Benefit Bulletin Septemberoctober 2017
This week, Members of Congress returned to Washington to begin working on a temporary measure that would avert a government shutdown on October 1st. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for one new piece of legislation, and three key bills gained cosponsors. .As we continue dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, TSCL remains constant in our fight for you to protect your Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. We've had to make some adjustments in the way we carry on our work, but we have not, and will not stop our work on your behalf. ."Anything that puts you in contact with more people is going to increase your risk," said Cindy Prins, a clinical associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions. "If you compare it to just staying at home and quick trips to the grocery store, you'd have to put it above" that level of risk. … Continued
Tax Reform Public Supports Boosts Social Security
Medicare open enrollment: It pays to get it right .TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 1029, H.R. 3118, and H.R. 1795, and we were pleased to see support grow for each of them this week. .The Health and Human Services Department finalized the policy through an interim final rule in November, meaning the agency skipped the comment period. Lowering drug costs for patients is the end goal of the policy, which the government argues justified the speedy implementation. … Continued
Although many older Americans continue to face challenges as they approach retirement, Congress can and should do more to ensure that no retiring American needs to worry about making ends meet. .You make an excellent point! The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) uses the most recent data for the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W), the index that is used to calculate the annual Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA). New data is released monthly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. .On top of unexpected coverage shortfalls, TSCL's 2017 annual Survey of Senior Costs indicates that homeowners' insurance was the fastest growing housing cost over the past year. In fact, since 2000, the national average homeowners premium rose 154%, a rate of about 9.6% per year! .Generic drugs account for 84% of drugs sold nationally, but only 12% of spending. .Few employers outside the federal government and the military have taken up the option. Costco Wholesale Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are among employers that have said they aren't participating. .Federal law generally prohibits or restricts the payment of both Social Security and SSI to unauthorized noncitizens, but a number of exceptions exist. Although the perplexing web of rules differ for each program, immigration or disability attorneys are frequently involved in applicants' efforts to apply and qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. In addition, illegal immigrants may be using forged or invalid Social Security numbers (SSNs) and papers when claiming benefits. .This year, more than 50 percent of Social Security beneficiaries paid taxes on their benefits, even though many of them only made little more than twice the federal poverty level in income. Do you believe this is fair and, if not, what should be done about it? .There's hardly anyone who isn't feeling the effects of our "Great Recession." We've learned of seniors sharing depression-era survival techniques with younger family members. Meanwhile their Baby Boomer children nearing retirement wonder if they'll ever have enough money to retire. .Negotiations thus far seem to be moving slowly, and it remains to be seen whether or not the conferees will reach an agreement before the looming deadline. TSCL will keep a close eye on the evolving negotiations, and we will continue to inform the conferees about the harms that would result from including harsh benefit cuts in a budget package. For updates, visit the Legislative News section of our website.