Legislative Update Week Ending June 5 2015
Your husband would need to apply for Social Security disability benefits to learn if his medical condition meets the Social Security Administration's definition of disability. But before getting started, it's important to understand your choices, since your husband is also old enough to start Social Security retirement benefits. .Given that disabled beneficiaries would receive on average 0,000 prior to transferring to Social Security benefits, even the smallest error in determining eligibility can result in significant overpayments. TSCL believes that the government should make every effort to perform timely continuing disability reviews (CDRs) to ensure that benefits are only paid out to those who are eligible. The Social Security Administration estimates that every spent on medical CDRs yields about in SSA program savings over ten years. Currently the CDR backlog stands at 1.2 million. SSA's goal for FY2013 is 435,000 CDRs based on the current level of funding. .TSCL acknowledges the fact that changes to programs like Social Security and Medicare will be necessary in the coming years, and we agree that changes should be made sooner rather than later to protect seniors from harsh benefit cuts. Our surveys show that seniors favor Social Security reform options that would require wealthier Americans to pay taxes on all of their earnings, and Medicare reform options that would better coordinate care and prioritize the prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse. … Continued
Q June 2016
What are the potential complications and risks? .Comprehensive immigration reform has been topping the legislative agenda in Congress for months, but so far most policy wonks and lawmakers have kept quiet about the ways in which reform would affect Social Security. Millions would become eligible to collect Social Security benefits based on work done illegally, under invalid or fraudulent Social Security numbers. TSCL is concerned about the ethical implications of this, and we believe that it would put additional strains on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. .The potential cost of illegal immigration on federal benefit programs is for now still flying under the radar as political candidates vie for votes. Latinos are becoming a key electorate group. In 2010, The National Council of La Raza estimated that 20 million Latinos were eligible to vote in the 2010 elections — representing the fastest electorate growth rate of any group in the U.S. … Continued
Consider selling off personal effects that you aren't using. If you have antiques and collectibles, or just an attic full of stuff in storage, consider selling it by auction, Ebay, or to dealers. Consumer Reports has this advice on "The Best Ways to Sell Your Stuff." .The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide a case in June that could have far -reaching implications for Social Security and Medicare. The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate its executive action plan on immigration. The plan would give temporary relief from deportation and work permits to almost 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Should the Supreme Court find in favor of President Obama, his Administration would have 7 months to implement the program before his term ends. .Do you have a low benefit and think you may be affected by hold harmless? TSCL would like to hear from you! Contact us at . .Third, one new cosponsor, Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-8), signed on to the bipartisan Fair COLA for Seniors Act (H.R. 1553), bringing the total up to twenty-seven. If adopted, this bill would better protect the purchasing power of Social Security benefits by adopting a more adequate Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Under current law, COLAs underestimate the inflation seniors experience because they are based on the way young, working Americans spend their money. As a result, Social Security benefits have lost 33 percent of their purchasing power since 2000 according to our research. .TSCL believes that the Supplemental Poverty Measure is a more fair and appropriate measure of poverty today. We encourage you to ask Congressional candidates where they stand on programs to reduce poverty affecting older Americans. .Watch our public service video about the need for a fair Social Security COLA and spread the word! .This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for three key bills. .Sources: 0.3% COLA Announced, The Social Security Administration, October 19, 201"Long Term Impact of Low COLA Growth," Mary Johnson, TSCL, August 31, 2016. .The bill now moves on to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for a markup, and later it will likely move to the House Ways and Means Committee, where more offsets will be added. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate hope to repeal and replace the SGR before January 1st – if they fail to act, doctors who treat Medicare patients will see a 25 percent pay cut. TSCL was pleased to see the subcommittee's bill progress this week, and we are hopeful that Members of Congress will pass a permanent solution before the end of this year in order to preserve seniors' access to quality medical care. As the negotiations evolve, we will continue to post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website.