November 10, 2015

Social Security lifted 21 million people out of poverty last year

Center on Budget & Policy Priorities - Social Security lifted 21 million people out of poverty last year, our new analysis of Census data finds.  social-security-poverty-11.9.15.png

Without Social Security benefits, 41 percent of elderly Americans would have incomes below the official poverty line, all else being equal.  With Social Security, only 10 percent do. 

Social Security is also important for non-elderly adults and children. It lifted more than 1 million children from poverty in 2014. Some of these children receive benefits because a parent died, became disabled, or retired; others live with relatives who receive Social Security. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It could happen to anybody...

I thought I was sort of middle-class growing up. OK, maybe at the lower-end of the spectrum, but nobody had lots of money it seemed, and because my folks had their sights set on me going to college, I worked vacations, weekends, and vacations while in high school and college. Actually, I had a short stint in the military during my college years and got the GI Bill to help pay for college.

With an older sister living 1500 miles away, a brother not really in the 'work-force', and an ill father, I made plans to get jobs in my local area. I even worked two jobs for a few years, to help bolster the savings account.

Mother had a stroke, and suffered left-side paralysis. She was able to drive the car for a couple years, but I moved back home. I still worked, and did things like shopping, mowing the lawn, shoveling of snow, dishes, washing her hair, and trimming her toenails.

When things got bad for mother, I quit work. She was one of those people who would not have enjoyed a nursing home at all – it would have killed her, literally. It was only about a year when she passed away. And so, when I was about 53 years old, I found myself thinking about going back to work, and almost became a cud-chewing, tobacco-spitting red-neck when I applied for a job, because the job was given to a man from India who was just off-the-boat. Well, he was more educated... but I had some education plus job experience.

Actually I didn't know it but I was suffering from the long, insidious, onset of Diabetes. Long story... short, I didn't feel well. Lots of sleeping in fact. Thought I was going to die actually, but I had no idea what might be wrong with me.

And so. Things eventually sorted out. I am well, and healthier than I've been for a long, long time.

But financially, not so well.

A couple of contractors tapped my savings quite hard. One, a plumber, came back three times; and each time the bill got bigger and bigger. Total about $17,000. The uncomfortable part was that as troubles occurred, my sugar went up accordingly, and the 'mind-fog' made things harder.

Now I'm on Social Security, with an additional bit coming in from an Annuity. No separate Pension. Luckily I have a house to live in, or I would be in Big trouble. Things like Real Estate tax seemed to stay so darn high, even while my property value seemed to tank. The House Ins. and Auto Ins. bills come around way too often it seems. Luckily, or un-luckily, I drive a car that rates an 'antique' status, and I can now get a better Auto Ins rate.

Sorry to rant, but I love to so. I consider myself to be better off than many people, but things are oh-so-precarious. Nobody can convince me that we have “No Inflation”. I argue with the City about the increase in water/sewer bill. I have had an ongoing spat with AT&T about what they said they were going to charge vs what they began charging. Etc. Something like an increase in Interest Rates, an increase in Medicare Premiums, another year of 0% increase in Social Security payments, or just one Big Unexpected bill could send things Helter Skelter for thousands or millions of people.

And what will happen in a few years when we look back at today's prices with fond memories.