Category

Social Security

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

Protecting Vulnerable Adults: Making Improvements to SSA’s Representative Payee Program

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
Currently, there are over 10 million older adults who rely exclusively on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to meet their daily housing, food, and medical needs. For many individuals over the age of 65, SSI benefits are their only source of income available. There is no doubt that every single penny of their modest $733 monthly benefit amount is needed to make ends meet. Due to increasing awareness of financial elder abuse and cognitive impairments—such as Alzheimer’s—more seniors are looking to additional supports to help them manage their own benefits. Read More

WEBINAR: Improving SSA’s Representative Payee Program

By | Social Security, WEBINAR | No Comments
When: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 p.m. ET

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Representative Payee program is critical for ensuring that older adults who cannot manage their own finances have the necessary support to age in dignity.

Over the past year, SSA has undertaken a comprehensive examination of its Representative Payee Program, making this a very critical time for advocacy. Justice in Aging has also worked with advocates across the country to address the major issues facing the Representative Payee Program as they specifically relate to older adults. In this Justice in Aging webinar, we explored the issues in depth and provided educational materials for advocates who are interested in learning more about the Representative Payee Program.

Read More

Social Security’s Rep Payee Program for Consumers

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

The Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee program is an important program for ensuring that older adults who can no longer manage their finances have someone trustworthy and competent to do it for them.

As the population ages and the prevalence of cognitive challenges among the older adult population increases, the Rep Payee program will become even more critical and will play an important role in preventing elder financial abuse. To protect seniors from financial exploitation or interruptions in benefits, it’s important for advocates and caregivers to understand key issues relating to the program.

Download and read the second in the series.

Justice in Aging, with the support of a Borchard Center Foundation on Law and Aging fellowship grant, will be producing a series of informational publications about the Representative Payee Program. 

Department of Education to Forgive Student Loan Debt for Thousands of People with Disabilities

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Social Security | No Comments
Nearly 400,000 people with disabilities (many who are seniors) breathed a sigh of relief last week when the Obama Administration and the Department of Education announced a program that will make it easier for people with permanent disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance to apply to have their federal student loans forgiven. Read More