Category

Supplemental Security Income

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.

New Fact Sheet: SSI in California

By | FACT SHEET, REPORTS, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

California has the highest rate of senior poverty in the nation; increasingly more older Californians struggle to make ends meet and stay in their homes, and senior homelessness is on the rise. Over a million California seniors and people with disabilities rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help them meet their basic needs. There are people who depend on SSI to survive in every community in the state. The majority of SSI recipients are women, and the program is critical for many people of color and people with limited English proficiency. It’s also an essential safety net for nearly 300,000 California retired older adults who receive some Social Security, but not enough, because they worked in low-wage or seasonal jobs, or stayed home from work to care for family members.

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

With leaders in Congress intent on cutting benefits like SSI, 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 state can meet their basic needs for shelter, food, and other necessities. Given the significant number of low-income older adults in California, Justice in Aging recently launched two new projects to improve access to and utilization of SSI benefits among older adults across the state. We are building a strong coalition of statewide advocates who are informed about and trained in the details of the SSI program, including how SSI reduces homelessness, and working toward systemic improvements of the program.

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

Big Win For Married LGBT SSI Recipients

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, LGBT, LITIGATION, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
The last few weeks have brought some good news regarding Held v. Colvin, a case we (along with Foley Hoag LLP and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD) filed in March 2015 against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Plaintiffs Hugh Held and Kelley Richardson-Wright and a proposed nationwide class.

We filed this case to stop SSA from attempting to collect “overpayments” from very low income people over 65 and people with disabilities receiving SSI who had been married to someone of the same sex on or before June 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Read More

Recap of the Democratic Debate through a Senior Poverty Lens

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

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?

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Senior Poverty in Today’s Census Report

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
Here are three quick take-aways from our first look at today’s United States Census Income and Poverty report.

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

CUFF Act Won’t Fight Crime, But it Will Fight Poor People

By | BLOG, LITIGATION, SENIOR POVERTY, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

The misguided policy that nearly made Rosa Martinez homeless is rearing its ugly head again. Rosa Martinez, a California woman whose disability benefits were stopped because the Social Security Administration mistook her for a Florida woman with the same name, was Justice in Aging’s lead Plaintiff in the case Martinez v. Astrue.

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