Category

Social Security

Social Security is 82 today!

By | BLOG, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
On August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today, Social Security continues as a bedrock program that provides millions of older adults with the income they need to meet a basic standard of living and to avoid falling into extreme poverty as they age. Without Social Security, 15.1 million Americans over age 65 would live in poverty. The addition of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as part of the Social Security program has ensured that even more people are protected from the risks of destitution and homelessness if they experience a disability before they reach retirement age, or are not otherwise eligible for significant benefits. Read More

WEBINAR: Implementation of Hart v. Berryhill (Colvin) – Class action settlement

By | Income Network Alert, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, WEBINAR | No Comments

Focused on class members with open claims

When: August 10, 2017

Hart v. Berryhill (Colvin) is a Social Security and SSI disability class action that challenged the Social Security Administration’s continued use of medical reports from Dr. Frank Chen even after he had been disqualified from performing medical examinations for Social Security because of serious deficiencies in his reports. The settlement, which was approved on April 25, 2017, provides an opportunity for new disability determinations for many class members.

Implementation of the settlement has begun. Social Security mailed the first wave of notices to class members with open claims to inform them of their rights under the settlement in mid-July. A second, larger wave of notices for people whose claims have been closed will likely go out in mid-September.

To help advocates in assisting Hart class members, Justice in Aging is holding a number of trainings on the process of obtaining relief under the settlement. This first training focuses on the first wave of notices that went out in July 2017 to class members with open claims (meaning that there was an active administrative appeal in process on the claim involving the Dr. Chen report, as of April 25, 2017). It briefly reviews the settlement relief for all class members, and then goes into detail about the relief for class members with open claims, and considerations about whether to request relief.

You can read more about the case and the settlement agreement here.

Presenters:
Gerald McIntyre, Special Counsel, Justice in Aging
Trinh Phan, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging

WATCH THE WEBINAR
DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT
READ THE ALJ GUIDANCE

Cuts to Multi-Recipient Households Push Older Adults & Their Families Deeper into Poverty

By | ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

Our new issue brief Cuts to Multi-Recipient Households Push Older Adults & Their Families Deeper into Poverty outlines who’s most affected and discusses how these cuts would discourage families with older adults and people with disabilities from helping one another out by sharing their homes.

The cuts would push already poor families deeper into poverty, force people onto the streets or into institutions, and result in costly administrative burdens for the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Read and share the brief.

Justice in Aging’s Statement on the 2018 Budget

By | Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, PRESS RELEASE, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

Below is a statement strongly opposing Trump’s 2018 budget from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging:

“President Trump’s 2018 budget is an attack on the millions of older adults who already live on meager incomes and struggle to pay their rent, buy food, and meet their health needs. The budget imposes massive cuts to Medicaid, Social Security, and other critical programs that many older adults rely on for their health and economic security.”
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Social Security 2100 Act a Commonsense Approach to Achieve Solvency, Pay Adequate Benefits

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Social Security | No Comments
When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935, poverty among older Americans stood at more than 50%. Social Security was enacted as a promise to the citizens of this country that, when they could no longer work, they would still be able to meet their basic needs and live a life of dignity and self-sufficiency in retirement.

The program has been incredibly successful at keeping that promise. Today, more than 60 million older adults, disabled workers, and their families depend on Social Security to make ends meet. At a time when pensions are becoming a rarity, and as personal retirement savings lose ground to the cost of living, Social Security has become even more critical to keeping America’s workers and their families from living in poverty. Social Security keeps 22 million people out of poverty each year, and more than 61% of all older SS beneficiaries rely on SS for half or more of their income.

In order to ensure that the program is meeting the growing needs of today’s seniors—as well as future generations—we must make some important changes to the Social Security system. Read More

New Fact Sheet: New Guidance on Spousal & Survival Benefits for Married LGBT Individuals

By | FACT SHEET, LGBT, REPORTS, Social Security | No Comments

On March 1, 2017 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it would reopen its decisions to deny spousal or survivor’s benefits to individuals who had been married to someone of the same sex, and whose marriage wasn’t recognized because of a discriminatory state or federal ban on marriage.

This ruling and policy applies not only to individuals who were denied benefits after the Supreme Court struck down federal discrimination against same-sex spouses (in United States v. Windsor in 2013) and state discrimination (in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015), but also to individuals who applied for and did not receive benefits before these Supreme Court decisions because of the discriminatory laws in effect at the time they applied.

A new Fact Sheet on this guidance includes more detailed information about who is affected by the new guidance, who isn’t, and what advocates and their clients should do to get their cases reopened.

This fact sheet was authored in collaboration with our partners at SAGE, Lambda Legal, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Fact Sheet: Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

By | FACT SHEET, Income Network Alert, REPORTS, Social Security | No Comments

Millions of seniors and people with disabilities rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to make ends meet. There are people relying on SSI to survive in every community in the country. The majority of SSI recipients are women, and the program is especially beneficial for people of color and people with limited English proficiency. It’s also an essential safety net for older adults who do not receive sufficient Social Security income because they worked in low-wage or seasonal jobs, or stayed home from work to care for family members.

With leaders in Congress intent on cutting safety net benefits, it’s critical that advocates proactively educate lawmakers, the media, and fellow advocates about the important role SSI plays in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities can meet their basic needs for shelter, food, and other necessities.

Please use this new Justice in Aging SSI fact sheet that shows who relies on SSI, why it’s important, and the dangers cuts to the program would pose for low-income families and communities.

If you would like us to insert statistics specific to your state and/or congressional district please email us for assistance.

But What Does the Census Say about Senior Poverty?

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
Take a quick look at the official numbers, and you might think the Census Bureau’s recent release of poverty statistics for 2015 is all good news. The official poverty rate for seniors decreased 1.2 percentage points to 8.8%, and the median household income increased 4.3%, to $38,515. We saw decreases in the poverty rates for African American, Hispanic, and Asian seniors as well. With all these positive numbers it’s easy to believe that everything is going well, and poverty is becoming less of a problem. Read More

Social Security’s Operating Budget At-Risk for Even More Cuts

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
Just imagine it: you are a senior who just received a notice from the Social Security Administration that your only source of income, your meager Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, are going to be cut off next month. When you call Social Security’s 800 number to get an explanation, you get a busy signal. When you go to the local Social Security office to file an appeal of the decision, the line stretches out the door with no place for you to sit while you wait for hours to speak with someone. Your stress level rises while you face the prospect of having no income to meet your basic needs. Read More