The Senior Citizens League Weekly Update For Week Ending April 10 2020
I recently introduced H.R. 4521, SNAP Simplification for the Elderly Act, as one of the focal points for my "Let's Feed America Campaign." The bill would eliminate burdensome red tape and make it easier for the low-income elderly and disabled individuals to receive SNAP, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) benefits. .(Washington, DC) – Half of retirees participating in a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) say they paid income taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefit income for the 2019 tax year. "There was no change from previous years in the 50 percent of retiree households who report that they pay tax on a portion of their benefits, despite the 2017 tax reform law, says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. .This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) – signed on to the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (H.R. 2745), bringing the total up to twenty-six. If signed into law, the bill would prevent Social Security credits from being earned by work done illegally. Currently, those who receive "green cards" or work authorization may file a claim for Social Security benefits based on all earnings – even earnings from jobs where they used stolen, invalid, or fraudulent Social Security numbers. We believe that this practice must be put to an end in order to protect the integrity of the Social Security program. … Continued
Update For May 22 2021
Mr. Kluck and The Senior Citizens League's legislative team met with several congressional offices — including the offices of House Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Phil Roe (TN-1) and House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John Larson (CT-1) — to discuss goals and strategies for the 116th Congress, which officially began on January 3rd, 2019. .The tax credit, a provision of the 2009 stimulus legislation, was advanced to taxpayers in 2009 and 2010 through higher pay and pension checks by a decrease in federal income tax withholdings. Most eligible people qualified for a credit of up to 0 (individual) or 0 (joint). But millions of taxpayers through no fault of their own were advanced more of the Making Work Pay Tax Credit than they were entitled to. .It would: boost monthly Social Security benefits by 2 percent, improve the adequacy of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, create a new minimum benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line, and cut taxes for millions of beneficiaries. To cover the cost of these benefit enhancements and extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds for decades to come, it would also apply the payroll tax to income over 0,000 and gradually increase the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent. … Continued
The COLA will be announced on October 19th, and Medicare premiums and deductibles also will be announced in the fall. Seniors who are already retired and those nearing retirement have few options if the benefits they rely on today were to be cut. TSCL is fighting such proposals affecting the benefits of current retirees, believing that seniors need a COLA that more adequately protects the buying power of Social Security, and TSCL supports H.R. 776, the Guaranteed 3% COLA Act, introduced by Representative Eliot Engel (NY-17). .Many states that were hit hard by the virus say they chose to provide protective gear to front-line health workers rather than inspectors, delaying in-person checks for weeks if not months. Some states chose to assess facilities remotely, conducting interviews over the phone and analyzing documentation, a process many experts consider inadequate. .Unlike AARP, The Senior Citizens League is a true grassroots organization. Almost one hundred percent of our revenue comes from individual donations, and we do not sell any products to our members. We even refuse outside advertising in our materials. Our sole focus is on education and protection of the Social Security and Medicare benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. .Compare plans! Use health and drug plan comparison tools found at www.Medicare.gov — Because premiums, out-of-pocket costs and drug coverage vary so enormously between plans, the single best habit to get into is comparing your coverage options every year. Your best tools for comparing health and drug plans coverage and information about premiums and costs can be found online at http://www.Medicare.gov. If you don't have computer or Internet access, work with a friend or family member who does. Or you can get one-on-one counseling assistance through your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP). Many of these programs operate through local area agencies on aging. .Medicare Part D is a rip off. My wife and I will pay more for our medication now, because we cannot afford to take the risk of not enrolling. We were getting most of our drugs from Canada, but under Part D we not only have to pay a monthly premium, but also have co-pays, plus much higher prices for our medication to meet the deductible or if we hit the doughnut hole. Forcing us to do this is simply not fair. What happened to the legislation to legalize the importation of drugs from Canada? .However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) refused to bring the bill up in the Senate for debate or a vote. As a result, Congressional leaders have been struggling over the past few weeks to come up with legislation to deal with those issues to help those Americans who have been hurt so badly by the virus and the horrible economy that has resulted. .Larson will soon be reintroducing the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act. This bill prevents an unintended and unanticipated cut to Social Security benefits for those affected; it also expands benefits for those who need it most during COVID who have faced long term systemic economic inequalities. .Although the President did not offer specific policy recommendations, he did renew his commitment to lowering prescription drugs costs. He said: "One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down." .That was the second ruling in a week to delay the policy. A federal judge in Maryland had ordered on Dec. 23 that the rule, which was slated to take effect Jan. 1, be paused for two weeks.