Washington, DC – February 11, 2015. NSCLC Senior Staff Attorney Kate Lang testified today before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee regarding the importance of preserving Social Security disability benefits. Lang is also co-chair of the Income Security Committee of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO). The LCAO is a coalition of 72 national organizations representing millions of older adults.
Lang’s remarks illustrated the crucial importance of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in the lives of older adults. Seven in ten SSDI beneficiaries are age 50 and older, and three in ten are 60 and older. Darlene B., a 60 year old woman living in Washington, DC, attended the hearing, and Lang shared her story. Ms. B had worked for many years – her first job was with the Social Security Administration—but several years ago she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and had to leave the workforce. Ms. B now relies on her son to keep track of her appointments and depends on the approximately $900 she receives in disability benefits to pay for rent and utilities. Lang testified that if disability benefits were cut, Ms. B might not be able to continue living in her apartment.
Lang, along with the LCAO, urged Congress to act expeditiously to protect SSDI benefits by reallocating payroll taxes between Social Security’s retirement trust fund and the disability trust fund, to equalize the solvency of the two funds, and to do so without any cuts to Social Security coverage, eligibility or benefits.
As NSCLC works to fight senior poverty and protect the rights of older adults, U.S. Senate testimony like Lang’s sharing Ms. B’s story is an important part of the conversation.
Read Lang’s full Senate testimony “The Coming Crisis: Social Security Disability Trust Fund Insolvency.”
The National Senior Citizens Law Center is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to protect the rights of low-income older adults. Through advocacy, litigation, and the education and counseling of local advocates, we seek to ensure the health and economic security of those with limited income and resources, and access to the courts for all. For more information, visit our Web site at www.NSCLC.org.