More than ten million older adults rely exclusively on Social Security benefits as their primary source of income. As the population ages and the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments increases, more older adults will need to rely on others to manage their finances.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has authority granted by Congress to appoint third parties, known as representative payees, to receive and manage payments when a beneficiary is unable to do so. 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.
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.
We watched the recent Democratic debate with hopes of hearing some plans for addressing the growing crisis of poverty and inequality in our nation. Would any of the candidates really talk about poverty? Would would any of them even mention the 6.4 million senior citizens living in poverty?
1. Women over 75 are at particular risk of poverty. According to the official poverty measure, 14.7% of women over age 75 live in poverty. This is nearly double the rate of men in this age group (7.6%). America’s oldest women also experience significantly higher poverty rates than women 65 to 75 (10.1%) years old. This data confirms what we already knew – that women are more likely than their male counterparts to be poor as they age. This is the result of a variety of economic and social policies that we have yet to address. This video provides a window into what life is like for older women struggling in poverty. Today’s data also demonstrates something else significant – that the older women grow, the more likely they are to be poor. This is an important reminder that any data that looks just at people 65 and over as a single, monolithic group will significantly undercount the challenges of poverty facing older adults that are in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. Read More
In observing this anniversary, we need to celebrate the critical role played by Social Security in enabling older Americans and workers who become disabled to live independently and not be a burden to their offspring. We also need to be vigilant and protect Social Security from ill-advised efforts to cut benefits. Social Security Birthday Release Read More
(7/24/12) As policymakers debate changing the cost of living adjustment, NSCLC recommends a switch to the CPI-E as the basis for calculating the COLA for Social Security, veterans and other federal benefits. Read the brief.
This policy Issue Brief discusses the serious long-term negative impact of increasing the Social Security retirement age. Read the Issue Brief: Increasing the Social Security Retirement Age Cuts Benefits and Drives Up Administrative Costs.