DEAR SUN SPOTS: This information is for seniors on Social Security. My wife died on June 29, 2016 at 9 p.m., exactly 27 hours and one minute before July 1, 2016. Well, guess what? Her Social Security check for June has to be returned because they will not pay for anyone who dies before the month is over. I told them the check was used to help pay the nursing home and they said, “Sorry, send the check back.” I thought others might want to know what they can expect if they lose a senior in their family to death. — Paul, No Town.

ANSWER: Sun Spots is sorry for your loss, Paul. Certainly, dealing with the financial issues when you’re already coping with mourning your wife is difficult and confusing. In certain situations, you may be eligible for survivors benefits — this can include a one-time payment of $255 and possibly monthly payments thereafter if you meet certain criteria. Visit to learn more about this program, or call the social security administration at 1-800-772-1213.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The NAMI Western Mountains affiliate is trying to determine which NAMI classes/programs to offer in Oxford and Franklin counties in the coming months. Being discussed are: Family to Family for families and friends of persons with mental health challenges, NAMI Basics for families with children under age 18, Inspiring Minds for persons with mental health challenges and Mental Health First Aid for adults and youth. There are also programs such as Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Speakers’ Bureau (speakers who have experience with mental illness) and some school offerings (e.g. “Helping Friends, Helping Yourself” presented at MVMS this spring).

We need to know your thoughts and suggestions. What do you want to see in your area?

In order to get education courses in before snow flies, they need to start as early in the fall as possible. Please contact Christine at NAMI Maine ([email protected] or 1-800-464-5767, ext. 2305) or Dottie (Western Mtns. Affiliate leader) at 364-2197.

Right now, we will offer another Family to Family course in the South Paris area, probably starting on Thursday, Sept. 1. So, if you or anyone you know wants this class, please register ASAP so we will know there is enough interest to follow through. If there is enough interest to hold one in the Farmington area, we can pursue that. Also, please let us know if you want any other particular class/program and where and when it’s preferred. Thank you. — Dot, No Town.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Friends of Special Olympics are holding their yearly yard sale Saturday, July 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 166 Franklin Road in Jay. The event will take place rain or shine. This year we have many household items, snow blowers, a leaf blower, paints and dyes, and some furniture among the many other items. If you’re unable to find what you want, then we are happy to accept your donations for this worthwhile cause. — Janice, Jay.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at This column can also be read online at We’ve joined Pinterest at

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