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From the category archives: Social Security

Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Will End Social Security Discrimination for Families Nationwide

Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling touches the lives of millions of Americans and their families in many ways.  It ends the discriminatory patchwork of laws that has given some same-sex partners legal rights that were denied to their neighbors in other states.  It will also impact access to federal benefits like Social Security.  For those Americans who rely on Social Security for retirement, disability, spousal and survivor benefits this ruling finally clears the way for the universal and fair distribution of benefits to all who have earned them.

The basic tenet of Social Security is that if you contribute to the system throughout your working life, you and your family will receive those earned benefits in retirement, death or disability. Unfortunately for many same-sex couples and their families that important principle has been ignored as some states refused to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.  Today’s Supreme Court decision finally rights that wrong and clears the way for same-sex couples to access the hard-earned spousal and survivor benefits they’ve paid for just like every other American.

The National Committee has led the way in the fight to end this denial of Social Security benefits to deserving spouses. We’re proud of the role we have played with the Social Security Administration and others as part of our “Know Your Rights” project in helping same-sex couples exercise their legal right to benefits as their marriages were recognized in various states.  We now urge the Social Security Administration to move quickly to ensure all Americans nationwide can access the spousal benefits they have earned.”...Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO



Standing Strong for Social Security & Medicare

The fight to defend and strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has seemed relentless in recent years as the programs have been under almost constant assault by the billion dollar anti-"entitlement" lobby and their supporters in Congress.  For staff here at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare it's been a challenging yet rewarding year as we have won many important battles in Washington to stop the shredding of America's social safety.  But it's not over yet.  

Here is our 2014-15 Annual Report for look back at a very important year in the fight to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 

Everything Old is New Again-The Bush Bros and Social Security

GOP Priorities for Social Security are Clear

Congress is proposing a freeze on funding for the already strapped Social Security Administration at last year’s levels.  The SSA administrative budget has already fallen by over 10 percent since 2010 after adjusting for inflation.  The GOP’s 2016 SSA Appropriation ignores inflation and the fact that ten thousand Americans are turning 65 each day.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities details what these budget cuts mean for a program that touches the lives of virtually every American family: 

Since 2010, SSA has lost over 6,000 employees, nearly 10 percent of its staff. As a result, SSA's service is suffering:  

  • Reduced field office hours.
  • Increased wait times for appointments. 
  • Longer hold times. 
  • Cutbacks in Social Security Statements. 
  • Backlogged Disability Insurance claims.
  • Delays in processing earnings reports.

Logically, you’re probably wondering how is an agency serving a growing number of Americans (and it’s not like the baby boomer generation is a surprise) be expected to do its job with no resources?   The answer lies in the long-held “starve the beast” and “drown-the-government” conservative strategy still being practiced, decades later, by GOP leaders in Congress.

“I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”  Grover Norquist

Social Security is well-managed with small administrative costs.  However, underfunding popular programs that conservatives can’t outright abolish or dismantle (if they hope to keep their seats in Congress, anyway) continues to be used as a political strategy to weaken Social Security.  This underfunding has now been going on long enough that Social Security services provided to average Americans have been cut to the bone.

Who ultimately pays the price for this political strategy?  Average American families who have contributed their entire working lives to Social Security and have a reasonable expectation that the SSA would be funded by Congress to successfully fulfill its mission...as it has done for 80 years. 

Social Security's 80th Anniversary Celebration

The Social Security Administration has created a new website counting down to Social Security’s 80th anniversary this summer. 

Under the tag: “Celebrating the Past and Building the Future” SSA provides beneficiaries and the SSA staffers who serve them, the opportunity to tell their stories. 

According to SSA’s news release:

"The agency also has planned several additional events, such as celebrating “America’s Favorites: Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & SSA” Night that will include a ball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland A’s and at other games around the country.  Stay tuned to the 80th Anniversary website for information on exciting upcoming events as they are planned!

'As I reflect on our agency’s rich history, I am deeply honored to be a part of such a great organization with employees who truly embody the spirit of passionate public service,' Acting Commissioner Colvin said.  'There is nothing more rewarding than making a difference in the lives of others, and with our collective commitment, there is no limit to what we can achieve.  Happy 80th Anniversary, Social Security!'

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