• Benefit Bulletin May June 2018

    Although home health workers are one of the fastest-growing segments of the labor market, they typically earn about ,000 per year, often without benefits. .This week, The Senior Citizens League saw support grow for three key bills that would strengthen and improve the Social Security and Medicare programs if adopted by Congress. .Most Americans contribute 6.2 percent of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the taxable maximum wage cap, people earning more than 8,500 pay nothing over that amount. Do you support increasing or eliminating the taxable maximum wage limit to make the program more solvent? … Continued

  • Q April 2017

    On Thursday, lawmakers in the House and Senate advanced a two-week stopgap measure to keep the federal government operating past Friday, December 7th. President Trump had not yet signed it into law at the time of writing this week's legislative update, but he is expected to do so before the midnight deadline. As a result, lawmakers have an extra fourteen days to reach a deal to avoid another government shutdown on December 21st. .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. .Millions of Americans Forgoing Health Care … Continued

Yet since 2010, when the Social Security Trust Fund first started running a cash deficit, budget negotiators have repeatedly attempted to enact Social Security reforms that would decrease benefits. One of the most widely - discussed proposals would switch to a more slowly - growing inflation measure — the chained consumer price index (CPI) — to calculate the annual cost – of – living adjustment as a means of slowing the growth of Social Security benefits and other inflation - adjusted federal programs. Although the proposal was not adopted in the past, primarily due to fear of public backlash, "It remains a key feature in many plans for reducing the deficit," Johnson says. .Many seniors can save substantially on drug costs by using mail order, and it's worth looking into. Be sure to use your drug plan's "preferred provider" mail order service. If you go outside of your drug plan's mail order network, your plan may not cover your drugs. .Following the meeting at the White House, Congressman Welch told reporters: "It simply makes no sense for Medicare to buy wholesale and pay retail prices. As a businessman, President Trump understands that. I hope he helps us enact our legislation to provide urgently needed relief to consumers and taxpayers." In addition, Congressman Cummings said, "We had a productive meeting today … The President committed to reviewing our proposal, and he seemed enthusiastic about the idea." .More than 10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision from the Social Security Administration in 201The rising death toll coincides with the growing backlog of people awaiting a decision about their eligibility for Social Security disability insurance benefits. But even after a disabled individual has been found eligible, he or she must wait 5 months for benefits to begin, and 2 whole years before Medicare benefits start. The long waits, especially for Medicare, have forced many low to middle-income disabled beneficiaries to deplete their savings while they wait. .According to studies performed for TSCL, many Notch Babies, particularly those who rely on Social Security for most, if not all, of their income, are at risk for living near or below the federal poverty level. For example, Notch Babies who retired in 1984 at age 65 with average benefits of 0 per month, would receive about ,839 this year. In the 48 contiguous states and Washington DC, that's only 8% above the federal poverty guidelines and qualifies for various assistance programs. .These trends are likely to continue a rapid climb in years to come. The first jump in the ESF coincided with the big increase in illegal immigration of 1970's. When Congress overhauled immigration laws in 1986, amnesty was offered to immigrants who could prove they were longtime, law-abiding residents. About 3.1 million were legalized, twice as many as the government expected. Because the law had no provisions for any new workers to enter, illegal immigration continued.(8) .How much are you spending on prescriptions? Be sure to take TSCL's 2019 Senior Survey and let us know. TSCL is working with Members of Congress to enact legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and supports bills that would cap or reduce out-of-pocket spending. .'It´s not clear why the administration hasn't made a bigger push to line up votes to get a bill through the Senate and a deal with Congress, given strong public support to lower drug costs,' said Tricia Neuman, a Medicare expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. .TSCL agrees that improvements must be made to ensure that older Americans are better informed about their benefit claiming options, and we are hopeful that SSA will carefully consider the proposals made at Wednesday's hearing. In addition, TSCL hopes that Congress will appropriate adequate funding to SSA in the months ahead so that field offices around the country can provide the highest quality service possible to individuals nearing and in retirement. For progress updates, follow TSCL's advocacy efforts on Twitter.