Social Security Disability Insurance Program
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (AL) told reporters this week that a government shutdown later this month is a real possibility. He said: "This could make us all come together or it could drive us further apart. We don't know yet … I've been here on Christmas Eve." ."Even though our new Congress may remain divided, these five areas of broad agreement could be potentially used as a legislative roadmap that would provide greater retirement security and reduce needlessly high Medicare costs," Johnson says. The Senior Citizens League is working for passage of legislation that would boost Social Security benefits, and supports efforts to lower Medicare costs. .Data indicates that many, if not most, retirees, leave a significant amount of Social Security income on the table because people tend to retire too soon. Consider this: even when you reach your full retirement age, that only represents the point at which you are entitled to start full benefits without reduction for starting benefits early. It does not represent the age at which you would receive the maximum benefit amount, which is age 70. The reward for work and patience can pay off significantly. Once you reach your full retirement age, Social Security benefits are increased by 8% per year (or 2/3 of 1% per month) until age 70. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending November 24 2017
The prices that insurers pay for in-network services are typically much lower than the provider list prices. .Check plans offering gap coverage but don't be surprised if you wouldn't save much. If your new prescription will cost enough to put you into the doughnut hole coverage gap, check the cost of plans with additional gap coverage. But if your main expense is an expensive brand name prescription, gap coverage may not save enough to make up for the higher cost of premiums. Most only cover some generics. Get unbiased help comparing your coverage by calling your Area Agency on Aging and asking for the help of a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor, or visit online at: https://shipnpr.shiptalk.org/. .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports the four bills mentioned above, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other bills that have been backed by The Senior Citizens League, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. … Continued
Background Information: Roughly 56% of older taxpaying households paid income taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefits this year, even though many of them only made twice the federal poverty level in income. Question: Do you believe this is fair, and if not, what should be done about it? .In addition, U.S. Customs may be trying to clamp down on prescription drugs being shipped to American consumers from Canadian pharmacies. Although "reimportation" of prescription drugs from abroad continues to be illegal, Customs and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have only intermittently seized shipments of Canadian drugs in the past. Canadian mail order pharmacies and drug-buying programs run by senior advocates reported earlier this year that the number of seizures has more than quadrupled recently. .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a two-week spring recess, and one member of The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) Board of Trustees visited Capitol Hill to advocate for legislation that would improve the Social Security and Medicare programs. In addition, two key bills gained support in the House and Senate. .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. .Over five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, and each year thousands more are diagnosed with this painful, heart-rending illness. Most of us know someone—a family member, coworker or friend—suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia. With the number of Alzheimer's patients expected to skyrocket in the coming decades, we must continue to press forward, offering support for family members and caregivers, while developing better and more effective treatment options as we work toward a cure for this terrible disease. .Throughout his testimony, Elmendorf stressed the fact that programs like Social Security and Medicare will continue to grow despite the slow pace of the economic recovery. Over the next ten years, he noted that the number of Americans over the age of sixty-five will increase by one-third. .Together, these three changes would strengthen the solvency of the Social Security program and cut taxes for millions of older Americans. In the letter that was delivered on Thursday, Art Cooper – Chairman of TSCL's Board of Trustees – wrote: "If enacted, these reforms would go a long way in strengthening the Social Security program, and TSCL's members and supporters hope they will be included in comprehensive tax reform legislation." .Now there are ads in various parts of the country being run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, accusing House Republicans of doing the bidding of drug industry donors by opposing the bill. Unremarked upon are the House Democrats who've also received money from the industry — and whose opposition is seen as potentially fatal to the legislation. .What is a surviving beneficiary spouse?