Seniors Need Better Benefit Boost
In recent years, inflation and COLAs have been virtually flat, averaging just 1.1% per year since 2010 — with no COLA at all in 2016 and just a 0.3% COLA in 201Slow growth in Social Security benefits, particularly when it continues over a period as long as 8 years, has a very significant impact on the overall amount of lifetime income that retirees can expect from Social Security. When retiree costs climb while benefits remain flat, people wind up having to dig more deeply into retirement savings (if they have any), spending more quickly than anticipated. Many people without other pensions or savings are forced into debt. About one in four low-income older Americans is dependent on programs that provide assistance with essentials like food and healthcare costs. .Unlike most of the top 10 causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, which are covered in large part by Medicare, Alzheimer's care comes with extraordinary costs that are not covered. Medicare covers medically necessary inpatient hospital care, doctor's fees, outpatient services such as blood tests, and Part D covers many prescription drugs. However, a dementia diagnosis most often requires custodial care, like help bathing, eating, dressing, and supervision. Medicare does not cover custodial care. .TSCL is strongly opposed to any cut in the payroll tax and we have lobbied aggressively against one. The 2020 reports from the Social Security and Medicare Trustees projected that the Social Security trust funds will become insolvent in only 15 years. At that time, all Social Security beneficiaries would face a 21% benefit cut in benefits that would eventually go to 27%. … Continued
Category Issues Medicare Part D Bills
The Senior Citizens League believes it is time to focus on the adequacy of Social Security benefits to meet rising Medicare costs. COLAs have been insufficient to cover the Part B premium in five out of the past ten years — 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, and 201This is a clear indication that Social Security COLA is not adequate, and not doing the job it was intended to do. . .Apply for Medicaid coverage while you wait. Check with a counselor at your local area Agency on Aging or local Medicaid department. Medicaid can take several months to start. .Someone else is working using your Social Security number: If you still can't determine the cause of Social Security's overpayment claim, check your earnings record with the Social Security Administration for accuracy. Identity theft is soaring and earnings from persons unknown may show up on your work record without your knowledge. It's important to correct your record if this happens to you. If this is the case, in addition to checking your records with Social Security, you will need to contact the IRS. Otherwise, the IRS may send you a notice stating that you failed to report everything you earned and that you might owe taxes. … Continued
The fall recess continued this week, and Members of the House and Senate remained in their home states and districts to prepare for the upcoming elections, which will occur on Tuesday, November 4th. They are expected to return to Washington following the elections for a "lame duck" session. .While most people have rebounded, too many mature workers are still struggling to find work, much less a good-paying job. According to a survey by AARP, half of mature workers who experienced unemployment between 2010-2014 were still looking for work five years later. .Get prescriptions from your veterinarian for medications: When your vet prescribes antibiotics or any other drug, don't automatically buy all the pills from the veterinary practice. Ask for a prescription. Often, you can get a cheaper price from your pharmacist instead, so check first. You can get a pet medication discount card from Costco, CVS, Rite-Aide, Walgreen's and Walmart. Compare prices with reputable online companies as well. .Nationwide, the picture is equally bleak, with more than 60 million Americans at risk of losing access to the rural hospitals that serve their families. What's worse – in order to prevent rural hospitals from closing under a Medicare-for-all regime, Medicare would have to increase hospital payments up to 60% higher than current Medicare rates. .In making the 1977 changes, Congress, wanting to avoid an abrupt change, allowed persons born from 1917 through 1921 to use a special transitional benefit formula or the new 1977 formula, whichever would yield the higher of the two benefits. The transition benefit formula never delivered the promised benefit protection, however, because it did not yield a higher benefit amount. Instead, the new benefit formula most often yielded the higher amount. .That's because the small increase would equal only an extra a month for someone getting a ,000 check, based on estimates released last week. And that's after Social Security recipients saw no raise at all for 2016 — only the third time in four decades that has happened. The final figure for 2017 should be released in the fall. .Finally, two new cosponsors – Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1) and Juan Vargas (CA-51) – signed on to the Empowering Encore Entrepreneurs (E3) Act (H.R. 4613), bringing the total up to four. If signed into law, the E3 Act would direct the Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase training and mentoring efforts for older entrepreneurs. More than 7 million older Americans are currently self employed, but many of them lack the training and technical expertise that is necessary in order to see success. By expanding outreach efforts, the SBA can help empower seniors and enhance their ability to revitalize the economy. .Because a high percentage of taxpayers were affected by under-withholdings due to the problematic tax tables, the IRS allowed a waiver of penalties for both 2009 and 2010 tax years. But taxpayers have to request the waiver of penalties in order to receive it. According to the Treasury Inspector General, last year virtually no taxpayer surveyed knew they could request a waiver. .The revenues from taxation of benefits are earmarked for funding Social Security and Medicare benefits. "Those revenues take on new importance in 2020, as the coronavirus takes a significant toll on Social Security and Medicare payroll tax revenues with more than 40 million people out of work," Johnson says.