A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AG Office warns of Social Security scam after Lexington woman loses $30k over fake IRS debt

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Fayette County woman has lost $30,000 to a Social Security scam, prompting Attorney General Andy Beshear to issue a Scam Alert. 

According to the Attorney General’s office, the suspended social security scam, which usually includes the scammer asking for confirmation of a social security number, has been reported nearly 90 times in 36 counties this year.

After...

BBB Trends: School dazed? Watch for identity theft; share information only on need-to-know basis

By Sandra Guile Better Business Bureau In just a few short weeks, school bells will ring announcing the start of another school year. For many parents, that means forms, forms, and more forms -— applications for scholarships, sports teams, scouts and the list goes on.  Need-To-Know Basis As you get started, consider how much of your child’s information you’re sharing and how to protect it. You...

COLA increase taking effect in 2019 not a game changer for Kentucky’s more than 580,000 retirees

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service The cost-of-living increase or COLA that takes effect next year for people on Social Security will be the most generous in seven years, but it’s still mostly grocery money and not a trip to the beach. The average Kentucky recipient collects more than $1,300 a month from Social Security, so with the increase, the typical senior is looking at about a $40 monthly...

Bill Straub: McConnell breaking through bottom of barrel, blaming ‘entitlements’ for growth of deficit

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is no longer scraping the bottom of the political barrel. No, it appears our boy from Louisville has broken through the bottom of said barrel and is in the process of digging his way through to China. Just how low can Mitch go? Wait and see. You may remember, apparently Mitch doesn’t, that the Congressional Budget Office...

Conn pleads guilty to new conspiracy charges before a federal court

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today An eastern Kentucky attorney, who was already facing 12 years in prison for defrauding the Social Security Administration of more than $550 million, will likely get even more time behind bars. File photo Eric Conn, 58, of Pikeville, pleaded guilty on Monday before U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves at U. S. District Court in Lexington to conspiracy to defraud the United...

CHFS Inspector General finds mismanagement of child support funds in Breathitt County

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is seeking to recoup more than $85,000 in overpayments made to the office of Breathitt County Attorney Gary Salyers. The move follows an investigation into the Breathitt County child support enforcement program. The investigation specifically relates to use of the child support enforcement monies. The Breathitt County Attorney’s office is contracted with...

New report shows massive increase in number of Kentucky adults, children receiving disability benefits

A new report shows an increase of staggering proportions in the number of Kentucky adults and children receiving disability benefits. The report was prepared by Kentucky’s Disability Determination Services (DDS), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and presented at the Kentucky Work Matters task force meeting yesterday in Frankfort. The groundbreaking study of outcomes covers...

Thomas Noland: There are no good solutions to state’s pension crisis, leaving Gov. Bevin with mess

As the legislature approaches a special session to solve the pension crisis, the first thing to agree on is that no solution will be considered “fair” by everyone. When an additional $800M-$1B a year is needed, no good solutions exist. Non-state employees do not want their taxes raised while individuals who contributed to the funds want their full pension. One of the points often made by state...

Commentary: Trump budget proposal would harm Kentuckians, push massive costs onto state

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward President Trump’s budget slashes nutrition, health care, and other important assistance that helps hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians meet basic living standards – food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care – while giving new tax breaks to the wealthy and powerful. The budget stands in stark contrast to the commitments the President...

Critical poverty-reducing programs for low-income Kentuckians at risk in proposed Trump budget

By Ashley Spalding Special to KyForward News reports suggest President Trump’s full budget proposal, slated for release next week, will include deep cuts to federal safety net programs that provide crucial supports for low-income Kentuckians and help boost our economy in hard times. These cuts to so-called mandatory programs (meaning spending is determined by how many people are eligible) are on...

Rural Blog: Eastern Kentucky lawyer pleads guilty to defrauding the Social Security disability system

A Kentucky lawyer who labeled himself as “Mr. Social Security” pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to stealing from the Social Security Administration and bribing a federal Social Security judge. Prosecutors say Eric C. Conn had “a long-running scheme to defraud the government of nearly $600 million in federal disability payments,” Bruce Schreiner reports for The Associated...

Social Security turns 81-years-old; report says it lifted 14.5 million seniors out of poverty in 2014

Social Security benefits lifted 14.5 million seniors out of poverty in 2014, according to a new report from the Democratic staff of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) under the direction of Ranking Member Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). The report, timed to Social Security’s 81st anniversary on Sunday, August 14, also details how important Social Security benefits are for millions of retirees....

Nearly half of working Kentuckians lack access to a retirement account at place of business

When it comes to a secure retirement many Kentuckians are in danger in part because they lack access to a retirement account at work that can help them save, new research by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy shows. Some facts from the report: Some 48 percent of Kentucky private sector workers ages 25 to 64 work for an employer that does not offer a retirement plan. That is approximately 566,780...

Commentary: Public deserves answers from presidential candidates about social security

By Jim Kimbrough Special to KyForward When the presidential candidates accept their parties’ nominations in the coming weeks, millions of Americans will be watching, and nearly every one of them is either paying into or receiving the social security benefits they’ve earned. Over 2.2 million Kentuckians are paying into Social Security and they deserve to know how the candidates will keep it strong...

Commentary: Lawyer Eric Conn must answer to Feds, but real tragedy is with his disabled clients

By John Rosenberg Special to KyForward NOTE: Pikeville lawyer Eric C. Conn has been indicted on 18 counts for defrauding the government of $600 million in questionable federal disability payments. A federal judge ordered this week that he be released on bond and confined to his home pending trial. A former judge and a doctor have also been indicted. Well, it is about time the Feds caught up with...

Rural Blog: Eastern Kentucky lawyer among three charged with defrauding federal disability program

A lawyer from Kentucky along with a doctor and former Social Security disability judge in Central Appalachia have been charged with massive fraud of the Federal Disability Insurance Program, a major source of income in the rural region. Charged are Eric Conn of Stanville, Ky., who had the third-largest disability law practice in the U.S.; a psychologist, Dr. Alfred Bradley Adkins; and David Daugherty,...