How Are Fraud Abuse And Waste Reported And Handled
There are always those who try to work the system and take advantage of others, even with a program as beneficial as Lifeline Assistance. Some applicants lie about their eligibility and some phone providers are fraudulent with their sign-ups. Suspected fraud, waste and abuse, when allowed to go unchecked, open the program up to criticism and put its future in jeopardy for those who most need it. Not everyone understands, and in fact some strongly object to Lifeline, but the program is vital in helping the poor reach out to potential employers, family members and emergency assistance. Reporting helps end the problem and results in cancellation of service for abusers.
The Reporting Procedure
Its easy to report waste, fraud or abuse, and it may be done anonymously. Contact the special Whistleblower Alert line at the Universal Service Administrative Company . What is the USAC? It is the organization that oversees the Universal Service Fund , which oversees and pays for the federally-mandated Lifeline Assistance Program.
The USAC wants to hear of any wrongdoing, and treats each report of waste, fraud, or abuse as a serious and urgent matter requiring immediate attention. Contact the company about any of the following:
- Potential violations of USAC laws, rules or regulations.
- Gross mismanagement or gross waste of funds.
- Fraudulent activity.
- Abuse of authority.
There are four ways you to file a Whistleblower Alert:
Email: Send your email to [email protected].
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How Do I Get A Free Phone
To find out if you qualify for a free government phone, youll need to make sure that your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Youll need to prove your household income with pay stubs, a W-2 form, or a letter from the government agency that you’re enrolled in.
You can start by entering your ZIP code here to see what free government service options are available in your area.
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Who Doesnt Need An Arrival Test
Fully vaccinated travellers only need to do an arrival test if they are selected for randomized arrival testing.
All travellers will receive calls from a live agent or automated system and you may also be visited at your place of quarantine by a Screening Officer to verify your compliance.
You are under a legal obligation to take the arrival and Day-8 tests. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Quarantine Act and emergency orders made under this Act is an offence and could lead to fines of up to $750,000 or imprisonment. If you do not take the tests, you may also be transferred to a designated quarantine facility.
When To Use A Self
You can only use self-test if you do not have symptoms and have not been exposed to COVID-19covid 19.
If you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19covid 19, you can get a free test provided by the Government of Ontario at an assessment centre or a participating community lab. You should self-isolate until you get a negative test result back.
Find a testing location near you.
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Apply For Landlord Rental Assistance
Recent legislation created another new program to provide rental assistance for landlords whose tenants have left their rental property or who are unwilling to apply for ERAP. Additional details regarding this program, including an opening date and documentation requirements, will be posted on the OTDA website as they become available.
Making It Past The First Screening
It could be only a week or two after the application closing date that you get a rejection letter if you’re screened out of the selection process when the agency’s human resources department reviews all applications for minimum requirements. The good news is that you generally receive this news relatively quickly, so take heart if you’re still waiting after a couple of weeks…although not much longer than that.
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Next Steps For Apply For Snap Benefits
What happens after you apply for SNAP benefits?
1. We will contact you to schedule an interview
- You can have the interview over the phone or at a local office.
- We will provide an interpreter if you do not speak English.
- During the interview, we will determine if you are eligible for emergency SNAP benefits.
2. You will need to verify the information you tell us
- You need to verify your income and expenses. For more information, see SNAP Verifications
- You may need to verify more information, which we will explain to you once you have had your interview.
Taking Your Arrival Test
When you enter Canada, you’ll be instructed to either take an arrival test at the border, or receive a home test kit.
You will also get a kit to use on Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine .
There is no fee for the arrival test.
Flying: You may be required to take a COVID-19 test before exiting the airport unless directed to use a home test kit.
Driving: If your border crossing doesn’t offer on-site testing, or you decide not to use the on-site testing station, youll need to follow the instructions in your home test kit to complete the test at your destination.
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Penalties For Distracted Driving
The easiest way to avoid penalties for distracted driving is to not use a hand-held device when youre behind the wheel.
Its against the law to use hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices while driving.
In fact, simply holding a phone or other device while driving is against the law.
You can use:
- a hands-free device but only to turn it on and off
- a mounted device as long as it is secure not moving around while driving
If convicted, the penalty you face depends on the kind of licence you hold and how long youve been driving.
What Is The Lifeline Assistance Program
Lifeline Assistance is the Federal Communication Commission’s long running program designed to provide equal access to phone service for all Americans. It specifically caters to low-income residents who may not otherwise be able to afford a cell phone device or plan. The program entitles those who are eligible to wireless service for $9.25/month. It also applies to internet service, also priced at $9.25/month.
You can read more about the Lifeline program here.
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How Do I Avoid Contact With Others In My Home
Household members should stay in another home or place of residence if possible, especially if they have a compromised immune system or chronic health conditions. If you are sharing your home, stay and sleep in a room away from others and use a separate bathroom if you can.If an ill person is sharing accommodations with someone vulnerable to infection those with suppressed immune systems or chronic illness, pregnant women, infants and adults over 65 relocation is advised to reduce the risk of severe illness for the vulnerable person.If a person with symptoms is self-isolating in shared living accommodations such as a dorm room at a university, they should be temporarily accommodated elsewhere or have roommates and family members temporarily relocate. In cases where there may be several people with symptoms awaiting test results, they may co-locate until results are confirmed.
Is It A Vacant Position
Whether the position is currently vacant or is expected to become vacant in the near future can have a significant effect on the time frame. The agency has an incentive to speed up the process when it’s attempting to fill a vacant position. It has more time to sift through applications if that’s not the case and it knows well in advance that an employee is leaving.
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What You May Get
Depending on your situation, you may get:
- a monthly living allowance money to pay for your living costs such as food, rent and utilities
- a monthly child benefit money to assist you with raising your dependent children
- health benefits assistance to cover health needs for you, your spouse or partner and your dependent children
- personal benefits money over and above your monthly living allowance for specific needs such as a special diet or assistance in an emergency
How To Register For The Diversity Visa Lottery
Register online for the 2023 Diversity Visa Lottery. It began on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, and ends on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at 12:00 PM ET.
- Complete the free online application for the lottery. It is a web form only and cannot be downloaded.
- Keep your confirmation number in a safe place you will need that number to check the status of your entry online.
- If you lose it, you can recover your confirmation number.
For help, review the DV lottery instructions.
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How Your Snap Benefits Work
Your state will issue benefits each month on a plastic electronic benefits transfer card. Much like a credit or debit card, you can use your EBT card to buy eligible food items. You must buy them from:
What help is available through Medicaid?
Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to eligible:
Adults with a low income
People who are age 65 or over
People with disabilities
Am I eligible for Medicaid?
Check with your states Medicaid office to see if you or your family members are eligible for benefits. In general, it depends on at least one or a combination of:
Number of people in your family
If you are pregnant or have a disability
How do I apply for Medicaid?
There are two ways to apply for Medicaid:
Contact your state Medicaid agency. You must be a resident of the state where you are applying for benefits.
Fill out an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Apply For A Drivers Licence
To apply for a drivers licence in Ontario, you need to:
- be at least 16 years old
- pass an eye test
- pass a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs
Once you pass these tests, you get a G1 licence. You are considered a beginner driver and need to practice driving and gain experience over time.
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Search For Financial Assistance From The Government
Benefits.gov is a free website that can help you determine which types of government assistance you might qualify for. You can also find out how and where to apply.
Using the Benefit Finder, answer questions about yourself and your needs. Afterwards, you can find out if youre eligible for programs to help you pay for:
Utilities, and other necessities
Check back with Benefits.gov in the future to see if youre eligible for additional benefits. You can report major life events or see if new benefit programs have become available.
How Long Will It Take To Process Your Application
We begin to process your application once we receive your completed application form. It will take:
- 7 to 14 days for online applications
- normally within 120 days for applications delivered at a Service Canada Centre
- normally within 120 days for applications sent by mail
It could take longer to process your application if Service Canada does not have a complete application.
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How Do I Prepare For And Cope With Self
Ensure the home is supplied with basic needs including food, medications , personal hygiene products, etc. to support a stay at home of up to 14 days. If you live alone or your household is self-isolating, ensure you have a someone who is able to check in on you and can provide an additional support or supplies you will require. Request that person to take all needed precautions to avoid infection.Living through the COVID-19 pandemic can cause anxiety and worry in all of us. Whether you’re coping with the loneliness of self-isolation, concerned about the health of your loved ones or worried about what the future may hold, there are mental health supports available to help you through this difficult time.
Travel Documents For Permanent And Conditional Residents
- If youre absent from the U.S. for one year or longer:
- Apply for a re-entry permit using Form I-131 – Application for Travel Document.
- For permanent residents, the re-entry permit is valid for two years from the date of issue.
- For conditional residents, it is valid for up to two years.
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At Assessment Centres And Participating Community Labs
You can get a COVID-19covid 19 test at an assessment centre or participating community lab if any of the following apply to you:
- Symptoms and exposure
- have been exposed to a COVID-19covid 19-positive person
- received a Covid Alert app exposure notification
- a resident or worker in a setting that has a COVID-19covid 19 outbreak, as identified by your local public health unit
Private COVID-19covid 19 tests, such as for outbound international travel, are available throughout Ontario. You may be charged for a private test.
A community lab is a place where you would typically get blood work done outside of a hospital setting.
Only a small number of community labs in certain regions are participating in COVID-19covid 19 testing. More community labs will come online in the coming weeks and be added to our testing locations finder.
How To Register For A Duns Number
If your organization does not yet have a DUNS number, or no one knows it, visit the Dun & Bradstreet website or call 1-866-705-5711 to register or search for a DUNS number.
Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge, so if you encounter any organizations or websites soliciting a fee or charge to acquire a DUNS number it is likely a scam or fraudulent.
You will need all of the information listed below to obtain a DUNS number:
- Name of organization
- Name of the chief executive officer or organization owner
- Legal structure of the organization
- Year the organization started
- Primary type of business
- Total number of employees
NOTE: At some point, the DUNS Number will be replaced by a new, non-proprietary identifier requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management . This new identifier is being called the Unique Entity Identifier , or the Entity ID. Grants.gov has begun preparing for this transition by educating users about the upcoming changes and updating field labels and references to the DUNS Number within the Grants.gov system. Users should continue using the DUNS Number in UEI fields until further notice. To learn more about SAMs rollout of the UEI, please visit gsa.gov/entityid.
How long does it take to obtain a DUNS number?
Allow up to two business days to obtain a DUNS number, but it can occur in one business day.
Information for Foreign Applicants
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Learn About The Types Of Food You Can Buy With Snap Benefits
If youre eligible, you can purchase food using benefits that are issued to you monthly. You can use your SNAP benefits to buy a variety of foods for your household, including:
Fruits and vegetables
Breads and cereals
See the United States Department of Agriculture’s list of foods and products you can buy using SNAP benefits.
Do I Qualify For A Free Government Phone With The Lifeline Program
For starters, if youre already enrolled in a government aid program, you could automatically qualify for a free government phone. Those already enrolled in any of the following programs are eligible:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families , Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations , Head Start
If youre not enrolled in any of those government programs, youll need to prove your income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, if youre the only person in your household and want to get a free government phone, youll need to prove you make less than $12,760 per year. Every extra person in your household pushes your limit up another $4,480so, essentially, the more folks you have in your household, the easier it is to qualify for a free government cell phone and inexpensive cell phone plan.
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