Q: In past years Simi Valley has offered a health expo in the spring at the senior center. Do you know if that event will be offered again this year?

A: Yes, the Simi Valley Wellness Expo 2016 is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon April 20. The theme for this year’s expo is “For the Health of It.”

The Simi Valley Council on Aging, Simi Valley Hospital and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up to offer this very informative and popular event.

The event will be held at the Simi Valley Senior Center at 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley. There will be over 60 exhibitors who specialize in important services for seniors.

In addition, there will be numerous free health screenings and services. These services and screenings include carotid artery, glucose, blood pressure, hearing, depression, BMI, balance, memory, COPD and osteoporosis.

In addition, the California Telephone Access Program will be offering free adaptive telephones for those who qualify, and the Simi Valley Police Department will provide a “Drug Drop Off Box” for disposal of prescription drugs.

Admission is free and all seniors and their families are encouraged to attend. For more information call the Simi Valley Senior Center at 583-6363.

Q: If someone is considered disabled by Social Security, how are their benefits determined?

A: Disability under Social Security is based on a worker’s inability to work. A worker is considered disabled if unable to perform any kind of work for which he or she is suited and if the disability is expected to last at least a year or to result in death.

For a worker to qualify for disability benefits, he or she must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to establish benefits. The number of work credits needed for disability benefits depends on the age at which the disability occurs.

Generally, a worker needs 20 credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year the disability occurred. However, workers under age 31 may be considered for disability with fewer credits.

The amount of monthly disability benefits is based on the worker’s lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security. Eligibility for other government benefits can affect the benefit amount.

Once a decision is made that a worker is disabled, he or she will be paid their first benefits starting the sixth full month from the date the disability began. After receiving 24 months of disability benefits the disabled worker will become eligible for Medicare coverage.

If the disability continues to full retirement age then the benefits become retirement benefits with the amount of benefits remaining the same.

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