The Benson Buzz 4th Quarter 2021
Friends of Benson

"Press" on image below to open a pdf copy of our 4th quarter 2021 newsletter for you to read, print or save on your computer, tablet or phone.

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The Benson Buzz 3rd Quarter 2021
Friends of Benson

The center will reopen on Monday, July 12, 2021.
The initial hours of the multipurpose facility will be 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM.
Please read the newsletter below as it has additional information and safety procedures.
Or press image below to open a pdf copy of our newsletter.

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Cancer Support Community Atlanta, New Live Virtual Programming
Cancer Support Community Atlanta
Cancer Support Community Atlanta logo

During this challenging time, Cancer Support Community Atlanta is still here for you.

As we follow the critical guidelines of self isolation, we are actively exploring new ways to offer support through online and virtual programming..
We hope that this will help you stay connected and receive the support that you need.

Please check our (CSC ATLANTA) Website and Facebook often for updates on ways we will serve your needs.

Our (CSC ATLANTA) Calendar is available online. Join us as we walk this cancer journey together.

Go to their website for more up to date information:

Make sure you register on the Cancer Support Community Atlanta website for the program(s) that you want to follow.

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MARTA Accessibility Committee (MAC) candidates
MARTA - Wednesday, December 30, 2020
MARTA Diversity and Inclusion

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is seeking individuals with disabilities and seniors to represent the following areas of expertise:

  • Extremity Impairment
  • Cognitive/Developmental Disabilities
  • Personal Mobility Aid/Wheelchair User
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Seniors (Must be 65 years of age or older)

MARTA has established the MARTA Accessibility Committee (MAC), a voluntary advisory committee organized to advise MARTA on how to best provide service to the communities of seniors and individuals with disabilities within the MARTA service areas of Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton, counties and the City of Atlanta. MAC's responsibilities include gathering and providing feedback to MARTA to ensure that decisions, activities, programs, and services are equitable and do not adversely impact current or potential riders who are seniors or individuals with a disability. MAC provides feedback to MARTA regarding policies, programs, and processes; this includes advice regarding targeted outreach efforts designed to solicit and gauge community input and facilitate examining all facts to ensure the non-discriminatory impact of the agency's decisions and activities.

Candidates are required to participate in an application and panel interview process. Interest candidates must also:

  1. Reside or work in the MARTA service areas of Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton counties and the City of Atlanta, or be employed with organizations providing services in the MARTA service areas within Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton counties and the City of Atlanta.
  2. Know the purpose and mission of the MAC and the ADA as it applies to public transportation. 
  3. Be a transit rider who knows how to utilize the MARTA system.  (Fixed Route or Mobility).
  4. Be active in the disability communities they represent, as demonstrated by participation in organizations or community groups.

Interested candidates can go to the MARTA website at, click Getting to Know MARTA, Accessible Services, and MARTA Accessibility Committee (MAC) application.
Or jump straight to the MARTA Accessibility Committee webpage and then select the application link on that page.

Submit completed application and two letters of recommendation to

If you wish you can view a pdf of this news post here:

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MARTA invests in bus safety features, resumes front door boarding, onboard fair collection
MARTA (9/2/20)
MARTA video: David installs new bus safety features

ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has invested approximately $250,000 in bus safety features to further protect the health of employees and customers and allow for the resumption of front door boarding and onboard fare collection beginning Monday, September 7.

MARTA has outfitted its entire fleet of 539 buses with polycarbonate shields around bus operator cabs, antimicrobial air filters that clean the air onboard, and mask dispensers.

"At the onset of this health crisis, MARTA implemented operational adjustments such as rear door boarding to limit contact between operators and customers. Our most recent safety measures, installing bus operator shields and air filters, allow us to return to front door boarding and onboard fare collection," said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. "We are grateful to our customers for continuing to mask up and social distance, and we remain committed to making MARTA a clean, safe place for everyone who relies on essential transit service."

Every MARTA bus now has antimicrobial air filters that remove viruses and other airborne pathogens from the circulated air onboard and a tissue-like mask dispenser mounted near the front door. For additional customer convenience, MARTA Transit Ambassadors continue to distribute masks at rail stations and bus bays throughout the system. To date, MARTA has handed out 459,000 masks.

To assist with the boarding process, customers should have fare ready and enter the bus through the front doors and exit through the rear doors. Customers requiring the accessibility ramp should continue entering and exiting through the front door. Beginning Monday, September 7, all bus customers must have fare and wear a mask in order to ride MARTA.

Go to the MARTA website to see the latest MARTA Press Releases with latest Rider Alerts.

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MARTA Service Modifications

MARTA has implemented operational adjustments to protect the health and wellness of employees as they continue providing essential transit service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, MARTA has made service plan changes to bus and rail operations to address the dramatic ridership and revenue decline seen in the wake of this national health crisis. We will continue to update this page with changes as they occur.

Go to the MARTA website here, MARTA Service Modifications, for most recent updates on MARTA rail and bus systems changes.

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2nd Quarter 2020 Class Registration
From The Benson Center
Last update: Tuesday, february 4, 2020
Class Registration

Important Notice (3/14/20):

Due to the CORONAVIRUS, the Benson Center 2nd Quarter Classes and Registration are postponed until further notice.

Benson 2nd (Spring) Quarter 2020 Class Registration Dates & Times:

  • March 16 - 18, 2020
  • This three day process will include both “Home & In-Facility” Registration


The registration system opens at 9:00am on Monday March 16th and closes at midnight Wednesday March 18th. 
You can register from your home during this time.


Need help registering?
We have “IN FACILITY” Registration with “Staff Support.”

In Facility Registration starts Monday, March 16th at 9:00am and ends Wednesday, March 18th at 3:30pm:

  • Morning support from 9:00am to 12:00pm
  • Lunch break 12:00 to 1:30pm
  • Afternoon support 1:00 to 3:30pm

Staff will be available to answer questions, and provide assistance during these times.

There is a "Drop/Add" Class Registration Period from March 30th to April 7th, 2020.

New Member Online Registration: a User name and Password will be necessary to register online, please see a member of the administrative staff to obtain it.

You can also view or download a pdf copy of our 2nd Quarter 2020 Class Schedule (revised 3/11/20) here:
Benson Center 2nd Quarter 2020 Class Schedule

First day of Spring Classes is Monday March 30th.

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Benson Senior Facility Aquabikes a First for Georgia
Fulton County Government
External Affairs Communications Division
Benson Senior Facility Aquabikes Workshop

Aquabikes provide a low-impact, high intensity workout that protects joints and muscles.

ATLANTA—Fulton County seniors who use the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility can now exercise in the pool with seven new Hydrorider Professional Aquabikes. The Friends of Benson successfully sought an $8,500 grant from the Sandy Springs Society for the new water exercise alternative and donated the remaining $4,645 toward instructor training, bike ordering and shipping charges. Benson Fitness Program Coordinator Nicole Wyche noted that the Benson Facility’s Aquabikes are a first for Georgia.

Benson Center Senior Facility Aquabikes

After the idea for the alternative water exercise was presented to Facility Manager Sabrina Hudson by a former Benson instructor, Friends of Benson Board member Harvey Levitt researched the idea of Aquabikes and visited a YMCA in Knoxville, TN to observe the program. Following the visit, Friends of Benson President Russell Sellars submitted the grant request and Benson now has seven Aquabikes and one Spin Bike.

District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis expressed his appreciation to Friends of Benson and the Sandy Springs Society. “We commend the Sandy Springs Society and the Friends of Benson for their financial support in bringing this valuable equipment to the Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility. We believe Aqua Cycles offer another fitness ALTERNATIVE for seniors in need of low impact options that are easier on joints and muscles,” said Ellis.

“We are excited about the addition of Aquabikes to the fitness activities at the Benson Multipurpose facility ” said Health and Human Services Deputy Chief Operating Officer Dr. Pamela Roshell. She added, “Partnerships and collaboration bring added value to our programs.”

The Benson Facility is currently conducting workshops for seniors interested in participating in future classes. The workshops are scheduled every Monday and Friday from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. Seniors are required to register to try out the bikes by calling the Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility at 404-613-4900.

The Friends of Benson decision to support the Aquabike program was based on the following benefits:

  • a high calorie burn
  • Lean muscle building
  • Increased circulation
  • Low impact on joints.

Aqua cycling classes provide a low-impact, high intensity workout that keeps participants’ joints, bones, and muscles protected from injury. Participants can aqua cycle at many levels with workout adjustments made by the certified trainer and the individual as needed.

For more Fulton County news, sign up for the weekly e-newsletter #OneFulton at You can also visit Fulton County’s website at or connect with Fulton County government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @fultoninfo

If you need reasonable accommodations due to a disability, including communications in an alternate format, in order to participate in any County-sponsored programs or meetings, please contact the Department of Disability at (404) 613-0237 to facilitate your request. For TDD/TTY or Georgia Relay Service Access, dial 711.

Read and/or download the original Fulton County News Release (265kB)

Original source:
Fulton County Georgia Logo 2019
External Affairs
Communications Division
MEDIA CONTACT: Felecia Church
404-612-5570 or 404-713-5995 (cell)
141 Pryor Street, SW, Suite 3090
Atlanta, GA 30303
Friday, November 02, 2018

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Social Security Announces 2.8 Percent Benefit Increase for 2019
Social Security Announces 2.8 Percent Benefit Increase for 2019

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read the full Social Security Administration Press Release at the Social Security Administration's website, or read more at the Social Security Administration website.

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Important 2018 Georgia Medicaid Updates
Benson Center August 2018 Event Schedule
Sample Medicare Card


This month two important changes went into effect regarding Georgia Nursing Home Medicaid. The first affects Georgia Medicaid recipients "personal needs allowance". The second changes how the State of Georgia pursues "Estate Recovery" against deceased Georgia Medicaid recipients.

  1. Changes to the Personal Needs Allowance
    Each Georgia Nursing Home Medicaid recipient has a "patient liability" which is the amount that person owes their nursing home each month.
    This amount is calculated based on their monthly income.
    Certain deductions are allowed against their monthly income when calculating their patient liability.
    One such deduction is a "personal needs allowance" intended for the recipient's personal needs.
    For many years this amount was $50.
    On July 1st the State of Georgia increased the "personal needs allowance" to $65.
    This will cause the patient liability for each Nursing Home Medicaid recipient to decease by $15.
  2. Changes to Georgia Estate Recovery
    Prior Georgia Estate Recovery law exempted estates of deceased Medicaid recipients if the estate was valued at $25,000 or less from recovery.
    If the estate was valued at $25,001 then the Estate Recovery lien would apply to the entire $25,001.
    A new law that also went into effect on July 1st also exempts the first $25,000 of the estate from Estate Recovery.
    So, under the new law, if the estate is valued at $25,001, the Estate Recovery lien only applies to $1.

From: Brannon Napier Elder Law.

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Benson senior center gets new technology, Wi-Fi
Neighborhood Newspapers
Text is an integral copy taken from
Benson senior center gets new technology, Wi-Fi

Staff reports [Northside Neighbor - 05/16/2018, page B07]

Seniors who use the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility in Sandy Springs are enjoying the benefits of new laptops and installation of WiFi in the facility. The new technological access is part of a pilot project made possible by a donation from the Sandy Springs Society.

Every year, the Society offers annual grant opportunities to nonprofits that serve the Sandy Springs community, and it donated $5,000 to purchase 20 laptops to allow enhanced access to computer technology for seniors eager to take advantage of computer classes and independent use of computer technology. The Friends of Benson submitted the grant and matched the award with a $5000 donation toward the technology upgrades.

With additional devices, the facility offers:

  • Tech Savvy Instruction: using iPads and laptops, as well as instruction on smartphone use targeting iPhone users. Benson hopes to offer the following technology-related activities in the near future:
  • Tech Savvy Fitness: nutrition and fitness tracking and monitoring using Fitbits donated by the Friends of Benson.
  • Tech Savvy Arts & Culture: exploring web based online tutorials as a student or instructor. 

The previous setup allowed the use of only the computer lab in the Benson facility. Now seniors can teach themselves or enjoy use of the new technology anywhere inside and outside of the building.

The technology upgrades also supported an enhanced registration process that allowed the use of the laptops for registration at multiple locations throughout the facility. The electronic process permitted an average of 50 additional class registrations per day during the recent registration period. Benson members were able to come in and register independently or with assistance.

Participants who registered for the classes participated in a lottery to determine which classes they will receive. The lottery method is a process designed to ensure that all participants have an equitable chance to participate in a variety of classes throughout the year. Several years ago, Senior Services instituted the lottery method because of the increasing demand for classes as the senior population continues to grow.

Photo caption reads: From left, Lynn Smith, Shomay Chern, Miles Rothman and Lawrence Lingner check out the new computers at the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility.

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Understanding Your Fulton County Property Assessment
Source: Fulton County Government website
Your Fulton County Property Assessment

Your home is an important investment.
Property assessments reflect your home’s value and affect your property taxes.

Homestead Exemption Deadline is April 2 

If you live in a home you own, you may be able to reduce your property taxes by making sure you are taking advantage of all exemptions.  This is especially important as property values continue to rise across Fulton County and the metro area.

To qualify for homestead exemptions, the property owner claiming the exemption must own, occupy, and claim the property as their legal residence on January 1 of the year in which they first qualify for the exemption.

In addition to basic homestead exemptions, there are other exemptions available for seniors.  These exemptions have requirements for both age and income. Some require an age of 62 and others require that the applicant is age 65 or 70. Exemptions are available for people qualifying for full disability and other special circumstances.

Homeowners must apply for exemptions – they do not take effect automatically.  Basic homestead exemptions renew each year automatically as long as you own the home. Most senior exemptions also remain in place as long as you own the home. If any changes are made to the deed, even if the occupants remain the same, you will need to re-file for homestead exemption. 

To apply, you need to bring your driver’s license or Georgia ID and all vehicle registrations.  If you are applying for a senior homestead exemption, you should also bring both your Georgia and your Federal tax returns.

The first stop is the Fulton County Tax Assessors’ Office to apply for exemptions with Fulton County, Atlanta and Fulton County school systems and basic city exemptions (if any).  Fulton County seniors who live in the cities of Alpharetta, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Milton, Palmetto, Roswell or Union City should also contact their city directly about any available senior homestead exemptions.

The 2018 homestead exemption deadline is Monday, April 2.  Fulton County residents can learn more online at or by calling 404-612-6440 X 4.

404-612-6440 X 4

Tax Assessors Offices:

Peachtree Center, North Tower
235 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 1100, Atlanta, GA 30303

Fulton County Government Center
141 Pryor Street, SW, Suite 1018, Atlanta, GA 30303

Fulton County Customer Service Center at Maxwell Road
11575 Maxwell Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022

North Fulton Service Center
7741 Roswell Road, NE, Suite 261, Atlanta, GA 30350

South Fulton Service Center
5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Suite 224, College Park, GA 30349

Fulton County wants to help you better understand the property assessment process and your rights and responsibilities:
Read and/or download the 2 page flyer Understanding Your Fulton County Property Assessment
Read and/or download the 16 page Fulton County Guide to Homestead Exemptions

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New Medicare Cards are on the way!
By Andrew Johnson
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Sample Card

Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status.

And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you.

Read more at:

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Also see our Disclaimer.