Monday, November 8, 2010

Advocate for the $250 One-Time Emergency Payment for Seniors

In October, the federal government announced that Social Security beneficiaries will once again forgo a cost-of-living (COLA) increase in their Social Security checks in the upcoming year. When a similar decision was made last year, the government also made a one-time payment of $250 to seniors to mitigate the effect of the lost COLA. Similar legislation in the House (the Seniors Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 5987)) would again allow for a one-time payment, which would help seniors pay their bills and stimulate the economy at the same time.

Elders cannot survive on what they receive in Social Security payments alone, yet for many, Social Security is the only money they have access to.  In Pennsylvania, Social Security is the only income available to one in nine retired elderly couples and one in four single retired elders.  The average Social Security payment for a retired couple in Pennsylvania in 2007 was $21,168, less than 80 percent of what the average couple needs to make ends meet. Women are hit particularly hard by the shortfall of Social Security. Single women who rent find themselves falling short of making ends meet by between $3,000 and $11,500. 

Wider Opportunities for Women has created an e-newsletter focusing on the need for a one-time payment to Social Security beneficiaries.  Please take a moment to read it, and then ask your legislators to support the Seniors Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 5987) today.

Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IdaMayFuller.jpg

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