• Congressional Corner Need Cpi Reflects Senior Costs

    The proposal calls for switching to a more slowly-growing consumer price index (CPI), known as the "chained" CPI, to calculate annual COLAs. Chaining is an apt name for it because that's what it would do to benefits — chain them down. .The Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" – the gap in coverage that occurs when beneficiaries reach their initial annual payment limit – is costing many older Americans thousands of dollars per year. Not all beneficiaries hit the limit each year, but in a recent survey of TSCL's members and supporters, we learned that 28%, more than one-in-four respondents, fell into the doughnut hole in 2015. .It's unknown whether or not Congress will tackle the SGR before the end of the year, but most Subcommittee Members at Wednesday's hearing did seem set on providing extensions for the other payment provisions that are nearing expiration. … Continued

  • Legislative Update For Week Ending May 3 2013

    The responsibility is on you to notify the SSA of your age, and file an application for retirement benefits based on your own earnings, if higher. As you continue working past age 66, the retirement benefit you receive based on your own earnings continues to grow. That retirement credit is only applied until age 70; however, there's no additional increase thereafter, so put in your claim now. .When a Senate vote is tied, the Vice President, who the Constitution designates as the President of the Senate, can cast the tie-breaking vote, which is exactly what happened. .Working longer, especially if you are earning more now than you did in jobs in the past, can also help increase your benefit because the Social Security Administration uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your initial retirement amount. If you've worked less than 35 years, then the extra years of work will help fill in the earning gaps in your record. … Continued

What Could A COLA of No Less Than 3 Percent Mean For You? .TSCL enthusiastically supports S. 2011, H.R. 2575, H.R. 991, and H.R. 1205, and we were pleased to see support grow for each one this week. For more information about these and other bills endorsed by TSCL, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .Medicare is currently prohibited from covering most hearing, vision, and dental services, even though millions of seniors are afflicted with age-related hearing loss, low vision, and poor oral health. When left untreated, these conditions often result in serious injuries and complications. What do you feel should be done about this? .The SSA and the AARP say, however, the Notch affects only those born during the five-year period of 1917 through 192Those born during that period were covered by a special transitional benefit formula, the purpose of which was to provide a 5-year phase-in for the new 1977 benefit formula. .HHS Announces 2014 Medicare Premiums, COLA .Click here for more information about our legislative agenda. There you can also sign a petition to your Members of Congress, view bills that have been recently introduced in the House and Senate, and stay updated with the latest news on Capitol Hill. .Despite increased efforts by SSA, Mr. Bagdoyan emphasized the need for better program evaluation. He said: "SSA has taken some steps to establish an organizational culture and structure conducive to fraud risk management in its disability programs … But it has yet to comprehensively assess these risks or develop a strategic approach to ensure its anti-fraud activities effectively mitigate these risks." .In your book The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security you say that today's retirees need to "rethink retirement." In what ways do our ideas about retirement need changing? .How is Social Security different from a Ponzi scheme? Interestingly, the Social Security website has a research note comparing the two. Charles Ponzi became infamous in 1920 when he used the money he received from later investors to pay extravagant rates of return to early investors to entice more people to invest in his phony investment scheme. This only works when there's an ever-increasing number of new investors coming into the scheme. Eventually the scheme runs out of new investors and collapses, taking everyone's money with it.