Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
From Wider Opportunities for Women, our national partner
In February President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Among other initiatives, it provided a one-time payment of $250 to elders, disabled persons, and other beneficiaries of Social Security and SSI. The payment was intended to provide additional income to those struggling to make ends meet, and to stimulate the economy through spending on consumer goods. This one-time payment reflected an important step forward in helping low-income elders close the income gap. As shown by the Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index), every dollar matters for individuals or families who must choose between food, home utilities, prescription medication or other services or goods.
The one-time payment amounts to more than the typical older American's monthly health care expenses, as measured by the national Elder Index, and is almost equal to one month's worth of food costs. The payment is equivalent to nearly 10% of an elder's minimum annual food costs and nearly 9% of an elder's basic annual health care expenses, as measured by the national Elder Index.
The Social Security Administration announced that there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment in 2010. Members of Congress have responded by introducing new legislation, the Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act, that will extend the $250 one-time payment for 2010. President Obama recently announced his support for the extension.
To track this important bill, please click here.