More than 5 million Social Security recipients with the lowest benefits are unlikely to see any net growth in their monthly checks after deduction of the Medicare Part B premium in 2019, according to a new analysis released by The Senior Citizens League. This will occur despite their receiving the highest cost-of-living adjustment in seven years. Those affected have a gross Social Security benefit of about 5 per month or less before deduction of the Part B premium. According to the analysis, the dollar amount of their Part B premium increase will be more than the dollar amount of their COLA. "This would make the fourth year in a row that this particular group has not seen a boost in their net Social Security benefits after the deduction for Medicare Part B premiums," says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the League.\.According to economist John Haldi, Ph.D., who performed a comprehensive analysis of the Notch in 2003, "The result of their formula should have been re-examined years ago to see if it achieved a basic level of fairness, but all prior reviews seem to have been designed to minimize and dismiss the problem, rather than recognize and remedy it. The factors that led to the Notch need to be reviewed again.".To learn more about the programs contact your local Medicaid office or call and ask about programs, that help pay for your Medicare premiums..This week, The Senior Citizens League released its annual "Loss of Buying Power" study, which found that Social Security benefits have lost 34 percent of their purchasing power since 2000. In addition, lawmakers in the House and Senate left Washington for the holiday recess..Prohibiting DI and Unemployment Insurance "double-dipping." No laws currently exist to prevent individuals from receiving both disability and unemployment benefits at the same time, even though eligibility rules for the two programs are mutually exclusive. Prohibiting "double-dipping" is a sensible step forward that would save nearly billion over 10 years..Indeed, the Social Security Administration does not "promise" a specific amount of benefits, but they do not promise to replace a specific percentage of pre-retirement earnings either. Both benefit amounts and "replacement rates" can change at any time if Congress and the Social Security Administration deem it necessary. Prior to the 1977 changes, the replacement rate was not a stable percentage. For people who retired under the 1972-73 flawed formula, replacement rates grew from 39% to a high of 54%. The new benefit formula led to a lower, more stable replacement rate of about 43%, as well as lower benefits..TSCL polls indicate that a wide majority of older Americans are opposed to this policy. TSCL strongly supports legislation that would ban the use of earnings under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers from being used to determine benefits..Their platform's Social Security plan closes by saying, "Our plan contrasts starkly with Donald Trump. He has referred to Social Security as a 'Ponzi scheme' and has called for privatizing it as well as increasing the retirement age.".Do you see piles of mail and unopened bills? Your friend's mail may be a clue to how well she is managing her finances. Do you see unopened bills that have post- marks older than 30 days? Have you spotted letters from banks, creditors or insurers referring to overdrawn balances and missing payments?

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Alexandria, VMore than 90 percent of older Americans are likely to be making a secret Christmas wish for the New Year, says The Senior Citizens League. "That's to make ends meet," says TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. A national survey conducted by TSCL earlier this year found that 98 percent of Social Security recipients participating reported the annual cost-of-living adjustment had increased their Social Security benefits by less than a month in 2014, but 92 percent said their monthly expenses had increased by more than "That disparity between COLAs and rising costs is the 'Grinch that's stealing Christmas' for millions of older Americans this year," Cates says..Totalization agreements allow workers who divide their careers between two countries to combine earnings credits under both systems in order to qualify for benefits. The U.S. currently has 24 such agreements, most with nations having economies similar to our own. What makes the agreement with Mexico so controversial are the millions of Mexicans working in this country without legal authorization..If adopted, it would cut .9 trillion from the deficit over the next ten years by implementing a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, around 5 billion of which would come from the health sector. Several proposed changes to the Medicare program are included in the package, including one important measure that would allow the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices for high-cost drugs on behalf of Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Doing so would save billions of dollars each year. … Continued

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Note any other relevant information and then hang up..Under current law, Social Security beneficiaries whose total income exceeds specific thresholds are required to claim a portion of their Social Security benefits as taxable income. Depending on income, as much as 50% to 85% of Social Security benefits could be taxable. A bulletin from the Social Security Administration estimates that the median share of benefits owed as tax for most retirees would be far less than that, however, remaining close to 12% over the period 2020 to 2050..It's always heartbreaking to hear firsthand about how fraudsters and scammers have gone after your hard-earned savings. No senior should ever have to worry that picking up the phone could mean being scammed out of thousands of dollars. … Continued

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