Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kitsap homeless families need your help...

This is an email that we received from Sally Santana. If you have any of the requested items, please see the directions below. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

Earlier this month, a 31 year old known homeless man was found deceased in the brush under the Warren Avenue Bridge.
Pastor Art Speight of Taking It To The Streets Ministries”, on his way to his day job in the Shipyard last week, found a man at 5 a.m. sleeping on a Kitsap Transit bus bench by the 11th and Callow Ave. Safeway. The man was frozen cold. Unable to wake him, Pastor Art called 9-1-1.
Bremerton Rescue Mission, along with Pastor Art’s ministry, is experiencing a surge in requests for camping gear. They can’t meet demand.
This is due in part, we believe, to the elimination of the $197 cash grant to the Disability Lifeline-Unemployable (DL-U) folks who received their last grant Oct. 1, 2011. There were 680 Kitsap County citizens on this program. In March of this year, Bremerton Housing Authority exec. dir. Kurt Wiest stated that, between BHA and Housing Kitsap, they had 37 DL-U clients. I was one back in ’07 (they called it GA-U then) and the grant helped keep me and my son in our fair market value apartment. Darlene Cook of Kitsap Community Resources stated at a meeting last week that we’re also seeing families with children who have run out their grants living outside. KCR’s housing waiting list is at 100.
The need is growing.
·       Sleeping bags rated to 32 and below (any will do, but if you can, these are best right now)
·       Twin size air mattresses for added layer of insulation between bag and tent bottom.
·       Blankets that are washable
·       2-person dome tents (Wal-Mart and Amazon have them for under $30; we need dozens) (Several 4 person are needed also).
·       Tarps
·       Sterno, candles, and small propane bottles for cooking and heat
·       Flashlights with batteries
These organizations answer the needs of folks throughout Kitsap County.
If you need to have your items picked up, call MaryAnn (Pastor Art’s right hand person) at 360-550-6926.
If you can drop off your items, take them to Bremerton Rescue Mission, 13th and Hayward in Bremerton, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Questions? Call exec. dir. Walt LeCouteur at 360-813-5183.
Please forward this email, ask your service or other club for donations and go purchase goods, put in Dec. newsletters – spread the word.  
It’s cold and wet outside.
AND PLEASE BE ADVISED…WE STILL HAVE NO PLACE TO TELL THEM TO TAKE THEIR GEAR. These folks will end up behind stores, out in the woods; we have no safe place to send them to.
Thank you for whatever you can do to help keep our neighbors alive.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

PIP ~ What is it? Do you have it? By Mike Altman of the Law Office of Glisson, Witt & Altman

Do I have PIP benefits?

PIP benefits are not required in Washington State and you need to look at your own automobile policy to see if you have PIP benefits. If you choose to reject PIP benefits, your rejection is required in writing, per the requirements set forth in RCW 48.22.085. If you do not remember rejecting PIP benefits in writing, make a written request to your insurance company to provide you a copy of your written PIP rejection. One common misconception about PIP benefits is that the person who caused the accident should pay for your medical expenses. Ultimately, that person, if they have liability coverage of their own, will pay for the medical expenses, but they will not pay for these expenses as they accumulate. One exception to the above rule is if you are injured in an accident and you are a pedestrian or cyclist. Another is if you are the passenger of a vehicle and the owner of the vehicle has an automobile insurance policy that has PIP benefits.

Pedestrian and cyclists-PIP coverage extended?

If you are a pedestrian or cyclist involved in an automobile accident there is another possibility that PIP benefits may cover your medical expenses. If the person who caused the accident has PIP benefits under their automobile policy, those PIP benefits will extend to pedestrians and cyclists. It is often difficult to find out from an insurance company if these benefits are available to you, but you should make the request for this information in writing to determine if this coverage is available to you. If you have PIP benefits under your own automobile policy as well as the person who caused the accident, you have two policies available that will essentially "stack." The person who caused the accident's PIP coverage is primary and your PIP coverage is secondary if the primary coverage is exhausted.

What if I'm a passenger in someone else's car?

If you are the passenger in someone else's vehicle and are injured in an automobile accident, you need to look at the owner of the vehicle's insurance policy. If the owner of that vehicle has PIP coverage you will most likely have PIP benefits available to you as a passenger of the vehicle. Again, similar to the pedestrian/cyclist example, if you have your own PIP coverage as well, you will have two layers of PIP coverage to pay for medical expenses.

What do PIP benefits cover?

PIP benefits cover reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to injuries suffered in an automobile accident. PIP benefits will pay for ambulance bills, hospital bills, chiropractic bills, surgeon bills, diagnostic studies (x-rays, MRI's, CT scans, etc.), massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, etc. One additional type of coverage with PIP benefits is wage loss. Policy language typically says PIP coverage will pay up to 80% of your wage loss to a maximum of $200.00 a week.

Opening a PIP claim

If you are involved in an automobile accident and are injured you need to contact your insurance company and open a claim. Your insurance company will take down some information about the accident and then provide you with a claim number. Shortly thereafter the claim will be assigned to a "PIP adjuster" who will handle your file. Once you receive this information make sure that all medical providers mail or fax all of the bills to this adjuster's attention and reference the claim number provided to you by the insurance company.

"Independent" Medical Exams-"IME"

A lot of insurance companies, in an attempt to save the company money, will try to minimize the amount of medical bills they pay out on a claim. One way that an insurance company will try to minimize payments is to send you to an "IME." IME stands for Independent Medical Exam. This entails the insurance company sending you to a doctor they hire to examine you. This will not be your treating doctor, but someone paid by the insurance company. These truly are not "independent" as the doctors are paid handsomely by the insurance company to give them a favorable opinion. If the IME doctor says you are no longer injured, the insurance company relies on that opinion and terminates your PIP coverage. If your insurance company begins threatening or hinting they want to perform an IME, contact an attorney who practices Personal Injury law quickly.

By Mike Altman, Law Office of Glisson Witt & Altman ~ (360) 782-9000