Wednesday, December 11, 2013

AARP: Don’t Bargain Away Medicare and Social Security Benefits


As part of the budget negotiation, the federal government is currently eyeing on reducing or even totally cutting Social Security and Medicare in an aim to reduce the federal budget deficit. Naturally, many Americans would oppose such proposal.

Recipients and advocates of Social Security and Medicare argue that a cut to both federal benefit programs will not only hurt individuals but businesses and economy as well. Thus, a separate debate about how to strengthen these programs is indeed necessary.

Therefore, in an effort to secure the future of Social Security and Medicare, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for the last two years has been working hard to run a national campaign called ‘You’ve Earned a Say’.

The program aims to engage people into a conversation about the future of Medicare and Social Security. Whatever the reasons are, for older Americans, it is not reasonable to cut the programs. Thus, in a message that they want to convey to the President and the Congress, the seniors say, “Don’t bargain away my Medicare and Social Security benefits.”

Several advocates and recipients of the federal programs can’t help but to voice out their concerns regarding the proposed cut on benefits. While some are concerned about the long and hard earned efforts of the members to secure their future in their golden age, others are worried about the future of their children and grandchildren if the future can’t guarantee strengthened federal programs.

Once again, the AARP renews its call on the president and Congress to exclude Social Security and Medicare on any budget deal. Also, the organization pledged that it will continue to battle against any possible harmful cuts to the federal benefits and other factors that could likely affect the Social Security cost-of-living allowance such as the chained CPI to name one.

So far, the current administration is considering either a reduction in federal benefits or an increased payment to address the growing problem. However, such solutions aren’t deemed as a responsible one, particularly for Los Angeles, where consumer prices are at their peak. “What people can probably say a solid solution is perhaps a lowered health care cost and consumer prices. Also,cracking down frauds and inefficiency will definitely do a great job,”  said the long term disability lawyer.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Social Security Closing Schedule for Thanksgiving Weekend


Tomorrow, all social security offices will be closed to public to give employees time off their on Thanksgiving Day as a sign of gratitude for their hard work this year.

Based on the 2013 Holiday Closing Schedules released by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in its official web page, all of its offices will be closed by November 28 in line with the celebration of nationwide feast, the Thanksgiving Day.

In addition, the agency also announced that the day after the Thanksgiving, although employees are required to report back to their job, all offices will still be closed to public so that employees may focus on working in backlog reduction.

Over the years, the said federal agency has been striving hard to reduce the huge backlogs of disability benefit claims. Thus, roughly 20 percent reduction of backlogs this year alone is already considered a milestone achieved for them.

Nevertheless, although the current administration is proud of the federal agency’s significant progress in reducing backlogs, the agency is highly committed in constantly pushing efforts to diminish the backlogs.  

Moving on, after Thanksgiving weekend, all social security offices will resume to its usual business hours.

Fortunately, thanks to digital technology, even if social security offices are closed, many of the agency’s services will still be available online. For applicants, you can apply for retirement, Medicare and disability benefits online. You can also sign up for a direct deposit account, replace Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter and change personal information such as address and telephone number via www.socialsecurity.gov or just by dialing the agency’s toll free number, 1-800-772-1213.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Obama Pays Tribute to War Survivors on Veterans Day

As the entire country commemorates the people who have served in armed service on Veterans Day, U.S. President Barack Obama likewise paid tribute to their patriotism by honoring them in a speech.

After offering wreaths at the tomb of the veterans who have given their lives defending the country, Obama addressed his remarks to the surviving veterans who were present at the event held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to celebrate Veterans Day.

“This is the life of one American veteran — living proud and strong in the land he helped keep free,” said the commander the chief, Pres. Obama.

“We will never forget those who fought, bled and died for their country, even as the nation moves past wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama added.

Obama also guaranteed the veterans that he will keep going just to make sure that his administration is providing unprecedented support to the heroes of the nation. In fact, he proudly announced that his current administration has already reduced the backlogs of disability benefit claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs by a third since March

Furthermore, Obama assured young veterans that even though the time of war is coming soon to an end, the administration’s time of service will still resume.

Unfortunately, a veteran’s service on the war zone was not always equaled by the respect that he deserves at home.

While Obama was giving a standing ovation to the veterans, the latter acknowledge his tribute and were pretty overjoyed about his remarks.

In Los Angeles, wherein obtaining and facilitating the release of a disability claim is never easy, a social security disability firm suggests that it is a wise move to have someone to provide them with legal assistance, and represent them in various review hearings and appeals regarding their disability benefit claim to obtain much needed advantages in winning disability claim.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Labor Federation Warns Democrats on Social Security Before Budget Talk Begins

Just before the budget talk starts, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) - CIO, sends an important message for Democrats who will consider cutting Social Security or Medicare during the meeting.

In a brief statement, the federation’s President, Richard Trumka, said, “We will never stop working to end your career if you (democrats) slash entitlements.”

“No politician, I don’t care the political party, will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don’t try it,” Trumka further said in his prepared note, according to a media source.

“The warning goes double for the democrats,” added Trumka.

The warning came in line after news about the upcoming budget talks have surfaced.

Apparently, the labor federation considers the so-called “chained CPI” to be off limits. In fact, the same was already confirmed by its spokesperson during an interview. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a social security disability firm likewise believes that the chained CPI is better than totally terminating the federal programs.

So far, the chained CPI is considered by President Barack Obama as an alternate measure of inflation. For him, this would slow down the growth of Social Security spending thus he included it in his recent budget blueprint.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

End of Government Shutdown Means a Start of the Annual Social Security Increase Talk

Just early this week, social security recipients were already fretting about whether the government shutdown could delay their annual social security benefit increase for next year.

Now that the government shutdown is over, social security recipients can now expect the federal government to start talking about the annual social security increase.

Unfortunately, recent news reports have it that the recipients’ much-awaited social security cost-of-living allowance (COLA) increase for 2014 is expected to be small. In fact, it could be one of the lowest in the past decades.

According to expert analysts, the preliminary figures suggest a benefit increase of approximately 1.5 percent. Incidentally, the said raise will be among the smallest since automatic annual increases were adopted in 1975.

It could be remembered that COLA was adopted decades ago for the purpose of keeping up the recipients’ income with the rising consumer prices.

Probably, this is because as you will notice, consumer prices as monitored by the federal government, haven’t gone up much this year and the previous year, speculated by a Los Angeles disability lawyer.

Subsequently, following the rumors on next year’s increase would only be a little bump in the recipients’ check, many of them were sympathetic while others simply dismissed the recent news believing that the federal agency still imposes a good system.

So far, the exact size of the cost-of-living allowance is still unknown while the Labor Department is not yet releasing the inflation report for September, which is usually released at around the second week of October. However, the report was delayed due to the recent government shutdown that lasted for a couple of weeks.

Also, as it is, COLA is being announced in October to give the federal benefit programs ample time to adjust payments for January. Therefore, there is no reason for the agency to delay the raise since it is still mid-October.

Based on statistics, roughly 58 million Americans rely on social security benefits. Generally, the average monthly payment is $1,162.00. Thus, a 1.5 percent increase would raise the usual payment by almost $17.00.