Legislative Update For Week Ending March 22 2013
Congress is considering comprehensive immigration reform that would provide work authorization and with it, valid Social Security numbers, to an estimated 12 million immigrants working in this country illegally.(3) In 2004 Congress passed the Social Security Protection Act (P.L. 108-203) requiring immigrants to have work authorization at the time a SSN is assigned or at some later time, in order to become entitled under Social Security. (4) .There are, however, a number of ways that unauthorized workers can, and do, become entitled to benefits based on illegal work (see our "FAHow "Undocumented" Workers Are Becoming Entitled To Social Security" from the May 2012, Volume 17, Number 4 issue of The Social Security & Medicare Advisor. Despite a 2004 law forbidding illegals from claiming Social Security benefits, they are able to do so if at some point their status changes and they receive work authorization — as would happen under an amnesty. With work authorization, noncitizens can file a claim for Social Security benefits. Under current law when determining entitlement for benefits, Social Security uses all earnings for calculating the primary benefit amount, even if the earnings were for unauthorized work using fraudulent documents. All the individual needs to do is to supply evidence of the earnings, such as old W2s, and earnings in the ESF file would be "reinstated" to the account of the claimant. .Here are a few important tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of phone scams or identity theft: … Continued
S 99 Notch Fairness Act
The program applies to illegals under the age of 31, who entered the U.S. prior to the age of 16, and have resided illegally in the U.S. since June 15, 200Applicants must also be currently enrolled in school, have a GED certificate, or have served in the U.S. military, and be law-abiding. Critics, including TSCL, question how the government will be able to verify when applicants actually entered the country and whether they were under the age of 16 when they did. .As a country, we also need to encourage generations of all ages to be informed about their options for retirement saving and to take personal responsibility for their own financial planning, including understanding the extent of their senior benefits such as Medicare or Social Security or taking advantage of the fact that many employers will match what American workers choose to contribute to their retirement, which means twice the savings. Currently, for many Americans, their personal savings fall well short of what they will need to continue to fund their standards of living after retiring from the workforce full-time – and I worry that each generation is saving less. If financial planning feels overwhelming, there are many existing resources you can access to help ensure you are effectively utilizing your options. The Department of Labor has created a guide called the Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement to help with practical tips for building retirement savings. USA.gov provides an outline of your options for saving as well as a list of questions to ask yourself to ensure you're planning sufficiently for your future. You can also use a retirement calculator to find out the best age to claim your Social Security benefits. If you are experiencing a problem with your pension, profit sharing, or retirement savings plans, USA.gov points to the Pension Rights Center as a potential source of free legal assistance or advice. Knowledge is power, and it's important that Americans of all ages are informed of their options so that they can plan appropriately for their futures. .Ignoring mature worker employment will have long-term effects on American families and our overall economy. During the final years of their careers, mature workers traditionally earn their highest salaries, pay off their mortgages, care for aging parents, put their children through school, take a splurge vacation and save for their retirement. … Continued
This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and those in the House passed legislation that will reduce prescription drug costs at pharmacies. In addition, the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee met to discuss information technology within the Social Security program, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw two key bills gain support. .TSCL Endorses New COLA Bill .If signed into law, S. 960 would base Social Security cost-of-living adjustments on the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) and gradually phase out the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. .Under this bill, beneficiaries would get about more a month and the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E, would be used to more accurately measure inflation to ensure Social Security benefits keep up with the rise in costs for food, rent and medicine. .These benefits are far from generous. Compared to other industrialized nations, we have one of the most paltry social insurance systems in the world. Seniors have an average Social Security benefit of only ,328 a month. This is not enough to keep someone in the middle class. .In new versions of this scam, scammers are impersonating the Social Security Administration using the Social Security Administration's own phone number as the incoming number on your caller ID. This is called "spoofing." Should you receive a call from someone alleging to be from the Social Security Administration you may report that information to the Social Security Office of Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271, or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report. .Get an annual check up. Case in point: I recently helped a senior who hadn't seen a doctor in years, despite being a smoker. It took some urging, but she finally got a physical. She was shocked to learn that her blood pressure was high — dangerously so — and wound up driving straight to the pharmacy with a prescription for blood pressure medication. Visits to the doctor are far less expensive when you get there under your own steam rather than via an ambulance gurney. Starting this year, Medicare covers a yearly annual "wellness" exam and you pay nothing, if your doctor "accepts assignment" or the amount Medicare pays for the service. Do this before I have to nag you, too. .Recently the House Budget Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee both held hearings on the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB was created under the healthcare reform law to slow rising Medicare costs. If costs grow too fast, the IPAB would recommend cuts that would go into effect unless Congress comes up with the same amount of savings. Both Committees heard testimony from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, among many others. .Because your former son in-law was employed prior to applying for benefits, he was likely approved for SSDI. The program provides benefits to more than 10.9 million disabled beneficiaries, including some spouses and dependent children. To qualify for SSDI, the Social Security Administration determines whether applicants are unable to do any work because of a medical condition that is expected to last more than one year, or to result in death. Beneficiaries receive monthly payments for as long as they remain in the program. If disabled people live to their full retirement age, they transfer to the Social Security retirement program but their benefits do not change. They also qualify for Medicare benefits after a 2-year waiting period.