Illinois residents struggling to receive their Social Security benefits will have a tougher time of it if Congress follows through on a proposed laundry list of government budget cuts. Bob Gallo, the Illinois State Director for the AARP recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in which he advised Congress to leave cuts to the Social Security program out of its plans to reduce the federal deficit. He notes that changes to the Social Security Act would negatively impact millions of Americans and argues any proposed reductions are not an adequate solution to whittling down the economic deficit.
Gallo argues that Social Security is not contributing to the country’s deficit, pointing out that Social Security is not financed by government funds, but rather through employer and employee contributions. He argues that the largest threat to the current Social Security program is the changes that Congress is proposing, changes that would affect millions of Americans who have contributed throughout their work years to Social Security accounts and now seek to reap the rewards of those promised benefits. At a time when seniors are already suffering from the impact of the economic downturn, further cuts would be devastating for people surviving on fixed payments alone.
Gallo notes that those that have earned the right to collect Social Security should not be deprived of benefits for which they have spent their entire lives working. Rather than making changes to the Social Security Act, “cutting waste” and “closing tax loopholes” were suggested as far preferable measures to pursue. It remains to be seen whether the viewpoints expressed will be heard by politicians jockeying for position in the coming presidential election year.
Seniors are understandably more concerned about the continued receipt of benefits upon which many rely to survive. And those encountering the need to file for retirement benefits or Social Security Disability benefits are worried if the funds will be there for them to collect. Those facing the need to file would do well to consult an Illinois attorney experienced in handling SSI and SSDI claims. The lawyer can navigate through the maze of governmental laws and regulations to ensure necessary benefits are awarded with full coverage maintained.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Cut waste, not Social Security,” Bob Gallo, Sept. 26, 2011