pap tests, mammograms, glaucoma tests, and screenings for prostate and colorectal cancer, are done regularly to check for hidden medical problems.

Before having a medical test, ask your doctor to explain why it is important, what it will show, and what it will cost. Ask what kind of things you need to do to prepare for the test. For example, you may need to have an empty stomach, or you may have to provide a urine sample. Ask how you will be notified of the test results and how long they will take to come in.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

44% of Custodial Parents Receive Full Amount of Child Support

Custodial Mothers and Fathers
Approximately two-thirds (69.3 percent) of custodial parents who were due child support received some payments from noncustodial parents, while only 43.5 percent reported receiving the full amount of child support due. This latest information comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2015 report.
The report includes demographic and income data about custodial parents and details child support income for custodial parents living below poverty levels. The poverty rate of custodial-mother families in 2015 (29.2 percent) was significantly higher than the poverty rate for custodial-father families (16.7 percent). Of the 1.6 million custodial parents with incomes below the poverty level who were supposed to receive child support in 2015, 39.2 percent received full payments.
Highlights from the report:
·        About half (50.2 percent) of all 13.6 million custodial parents had either legal or informal child support agreements. Custodial mothers were more likely to have agreements     (52.7 percent) than custodial fathers (39.6 percent).
·        The aggregate amount of child support due in 2015 was $33.7 billion, a decrease of $14.0 billion from 2003.
·        About 60 percent of the child support due in 2015 was reported as received, averaging $3,447 per year per custodial parent who was due support.
This data comes from the Child Support Supplement to the April 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS provides demographic information about custodial parents, as well as child support and other income or program data for the 2015 calendar year.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Regional Labor Force Trends in New York State

From Program on Applied Demographics at Cornell University, prepared by Elizabeth (Jade) Womak, Research Support Specialist
The objective of this white paper is to expand on the September 2017 “Labor Force Trends in New York State” report authored by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, and to highlight its findings in regards to the 10 Economic Development Regions of New York State. The September report’s key findings are that 1) the labor force for New York State has been decreasing and 2) there has been a surge in participation of older individuals (65+ years and older) in the labor force.

This white paper will discuss Finding 1, which is notably prevalent in 5 of the 10 Economic Development Regions. Additionally, this white paper will discuss Finding 2 by exploring changes in population growth and labor force shares of “aged-out”prime working age individuals (65+). Unlike the September 2017 report, this paper has a focus on examining labor force trends by Economic Development Region.



U.S. Census Bureau Finalizes 2020 Census Residence Criteria

The U.S. Census Bureau is required by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution to conduct the decennial census in order to be able to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the states. To that end, it is crucial to count everyone in the right place during the decennial census.
The Census Bureau released a decision memo and posted a Federal Register publication that is available for public inspection that explains where people will be counted in the 2020 Census. The “residence criteria” are based on the concept of “usual residence,” the place where a person lives and sleeps most of the time. This place is not necessarily the same as the person’s voting residence or legal residence.
The 2020 Census Residence Criteria and Residence Situations provide guidelines for counting people in various residence situations including military, college students, and people living in various types of group quarters.
See the decision memoFederal Register publication or press kit for more information.