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SOCIAL SECURITY NEWS ARCHIVES 2007-10

Current Social Security News

The most news and information on Social Security for senior citizens

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Senior Citizen Politics

Republicans Block $250 for Senior Citizens to Replace Lack of Social Security Hike in 2011

Also other action reduces income to Social Security Trust Fund by $120 billion

Dec. 9, 2010 – Republicans jumped at the chance to allow the richest people in the United States to keep a tax cut that will cost the taxpayers about $70 billion a year, then stomped on efforts to give senior citizens $250 in 2011 to compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living increase in Social Security. Only 26 Republicans joined 228 Democrats in the failed effort in the House to pass H.R. 5987. Read more...

Social Security News

Booming Senior Citizen Population Will Bring Social Security to Its Knees: Deficit Committee

Significant changes in seniors’ security blanket program detailed by committee in ‘The Moment of Truth’ report

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Dec. 3, 2010 – Most of the initial reactions to the proposal on December 1 by President Obama’s special committee seeking ways to reduce the U.S. deficit focused on changes to Medicare as being the most dramatic of the adjustments recommended. Medicare, no doubt, is critical to senior citizens but the program closer to the hearts of millions of seniors is Social Security – the security blanket. The committee’s report does urge drastic changes in this program to and says unless the nation acts the booming number elderly will “bring the Social Security program to its knees.” Read more...

Experts Say Plan for Targeted Improvements, 75-Year Financing Strengthens Social Security

National Academy of Social Insurance suggests Americans will cheer their plan

Nov. 12, 2011 – A non-partisan organization staffed by experts in social insurance - the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) - has presented a fix for Social Security that includes benefit improvements and a long-range financing plan that it thinks the American people will cheer. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

Social Security, Medicare Cuts in Bulls Eye for Federal Commission Trying to Reduce Budget

Bi-partisan commission charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation of the federal budget got off to thunderous start

Nov. 11, 2010 - Senior citizens, that turned out in droves to support the Tea Party rallies urging cuts in federal spending, came face-to-face with reality today as the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a long list of spending cuts that could be made. Although a small part of the total savings from these ideas, projected to be $200 billion a year, it does suggest significant reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Veterans programs that are critical to millions of elderly Americans. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

New Campaign Gets 136 in Congress to Warn President About Cutting Social Security

These House Democrats pledge to oppose any form of Social Security cuts coming from commission setup by President Obama

Oct. 20, 2010 – This week 136 members of Congress – all Democrats -  sent a letter to President Obama stating that they will oppose any recommendations issued by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that cut Social Security benefits, further raise the Social Security retirement age, or privatize the program in any way. The effort was planned by the newly formed Social Security Works (SSW), which has organized the Strengthen Social Security Campaign. Read more...

Social Security News

Now Official Senior Citizens Will Not Get COLA Increase for 2011; $250 Check, Maybe

Medicare law has “hold harmless” provision protecting 70% on Social Security from paying a higher Part B premium, which could cause many to receive less than 2010

Oct. 15, 2010 – The Social Security Administration made the inevitable official this morning – 58 million Americans will not get an automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase in 2011. The Social Security Act provides for an increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits if inflation increases from the third quarter of the last year to the third quarter of the current year. Read more...

Speaker Pelosi Backs $250 Payment to Senior Citizens, Veterans if No COLA for 2011

Senior Protection Act by Rep. Earl Pomeroy still in committee; President Obama has backed $250 payment for seniors

Oct. 15, 2010 – If it is announced today, as expected, that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to increase Social Security in 2011 for senior citizens, Democrats are poised to back a bill by Congressman Earl Pomeroy and supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to issue seniors and retired military a one-time $250 payment. Read more...

Social Security Will Not Have COLA Increase in 2011; No Surprise but Official This Friday

Senior citizens doing better than most since recession; See below - history of COLAs, Social Security Q&A, related links

Oct. 11, 2010 – Senior citizens have known since last year that they are not likely to receive a cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security checks for 2011, due to the lack of inflation, which determines the COLA each October. The Associated Press notes this official word will be released by Social Security on Friday. Read more...

Senior Citizens Threatened by Hurricane Earl Receiving Social Security Checks Early

About 737,000 residents in 10 states and D.C. should get checks today

Sept. 2, 2010 – Senior citizens living on the upper Atlantic coast, who normally expect their Social Security check on the third day of the month, should be receiving their checks today. The agency is sending the checks a day early to 737,000 beneficiaries living in states expected to be impacted by Hurricane Earl. Read more...

Social Security Trustees Report Long-Range Financing Outlook Remains Unchanged

Trust Funds exhausted in 2037, same as projected last year; enter red ink in 2015

Aug. 6, 2010 - The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds and they say the long-range outlook remains unchanged. There was a slight negative change, however, with costs now expected to permanently exceed tax revenues beginning 2015, one year earlier than estimated in last year’s report. Read more

Social Security Opens National Hearing Center in St. Louis to Reduce Disability Backlog

Center will hear disability cases for Cleveland and Minneapolis –two of the most backlogged hearing offices in the nation

Aug. 2, 2010 - Three new Social Security Administration offices have opened in St Louis, Missouri, including the agency’s fifth National Hearing Center (NHC). It becomes the largest hearing center in the nation. It is co-located with two other new facilities - the National Case Assistance Center (NCAC) and the Midwest Training Center. These operations also add 200 new federal jobs in St. Louis. Read more...

Social Security Seeks Personal Stories About the Program to Celebrate 75 Years of Service

On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Social Security is asking people to tell online how the program made a difference in their lives and the lives of their family and friends

July 27, 2010 - Do you have a story about how Social Security impacted your life? Or, maybe you know a story about Social Security and someone in your family? The Social Security Administration is planning to publish these personal stories and reflections about how Social Security has touched personal lives to celebrate its 75 years of public service. Read more...

Social Security Can Be Fixed with Just Modest Changes: Senate Committee on Aging

Chairman Kohl sends to Congress various options committee found for consideration

May 18, 2010 – Making the future of Social Security financially secure is not as difficult as many have made it seem, according to Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The committee released a report today that includes various options for making Social Security more secure through “modest changes” to the program. Read more...

Many Popular Online Services of Social Security Close Temporarily for Maintenance

Detailed list of what’s available online from SSA listed below – Retirement Planner won’t close

May 6, 2010 – Some of the increasingly popular online services of the Social Security Administration will not be available from Friday, May 7, at 11 p.m. Eastern until Saturday, May 8 at 5 a.m., according to a posting on the index pages to these services. The Retirement Planner will still be available during this regularly scheduled maintenance. Read more...

Retirement News

Declining Social Security Benefits Keeping Older Men In Workforce, Study Finds

‘Older individuals don’t get the same level of Social Security benefits when they retire as they once did’

May 4, 2010 – A new study confirms the strong trend – since 1992 – of more senior men delaying their retirement. And, the researcher finds, the reason older men are remaining in the workforce is the decline in the generosity of the Social Security benefits. Read more...

Social Security’s Online Services Take Top Three Spots in Customer Satisfaction Survey

SSA’s online services also meet or exceed the private sector’s highest score

May 4, 2010 – The Social Security Administration’s online services, heavily used by senior citizens for matters dealing with Social Security and Medicare, have been recognized as the “best in government” and exceed top private sector sites in customer satisfaction, according to a news release today. Read more..

Senior Citizen Politics

Bi-Partisan Senators Join to Keep Banks from Freezing Accounts with Social Security Funds

Democratic Senators Kohl, McCaskill, Baucus joined by Republican Grassley to push for new Treasury regulations protecting seniors, veterans

April 17, 2010 – In a rare expression of bi-partisanship, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley joined with three Democratic senators this week to applaud new regulations proposed to prevent banks from freezing accounts containing money from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or veterans’ benefits to ensure seniors and veterans have access to vital funds. Read more...

Social Security News

Social Security's Open Government Plan Includes Online Life-Expectancy Calculator

Also to introduce Spanish-language Retirement Estimator and enhancements to Online service

April 9, 2010 – Social Security has released its Open Government plan that includes three ground-breaking initiatives - the Spanish-Language Retirement Estimator, Online Service Enhancement, and an Online Life-Expectancy Calculator. Read more...

Baby Boomers Can Now Apply for Medicare Online at Social Security Website

Cast of Patty Duke Show helping agency responsible for Social Security & Medicare enrollment

March 29, 2010 – The millions of baby boomers flooding across the age marker that signals they are a senior citizens – the age of 65 – will be pleased with news from Social Security that you can now register for Medicare benefits online, if you are not ready to also sign up for Social Security. Patty Duke and the cast of her 1960s sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, are helping spread the word. Read more...

Social Security Commissioner Astrue Honored by Alzheimer’s Association

Humanitarian award recognizes his adding early-onset AD, other dementias to to SSA’s Compassionate Allowances Initiative

March 15, 2010 - Social Security Administration commissioner Michael Astrue received the Alzheimer's Association's 2010 Humanitarian Award in recognition of his “exceptional leadership” in creating the Compassionate Allowances Initiative and the decision to include early-onset Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in that initiative. Read more...

Social Security Launches New Open Government Webpage, Wants Your Ideas

Access to Agency Strategic Plan, Freedom of Information Act Report, as well as program laws and regulations for Social Security; will publish its Open Government Plan in April

Feb. 18, 2010 - Social Security has a new Open Government webpage available to the public that will serve as the portal for all agency activities that support President Obama’s Transparency and Open Government initiative. Read more...

Social Security News

Social Security Adds 38 New Medical Conditions that Qualify for Disability Help

Adding new conditions, like early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, will speed benefits to thousands of disabled

Feb. 12, 2010 – The latest move by the Social Security Administration, in an ongoing effort to speed up the decision process for consideration of applications for disability benefits to those not yet age 65, is the addition of 38 new medical conditions to the list of Compassionate Allowances, which clearly qualify applicants. The new conditions range from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease to rare diseases that primarily affect children. Read more...

Social Security Opens Access to Data About Disability Hearings, Processes at Data.gov

Commissioner Astrue says it is part of ‘President Obama’s commitment to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government’

Jan. 25, 2010 – What has to be seen as a good step forward in helping Americans find their way more quickly through the approval process to receive disability assistance from Social Security, the agency has made available public Online access  to data about beneficiaries and the agency’s disability and hearing processes. Read more...

Medicare Drug Program News

Chubby Checker Making Senior Citizens Aware It’s Easier to Get Help Paying for Medicare Drugs

The old twister joins Social Security in announcing new “twist” in law making it easier to qualify for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs

Jan. 11, 2010 - The Social Security Administration says there is a “new twist” that makes it easier for senior citizens to qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs, and they have the old twister – Chubby Checker – helping to spread the word. Read more, see video...

Social Security News

Senior Citizens Notified Social Security Check Will Come Week Earlier in 2010 by Mistake

Your check will come on same payment day in 2010 as it has in 2009

Dec. 19, 2009 – Millions of senior citizens and others on Social Security should be receiving a corrected notice from SSA concerning when your payments will be made in 2010. It corrects an earlier notice that told many recipients their check would arrive one week earlier than it will. Read more...

Social Security to Investigate California, Hawaii for Blocking Disability Claims

‘Gov. Schwarzenegger has insisted on furloughing California Disability Determination Service (DDS) employees, despite the fact that we fully fund both their salaries and overhead’

Nov. 20, 2009 - Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today asked the agency’s Inspector General to investigate allegations that the states of California and Hawaii have recently implemented practices that deny applicants the right to receive full consideration of their Social Security disability claims. Read more...

Social Security Announces New Feature on Popular Online Benefits Estimator

Will save a half-million seniors a year from going to office to get benefit information

Nov. 13, 2009 - The highly touted Retirement Estimator at the Social Security Website has just added a new enhancement to serve senior citizens that have signed up for Medicare but have not applied for Social Security. Previously, these “Medicare only” beneficiaries would need to contact a local office in order to obtain an estimate of their Social Security benefits. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

Senior Citizens League Pushes Bill Giving Seniors $415 Increase in Social Security for 2010

House bill proposes a 3% pay hike for seniors – the average COLA increase over last 10 years

Oct. 16, 2009 – Despite strong Congressional support and the backing of President Obama for a $250 payment to senior citizens in 2010 to compensate for the lack of an increase in Social Security, The Senior Citizens League is not giving up on its support for a House bill that would give the average beneficiary an additional $415.20 in Social Security payments, a boost of $34.60 per month in 2010. Read more...

Social Security News

Social Security Makes It Official: No COLA Increase for Seniors in 2010 Due to No Inflation

SSA calls for passage of $250 payment to each senior citizen as recommended by President Obama

Oct. 15, 2009 – Social Security made it official this morning. Over 57 million Americans will  not see an automatic Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) added to their Social Security payments for 2010. More than 36 million of these are senior citizens. The COLA is automatically determined each year to cover inflation, but, since the economic crash back in 2008 inflation has gone flat in the struggling economy. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

President Wants Congress to Give Each Senior Citizen $250 to Offset No Social Security COLA

Obama wants additional $250 Economic Recovery Payment paid to seniors, veterans and people with disabilities

Oct. 15, 2009 - President Obama yesterday announced his support for an additional $250 Economic Recovery Payment to the seniors, veterans and people with disabilities who are struggling to make ends meet with retirement savings that have not fully recovered from their losses over the first year of the recession. Read more...

House Passes Bill to Stop 2010 Increase in Medicare Part B Costs, Helping Seniors Cope

 

Congresswoman Dina Titus, Democrat from Nevada’s Third District, spoke on the House floor on the Medicare Premium Fairness Act, which she introduced.

 

Action stops insurance increase for about 27% of senior citizens, others protected already; Seniors won’t see COLA for 2010

Sept. 25, 2009 – Senior citizens may have a little financial relief on the way in 2010 as they prepare to make ends meet without a cost-of-living increase in their Social Security check. The House of Representatives yesterday overwhelmingly approved a bill that will prevent an increase in the Medicare Part B insurance by making $567 million available to pay the additional cost in 2010. Read more, see video...

Bills Hit Congress to Help Senior Citizens Deal with Lack of Social Security COLA in 2010

Proposal by Democrats Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter DeFazio getting most of the attention

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders talks on the Senate floor in support of his legislation.

 

Sept. 24, 2009 – Although it has been obvious for months that senior citizens were not going to get a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their Social Security checks for 2010, due to the recession and high gasoline prices that hit last year, members of Congress are now jumping on the bandwagon to do something about it. At least four new bills in the House and one in the Senate propose providing some increase in benefits to seniors. Read more, Watch video...

House Gets Bill to Stop Medicare Part B Premium Increase as Seniors Face No COLA in 2010

An increase in the Medicare premiums would effectively reduce Social Security income for seniors

Sept. 24, 2009 – A bill sponsored by Rep. Dina Titus, a Nevada Democrat,  aimed at protecting senior citizens and others with disabilities from increases in their 2010 Medicare Part B premiums was introduced in the House of Representatives today, after receiving a nod from the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees. Read more...

Social Security to Test Use of Microsoft’s HealthVault in Processing Disability Claims

Use of HealthVault expected to result in faster decisions for disability applicants

Aug. 28, 2009 – The Social Security Administration is turning to Microsoft’s HealthVault, a free online service allowing individuals and families to share medical information with healthcare providers, to help speed up and improve its process of evaluating disability claims. Read more...

Social Security to Pay More Than $500 Million in Back Benefits; Stop Unlawful Suspensions

More than 200,000 people eligible for benefits again through court settlement

Aug. 12, 2009 - The Social Security Administration has agreed to repay more than $500 million in benefits that were unlawfully withheld from 80,000 people since January 2007, according to the National Senior Citizens Law Center. Read more...

Social Security Numbers Can Be Predicted from Public Information, Researchers Find

Carnegie Mellow researchers identified all nine digits for 8.5% of those born after 1988 in less than 1,000 attempts

July 10, 2009 – Many senior citizens protect their Social Security number as if it was a matter of life and death. They may be wasting their time, according to new research showing that public information readily gleaned from governmental sources, commercial data bases, or online social networks can be used to routinely predict most — and sometimes all — of an individual's nine-digit Social Security number. Read more...

Senior Citizens May Not Get Social Security COLA for Years Says Kaiser Medicare Brief

No Social Security increase also means higher Medicare Part B fees for many seniors says the analysis

June 29, 2009 – Senior citizens are not expected to receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2010 – for the first time ever. What’s worse, they may not receive an increase for the next three years. And, it keeps getting worse - no COLA means high Medicare Part B premiums for about a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries, according to an analysis by the the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Read more...

Sen. Kohl to Offer Senate Aging Committee as Repository for Social Security Reform Ideas

Chairman will make this announcement at hearing Wednesday on Social Security

June 15, 2009 – The Senate Special Committee on Aging will begin gathering suggestions on reforming Social Security, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), which said the committee chairman will announce his plan at committee hearing on Wednesday. Read more...

Seniors, Boomers Back at Work May Find Gold in Social Security's ‘Claim and Suspend’

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College issues report on how to increase Social Security in future years

June 10, 2009 - Since the beginning of the economic collapse, more aging baby boomers and senior citizens have been reentering the workforce in an attempt to shore up their retirement savings. This uncertainty about a secure retirement increases the value of the consistent income provided by Social Security. One strategy to increase Social Security in future years is called “Claim and Suspend,” but it may not be familiar to many seniors, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Read more...

Senior Citizens Now Receiving $13 Billion in Stimulus Money from Social Security; All Due in May

Seniors who do not receive $250 payments by June 4 should contact Social Security; those in care facilities receiving Medicaid are not included

May 18, 2009 – The $250 stimulus payments for senior citizens receiving Social Security have been arriving in the mail boxes or direct deposited to the bank accounts those living in the U.S. A Social Security spokesperson says all of the $13 billion in economic recovery money targeted for those receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income will be dispensed by the end of May. A notable exception to the plan are those living in care facilities and also receiving Medicaid. Read more...

Bad News: Social Security Going into Red One Year Sooner; Good News: Part of Problem is We Live Longer

Social Security Trustees issue annual report on financial health of trust funds; feeling impact of economic downturn

May 12, 2009 – If there was a surprise in the annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds by the Social Security Board of Trustees, it was that the economic downturn has only moved the date that costs will exceed tax revenues forward by one year. This is now projected to happen in 2016. The good news is that one reason for the shrinking window is that Americans continue to live longer than expected. Read more...

Senior Citizens May Not See COLA Increases for a Few Years; Lower Expenses Can Help

2009 COLA was a real gain for seniors because there are inflation factors working in their favor

By Tucker Sutherland, editor & publisher
SeniorJournal.com

April 1, 2009 - Newspapers have been highlighting information from the Congressional Budget Office that projects seniors will not see increases from cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for the next three years, because of the current economic slump. It is probably true but not necessarily all bad news, since COLA is based on inflation and the projection is based on prices going down, not up. Read more...

Social Security to Begin Sending $13 Billion of Recovery Funds to Senior Citizens in Early May

VP Biden says the $250 will make a big difference for older Americans, those with disabilities

March 27, 2009 – The $13 billion in economic recovery money targeted for those receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income will be dispersed in $250 checks that will begin hitting the mail in early May and continue through the month, according to an announcement yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden and Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue. Veterans Affairs  and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries will get similar checks. Read more...

Social Security Still Says Your $250 Economic Recovery Check Should be There in May

Plans still formulating on how to quickly issue 55 million checks, mostly to senior citizens

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

March 24, 2009 – Your $250 check – and the ones for about 55 million other Americans receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement or Veterans benefits – is not in the mail but the Social Security Administration still says you should have it by the end of May. This is money made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Read more...

Payments Soon to Hit Mail Bringing $250 to 55 Million Social Security, SSI Beneficiaries

You should expect to receive your payment no later than the first week of June 2009

March 10, 2009 - Nearly 55 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a one-time payment of $250 each as part of the economic stimulus program. Social Security plans to pay all eligible Social Security and SSI beneficiaries by late May 2009. Read more...

Columnist Froma Harrop Says GOP Badly Mistaken About Social Security

Almost like on cue, Republicans are calling the retirement program a ponzi scheme

Feb. 13, 2009 - Reminded what a ponzi scheme is by the Bernie Madoff investment scandal, Republicans – the people who tried to convince senior citizens that private investment accounts were needed in the program - have been using the term to attack Social Security. Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop thinks they are way off base...

“Social Security is about the only thing around here that doesn't need fixin'. The Congressional Budget Office says it can pay all scheduled benefits into 2049. Sure, you want every entitlement to be funded into the next millennium, but 40 years of solvency sounds pretty darn good these days.

>> Read the Column at MySanAntonio.com

Social Security Ready to Enroll 10,000 Baby Boomers a Day for 20 Years Online

Patty Duke Show stars helping agency promote new online enrollment form

Jan. 7, 2009 – Facing the deluge of 10,000 Baby Boomers joining Social Security and Medicare every day for the next 20 years, Social Security has decided the monumental enrollment task is best handled online. The agency, with some promotion help by “Patty Duke,” has launched the Retire Online campaign. Read more...

Social Security to Give Senior Citizens Largest Cost-of-Living Increase Since 1982 – 5.8%

COLA will begin with benefits that over 50 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2009

Oct. 16, 2008 – It is now official – senior citizens will get their largest pay increase from Social Security since 1982. The cost-of-living increase (COLA) will be an increase of 5.8 percent starting in January of 2009, the Social Security Administration announced today. Read more...

Social Security Only Consistent Income for Seniors with Retirement Accounts Threatened

Obama, McCain battle over private investment accounts. Administration's failed economic policies have threaten seniors' income security, says Committee to Preserve Social Security, Medicare

Sept. 23, 2008 – With leaders in Washington focusing on a rapid solution to the worst financial crisis since the depression, one advocacy group, worried about retirement accounts and any threats to Social Security, has issued a reminder to those shaping the rescue that “Social Security provides the only consistent source of income for American retirees and their families.” Read more...

Medicare News

Senate Bill Would End Practice of Placing Social Security Numbers on Medicare Cards

Durbin, Bingaman, Kohl introduce bill to protect Medicare card holders from identity theft

Sept. 17, 2008 – Congress may demand the government removed Social Security numbers from Medicare identification cards and communications to beneficiaries as part of the battle against identity theft. Three Democrats introduced a bill in the Senate today to mandate these changes, which have been recommended by the Social Security Administration but ignored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Read more...

Social Security News

Social Security COLA for 2009 Still Heading Toward Six Percent Increase with New Data

Bureau of Labor Statistics says critical consumer price index jumped 5.9% in August

Sept. 16, 2008 – The consumer price index that is used to determine the cost-of-living adjustment senior citizens will receive from Social Security in 2009 was released today and the change for August 2008 over August 2009 is still looking like the COLA will be an increase in the range of 6 percent, the largest since 1982. The change for August is 5.9 percent. Read more...

Largest Social Security COLA Increase in Over 25 Years May Greet Senior Citizens in 2009

Current trends indicate it will be over 6% and largest cost-of-living adjustment since 1982; announcement due next month

Sept. 15, 2008 – Senior citizens may be headed for their largest pay increase – or cost of living adjustment – in more than 25 years, following this year’s Social Security COLA of only 2.3 percent. Projections are now being made that the increase for 2009 will almost certainly exceed six percent. Read more...

Roll-Out of Direct Express Debit Card for Social Security Recipients Reaches West Coast

In September, nearly two million federal benefit recipients in 12 states will receive information about new check alternative  

Sept. 4, 2008 - The check is in the mail – your Social Security check, that is. But for nearly two million recipients in a dozen Western states it may be about their last to be delivered by the postal service. Since June, the U.S. Treasury has been rolling out the Direct Express Debit MasterCard card as a new way for senior citizens  and other recipients to receive their benefits. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Effort Grows to Protect Seniors by Removing Social Security Number from Medicare Card

Social Security frustrated with refusal to change by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

June 27, 2008 - Social Security says don’t carry your card on you, someone could get the number and use it to steal your identity. Medicare tells senior citizen to always carry their Medicare card, even though it has their Social Security number prominently displayed. Social Security has been trying to get Medicare to come up with a new card and identification system and, finally, they are getting some help in this effort to protect older Americans from identification theft. Read more...

Social Security News

Social Security Financial Status Looks Better in Trustees Annual Report

Trust Funds exhausted in 2041 - the same as last year’s estimate

March 26, 2008 – The 2008 report by the Social Security Board of Trustees shows improvement in the projected long-term financial status of the Social Security program from last year - particularly in the later years of the long-range projection period. This improvement is principally the result of methodological changes for projecting certain aspects of immigration, says a news release from Social Security. Read more...

Economic Stimulus Payments Not Counted as Income for SSI or Part D Help

A person whose sole source of income is SSI is not eligible to receive a stimulus payment

By ElderLawAnswers.com

March 24, 2008 - The special economic stimulus payments authorized by Congress in February will not affect the benefits of persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps, the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy or other federal benefits. Read more...links to more on econimic stimulus

How Much Will You Get in Economic Stimulus Check – Use IRS Calculator

Are you eligible to receive a payment and how much can you expect

March 19, 2008 – The IRS has introduced an Online calculator to help you determine what how much you may receive – if any - as an economic stimulus payment from the government trying to fight a sinking economy by flooding the consumer market with cash. Read more...

Economic Stimulus Payment Mailer Targets Social Security, Veteran Benefits Recipients

This mailing especially targets senior citizens and others that may not have filed a 2006 return

March 18, 2008 – The Internal Revenue Service is in the process of mailing special information packages to 20.5 million recipients of Social Security or Veterans Affairs benefits – primarily senior citizens - to help them get their 2008 economic stimulus payment. Many of these probably did not file a return for 2006 but must file for 2007 to receive the stimulus payment. Read more...

IRS Releases Schedule for Economic Stimulus Payments, Fastest is Direct Deposit

Payments to go out weekly starting May 2 based on Social Security number

March 18, 2008 - The Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that it will begin sending more than 130 million economic stimulus payments on May 2 and that the fastest way to receive the payment is with electronic filing and direct deposit. Read more...

Older Senior Citizens Should Consider Withdrawing from Social Security and Reapplying for Higher Benefit

“Incredibly, a recipient can ‘undo’ his decision to take Social Security retirement benefits early simply by paying back - without any interest or inflation adjustment - the benefits he's received. He can then re-apply for Social Security and claim the bigger monthly checks paid to those who wait until an older age to claim benefits.” Laurence Kotlikoff, a Boston University professor. Read more below

A way to buy an inflation-adjusted annuity for a price that beats anything offered by the financial industry – says financial expert

By Tucker Sutherland, editor & publisher, SeniorJournal.com

Feb. 26, 2008 – A seldom noticed provision in Social Security allows senior citizens, who began taking their benefits early, to pay the money back and reapply at their current age and get a much higher income for life. Many experts who have looked at the idea think is is great.

We first noticed it in a column by Scott Burns, the syndicated business writer at the Dallas Morning News. The headline on the Burns column was “Reapplying for Social Security may be a good idea.” Read more...

Proposed 2009 COLA Will Keep Five Million Seniors Below Poverty Says Senior League

2.8% increase will raise average benefit just $30.20 per month

Feb. 14, 2008 - Late last month, the Congressional Budget Office published a little-noticed estimate that forecasts seniors will receive just a 2.8 percent increase in their Social Security checks beginning in January, 2009, according to The Senior Citizens League. Despite the increase, the League says, at least five million people aged 65 and over will remain in poverty, since senior costs are rising significantly faster than the annual Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Read more...

Private Investment Accounts, Progressive Indexing Proposals Explained by Budget Writers

In 2013 workers will be allowed to use up to 4% of their Social Security taxable earnings; indexing allows poorest to get more

Feb. 4, 2008 – To the shock of many, President Bush again called for private investment accounts for the Social Security program in his 2009 budget. Below is the rationale for the proposal as explained in the budget. And, also an explanation of “progressive indexing” proposed as part of a solution to restore Social Security to sustainable solvency. Read more...

Bush Budget Again Includes Private Investment Accounts in Social Security

Almost $700 billion budget provides $504 million for new efforts to ensure correct benefits are paid to eligible people

 

Links to more on Social Security Budget for 2009

 
 

President's Statement  

Justification of Estimates

Fact Card

Budget Appendix 

 

Feb. 4, 2008 – The Social Security budget will grow by $36.4 billion to $694,804 billion if the budget submitted today by President George W. Bush is approved. But, it is not likely to find support in the Congress as presented, since the President is again making a run at gaining approval for private investment accounts. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

Senior Citizen Entitlement Programs Take $208 Billion Hit in Bush Budget

President lays out $3.1 trillion budget and again says Congress must solve financial future of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security

Feb. 4, 2008 - Entitlement programs – short for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – will see spending cuts of $208 billion over the next five years, if the budget proposed today by President George W. Bush is approved. The cuts in these programs that primarily affect senior citizens are even larger than earlier estimates. The President, today, repeatedly laid the problem at the feet of Congress, as he did in the State of the Union address. Read more...

Some Seniors May Soon Get Their Social Security Benefits in Prepaid Debit Card

Treasury to introduce Direct Express cards for those without bank accounts

Jan. 7, 2008 – Senior citizens who do not have bank accounts may soon be getting their Social Security payment with a prepaid debit card. The Department of Treasury says the new Direct Express cards will provide a safer and more convenient alternative to paper checks. Read more...

A Simple Fix for Social Security Problems Proposed by Think Tank Scholar

Most know benefits increase with inflation but not that first year pay is determined by wages, which suggests the solution

Nov. 9, 2007 – Everyone thinks Social Security benefits are increasing by 2.3 percent next year – the recent rate of inflation – but that is only partially true. It’s true for senior citizens already in the program but the new class joining Social Security 2008 will be getting 4.6 percent more than the incoming class of 2007. That’s based on the percentage increase in the Average Wage Index. Here lies the “Simple Fix for Social Security,” according to Alan D. Viard, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Read more...

California Fires Delay Thousands of Social Security Checks to Senior Citizens

Treasury’s Go Direct campaign says all should switch to direct deposit

Oct. 25, 2007 – The California fires have already disrupted delivery of some 8,700 Social Security checks to Southern California residents and the Department of the Treasury is using this calamity to urge senior citizens drawing Social Security to switch to direct deposit. Read more...

Senior Citizen Advocates Think Social Security Increase Not Much Help with Medicare Increases

Senior Citizen League says Medicare premiums going up five times faster that COLA

Oct. 17, 2007 – Most news reports emphasized the smallness of the Social Security COLA for 2008 – a monthly increase of 2.4 percent – while most advocacy groups were bemoaning the small increases in Social Security income matched against the growing costs of Medicare for senior citizens. Read more...

Social Security Announces $24 Monthly Benefit Increase for Average Senior Citizen in 2008

Rate increase of 2.3% is smallest since 2004, follows Medicare Part B 3.1% premium increase

Oct. 17, 2007 – The cost of living adjustment for Social Security – commonly called “COLA” – will go up only 2.3 percent in 2008, the smallest increase since 1904, which adds just $24 to the average retired senior citizen’s wallet. It is, however, even less than that after seniors pay for the increases in Medicare fees and deductibles for 2008. The COLA announcement was made today by the Social Security Administration. Read more...

First Baby Boomer Files for Social Security Benefits to Start the Silver Tsunami

New Jersey woman was born a second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946

Oct. 15, 2007 – Maybe you didn’t feel the earth shake, or see the water rising, but for sure what is being called America’s “Silver Tsunami” has started. Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, born one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946, today became the first Baby Boomer to file for Social Security retirement benefits, which she can begin collecting in January 2008. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

Senior Citizens Get About Half of Federal Budget in 2005: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Per capita spending highest in Alaska, Virginia, Maryland, New Mexico, North Dakota

Oct. 9, 2007 - Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, programs primarily serving senior citizens, accounted for more than $1 trillion of the $2.3 trillion the federal government spent in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which publishes the only consolidated source of data on the geographic distribution of federal expenditures. Read more...

Treasury Briefs Seek to Find Common Ground for Launch of Social Security Reform

Basic problem is that benefits promised senior citizens are $13.6 trillion above revenue projection

Sept. 25, 2007 – Social Security has a basic problem, says a new report from the Department of the Treasury - benefits promised to senior citizens have a present value that is $13.6 trillion greater than the present value of the revenues that the system is projected to receive. Most everyone has known that the program is facing financial difficulty but nothing is being done to fix it. The Treasury has issued the first of a series of briefs aimed at finding common ground for lawmakers to launch the needed reform. Read more...

Senators Say Banks Illegally Garnishing Funds of Senior Citizens, Veterans

Top senators ask Social Security to investigate growing abuse

Aug. 10, 2007 – Two Senate committee chairs and a member of the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging has asked the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration to investigate the increasing violation of laws pertaining to collecting debt from senior citizens, veterans and the disabled. Read more...

Immigration Bill to Pay $966 Billion in Social Security to Illegal Workers, Senior League Claims

TREA Senior Citizens League to testify today before House subcommittee on immigration

June 19, 2007 - The immigration bill being debated by the Senate would allow over two million illegal workers who received Social Security numbers prior to 2004 to receive more than $966 billion in Social Security benefits by 2040, according to the TREA Senior Citizens League. Read more...

Social Security Disability Reform Bill Waives Waiting Period for Terminally Ill

Joseph H. Seall Act named for vet who died before first check came

June 15, 2007 – A bill was introduced in the House last Thursday to provide a waiver of the five-month waiting period for Social Security disability benefits for terminally ill individuals.  The legislation is named for Joseph H. Seall of Summit, Mississippi, a veteran who qualified for Social Security disability benefits, but who, due to the five-month waiting period, did not receive his first check until the day after he died. Read more...

Before Choosing Social Security's Early Retirement Consider the Consequences

Expert explores implications for married couples

May 23, 2007 - According to the Social Security Administration, of the total aggregate income received by retired Americans, Social Security benefits provide the lion's share: 42.5 percent. Because of the importance of this income source in retirement, making educated choices regarding the benefit is critical; yet, many fail to fully analyze these choices. Read more...

Keep Social Security Checks Coming During Hurricanes with Direct Deposit

Switch to direct deposit may eliminate a stolen check, assure safety of personal information

May 14, 2007 – Keep your Social Security checks coming by having the government deposit them directly into your bank account. The Department of the Treasury says this may be especially helpful for those living along the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboard as hurricane season approaches. Read more...

Social Security Trustees Note Slight Improvement in Program’s Status

The long-term financing challenges are still there

April 24, 2007 - The annual report by the Social Security Board of Trustees was released yesterday and, much like the report from the Medicare trustees, it shows a slight improvement in the financial status of the program from last year. Read more...

Medicare Advocacy Center Says Check Social Security 1099 Carefully

Problems in 2006 prompt warning from advocacy group

March 21, 2007 - Medicare beneficiaries with Social Security income have been receiving their Social Security 1099 forms, which report income received in 2006 and deductions taken from that income, including Medicare premiums. The Medicare Advocacy Center says senior citizens should check them carefully, based on bad experiences in 2006. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

Strengthening Social Security Rated as Very Important in Harris Poll

Majority support health care proposals by Democrats in AP Poll

January 3, 2007 - As the new Congress is sworn in tomorrow, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat leadership will find that saving Social Security is still very important to the American public, with almost nine in 10 U.S. adults (88%) saying they would support reform to ensure that the Social Security fund has enough money to provide benefits for all Americans for the next fifty years. The question was much broader than one that would measure support for specific reforms, like the private investment accounts promoted by President Bush but spurned by Congress and the voters. Read more...

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