Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Elder Poverty Relief Act Helps SSI Beneficiaries

Elder Poverty Relief Act
Approximately 10,000 Americans attain age 65 each day, according to Justice in Aging, a national non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights senior poverty through law. Last month, the “Elder Poverty Relief Act” was introduced in the Senate by Ron Wyden, D-Ore., along with Finance Committee members Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Bob Casey, D-Penn. The legislation would increase earned benefits for people on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), according to KTVZ. If the measure garners approval, it could help many vulnerable Americans out of poverty and improve overall life quality.

“Too many seniors are walking on an economic tightrope, balancing their food bill against their rent against their utility bill,” said Sen. Wyden. “It’s time to update Social Security’s guarantee of a secure retirement by boosting earned benefits for at-risk seniors, particularly older women who live longer and have less access to savings.”

The legislation, according to the report, has the support of the Gray Panthers, Justice in Aging, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Social Security Works, and the Strengthen Social Security Coalition.

Elder Poverty Relief Act

If enacted in 2019, the Elder Poverty Relief Act could help almost 14 million people who would receive the Poverty Relief Benefit. The PRB (starting at an extra $85 a month) targets:
  • Social Security beneficiaries age 82 or older and SSI recipients at the full retirement age (currently age 66, increasing to age 67).
  • Social Security and SSI recipients who have received benefits for 20 years.
  • Social Security beneficiaries at the full retirement age with low monthly benefits (roughly $944 a month, adjusted annually)
Over time the benefit will increase; the Social Security Administration estimates that the Elder Poverty Relief Act would help 420,000 seniors out of poverty by 2030, the article reports. Around one out of every 10 seniors lives in poverty; 20 percent of seniors have zero retirement savings.

“With stagnating wages, the cost of living continuing to rise, and many budgets being stretched to the breaking point, expanding Social Security benefits is more important now than ever,” said Sen. Brown. “No one should ever have to decide between heating their home, putting food on the table, or filling their prescriptions.”

SSDI and SSI Attorney

If the SSA denied your application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or you are applying for benefits for the first time, The Driscoll Law Corporation can help. Attorney Stephanie Merritt Driscoll can help you or a loved one appeal the SSA’s decision and get the benefits you require. Please contact our office today.


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