Comprehensive Planning. Lifelong Solutions.

Social Security Online

February 26, 2013
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Hook Law Center
cordially invites you to a

Meow Mixer

Thursday, March 14, 2013
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Located in the TowneBank Building
5806 Harbour View Blvd., Suite 203
Suffolk, VA 23435

Hook Law Center invites you to mix and mingle with other animal lovers and
learn how you can help the Chesapeake Humane Society.

Please RSVP by March 11, 2013 to:
Maureen Hook
mhook@hooklawcenter.com
757.399.7506

Social Security Online

by Maureen E. Hook, Ph.D.

The Social Security Administration is going high-tech. As of January 5, 2013, a new, upgraded service will be available. If you previously had an account with the Social Security Administration, you too must change your password. The new system is called my Social Security. The neat thing about the site is that you do not have to receive Social Security benefits to utilize it. Here is a breakdown of what’s available on the site:

Recipients of Social Security can use the site to obtain:
1) a copy of your benefit verification letter
2) your benefit and payment information and your earnings record
3) change of address and phone number forms/online access
4) forms/online access to start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.

Non-recipients of Social Security can obtain:
1) estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivor benefits
2) a record of your earnings
3) estimates of the Social Security and Medicare taxes that you’ve paid to date.

So there’s something for everybody! The website to access this trove of information is: www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. If you’re a third party, like an attorney, social service provider, or a friend or relative that is trying to help someone handle their affairs, you can learn more about the whole process at www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/thirdparty.html. In this way, you will be giving sound advice without having the hassle of calling or going to your local Social Security office. What’s more–it’s a great time saver! If you try it, I think you’ll like it! (Information from www.socialsecurity.gov)

ask kitkat logo

How Did Dogs Evolve?

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, how did dogs evolve to become the domesticated animals they are today?

Kit Kat: Well, it happened this way, at least that is what the latest scientific data is saying. Of course, we may never know for sure. But let me share with you the latest information that researchers have uncovered. It appears that humans and dogs may have evolved together. It’s called the theory of “self-domestication.” Humans, about 11,000 years ago, began to settle in permanent settlements and begin the practice of agriculture. As they did this, wolves began to hang around the settlements and feed off the humans’ leftovers. What were these leftovers? Well, instead of just meat, there was food involving grains such as wheat, barley, corn, rice, and potatoes. By eating this partially vegetarian diet, the wolves began to transform themselves so that they could digest starch. Now scientists find that dogs have multiple copies of a gene for amylase that is used in starch digestion. Dogs have 4-30 copies of the gene, while wolves only have 2.

Another interesting finding is that now that dogs have evolved separately from wolves, their brains are different. Scientist have found 19 genome regions that are different between the 2 groups. It appears that dogs are like wolves who never grew up. Both wolf pups and dog pups are sociable, playful, and curious. Both have floppy ears, broader faces, and are tail-waggers. But as wolves become full-grown, they lose these characteristics. Dog do not.

So it appears that man and dogs evolved together. And a lot of it due to a common diet. Who knew that food could be so powerful? And as David Brown, author of the article which I read to write this says, “It would also help explain why dog is man’s best friend. They grew up together.” (David Brown, “Learning to love grains, potatoes was key to the evolution of dogs,” The Washington Post, January 23, 2013)

Upcoming Events

Hook Law Center is hosting a reception to benefit the Chesapeake Humane Society at Hook Law Center’s Suffolk location, 5806 Harbour View Blvd., Suite 203, Suffolk, VA 23435 on March 14, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

Hook Law Center is presenting a seminar on Estate and Long Term Care Planning to NARFE (National Active & Retired Federal Employees) Churchland Chapter 129 at Dennis’ Steak and Spaghetti Restaurant, 3356 Western Branch Blvd., Chesapeake, VA on April 9, 2013 at Noon.

Hook Law Center will be presenting a seminar on Estate Planning and Long-Term Care Planning to the Portsmouth Area Chapter of the Military Officers Association at the Hilton Garden Inn in Suffolk on May 9, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.

Hook Law Center will be speaking on Reducing Medicare Liens at the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association meeting in Virginia Beach on May 21, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.

Hook Law Center will be presenting at the VSB Trusts and Estates Section – Virginia State Bar – 75th VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on June 14, 2013.

Distribution of This Newsletter

Hook Law Center encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to Hook Law Center, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to theHook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us atmail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

This report is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this report accurate, Hook Law Center assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information in this report.

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