More older Americans are being pushed into poverty as they grow older—finding it impossible to pay rent, buy food and medicine, and keep the lights on. This includes people who worked low-wage jobs all their lives but didn’t make enough to save for retirement, women who stayed out of the work force to care for family members, and many others who worked physically difficult jobs that they can no longer perform.
As you watch the video below, remember the many millions of people all over the country with similar stories about trying to make ends meet.
Structural economic changes mean greater numbers of older Americans will need extra help to meet their basic needs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program designed to provide that basic help to older adults and people with disabilities who cannot work, but SSI is so outdated that it is forcing the people who rely on it to live below the poverty line.
As inadequate as SSI is, it still saves many people who have no other resources from homelessness and hunger. And, this critical program is almost certain to come under threat in Congress in coming months. We’ve already written about how the current Congress and administration will likely threaten both SSI and Social Security with cuts.
We cannot allow this to happen. We must all fight to defend the right of every older American and person with a disability to have the resources they need to meet their basic needs—while we advance innovative ideas and policies to make this a reality.
After you watch the video, think about the people in your community who need this help and stay tuned for updates from Justice in Aging about how you can help your community fight back.