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Emma Ayers

SSI 101: A Guide for Advocates

By | Advocate's Guide, Economic Security, ISSUE BRIEF, Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—a need-based program administered by the Social Security Administration – provides a very basic income to over 8.2 million people, including 2.2 million seniors age 65+. As more seniors struggle to make ends meet in today’s economy, getting access to SSI can help low-income seniors escape deep poverty and avoid or move out of homelessness. Justice in Aging’s Supplemental Security Income 101: A Guide for Advocates introduces advocates and individuals who provide assistance to older adults to the SSI program and focuses on the basics of the program for those who qualify based on age (65 years or older).

Released today, the Guide includes:

  • A description of the SSI program and benefits
  • An overview of the application and appeals processes
  • A discussion of key eligibility criteria, including examples

And in case you missed our SSI Basics webinar last month, the video is now available.

Group helps aging LGBT community


Ventura County Star: Group helps aging LGBT community face challenges (3/9/2018). Older adults in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community face unique challenges as they become more vulnerable and are forced to depend on outside services for care and assistance. That’s the belief of the LGBT Aging Coalition of Ventura County, which was formed in late 2015 to bring together allies and members of the LGBT community. Most recently, the coalition presented a talk by Denny Chan, staff attorney of Justice in Aging, a national nonprofit with an office in Los Angeles. His talk, which took place on a recent Wednesday afternoon at the Pleasant Valley Community Center in Camarillo, covered some of the most pressing legal and long-term care issues facing LGBT older adults, as well as some of the best practices for reaching and serving this population.

Justice in Aging Welcomes Two New Attorneys

By | News Releases
Justice in Aging is pleased to announce that we’ve recently added two new attorneys to our team.

Late last year, Carol Wong joined us in our Washington, DC office as our new litigation attorney. She’ll be working on impact litigation, increasing our capacity to file more cases that protect the health care and economic security rights of low-income seniors. Carol comes to Justice in Aging most recently from the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section. Read More

This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like


The Atlantic: This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like (2/22/2018). Many seniors are stuck with lives of never-ending work—a fate that could befall millions in the coming decades. The problem is growing as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age—between 8,000 to 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, according to Kevin Prindiville, the executive director of Justice in Aging, a nonprofit that addresses senior poverty. “In the early decades of our work, we were serving communities that had been poor when they were younger,” Prindiville told me. “Increasingly, we’re seeing folks who are becoming poor for the first time in old age.”

What can be done to help today’s seniors and generations to come? There are two approaches, Prindiville says: help people save for old age and make retirement more affordable.

Weak federal oversight endangers health and safety of assisted living residents


The Hill: Weak federal oversight endangers health and safety of assisted living residents (2/8/2018). This week’s GAO report shines a long-overdue light on Medicaid-funded assisted living. Federal funding of assisted living is large and growing, but to this point the federal government has not adequately ensured the quality of assisted living care. This lack of oversight has had tragic consequences for an unfortunately large number of older Americans. The GAO report was requested by a bipartisan group of senators, and its publication should prompt Congress and CMS to take action.

No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transportation At Risk


California Healthline: No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transportation At Risk (2/5/2018). In California, Medi-Cal members in managed care get transportation through their health plans, while fee-for-service enrollees can arrange for the service through their counties, said Amber Christ, a Los Angeles-based staff attorney for Justice in Aging, a legal advocacy group. Medi-Cal transportation is a “lifeline” for the low-income seniors she works with, she said. “Most of them cannot afford a car, or if they have a car they can’t afford to keep gas in that car, or they can’t use public transportation,” she said. “Medicaid transportation is the only way they are going to their doctor appointments.” California has not proposed cutting this service, but should the federal government slash Medicaid funding overall, “you could see where states would feel the pressure to make cuts, and this might be one of the first places to do that,” Christ said.

Justice in Aging’s Statement on Graham-Cassidy Proposal

By | Newsroom

This week, Senators Graham and Cassidy released yet another ACA repeal and replace bill that would have devastating consequences for the health and well-being of older Americans. Like the other harmful proposals that consumers, advocates, and the majority of Americans soundly rejected (and also all failed in the Senate), Graham-Cassidy would strip coverage from millions, gut the Medicaid program, and undermine the ACA’s most popular consumer protections.

By terminating Medicaid expansion and imposing per capita caps and block grants, this proposal would cut Medicaid funding by hundreds of billions over the next decade. Millions of older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid to live in their homes and communities would be at risk of losing coverage as states are forced to cut services.

Graham-Cassidy would wreak havoc in the individual health insurance market as well, hitting older adults and people with limited income the hardest. The proposal eliminates the premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions that make coverage affordable. On top of that, states would have the option to waive many of the ACA’s most vital consumer protections and allow insurers to charge people more based on health status and cover fewer benefits. Older adults would face unaffordable premiums in a market that divides the young and healthy from those who have pre-existing conditions. Many of those who could afford the premiums would be underinsured facing bare-bones coverage and skyrocketing deductibles.

We commend the Senators who have begun to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure that older Americans have affordable access to the coverage and care they need in 2018 and beyond. We call on them and their colleagues to reject this proposal and move forward to improve the health and well-being of all Americans.

Read more about the impact of Graham-Cassidy on our blog.