Social Security Outlook Improves, but Disability Needs Urgent Action

The financial health of Social Security has improved slightly in the past year, with the system expected to exhaust its reserves to pay benefits in 2034, a year later than previously projected, according to the 2015 Social Security Trustees Report, released July 22. At that time, if Congress has taken no action, Social Security will have enough payroll taxes coming in to cover 79 percent of promised benefits for another 56 years, the report said. The annual report forecasts the …

AARP Praises House Ways and Means Committee Effort to Find Bipartisan Solutions on Social Security

On July 9, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), in his opening statement in the House Ways and Means Committee, said, “Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson has been working on solutions all year.” And a few months back, he laid out four principles for reforming disability insurance (DI) — all of which I fully endorse: “First, no 20 percent cut. Full stop. Not gonna happen. Second, make sure all benefits are paid on time. Third, make the program …

Reaching Across Party Lines to Support Caregivers

Members of Congress announced Tuesday the formation of the Assisting Caregivers Today caucus, a bipartisan coalition that aims to bring more attention to the plight of family caregivers. With the support of AARP and more than 20 other national organizations, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) had an afternoon news conference to announce their efforts to provide more help for people to live independently as well as to …

New 529 Plan Created for People With Disabilities

Tax-friendly 529 savings plans no longer will be just for college. Legislation recently signed by President Barack Obama will allow states to set up similar savings programs to benefit those with disabilities without jeopardizing their federal benefits, such as Medicaid. Money invested in an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account — sometimes also called a 529A account — can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for qualified expenses, including education, housing, transportation, health care, employment training and legal fees. “It …

Helping the Disabled, One Invention at a Time

In this season of thanks and giving, Bill Deimling of Cincinnati considers himself one of the lucky ones. That’s because he gets to give more than he receives. Deimling, 72, is a cofounder of May We Help, a Cincinnati-based volunteer organization that creates custom-designed devices to help people with disabilities live more independently. The Army veteran and retired mold maker is clear about the group’s mission: “We don’t do home improvements — anybody can do that. And we don’t make …

For Many Veterans, the Battles Don’t End With the War

It seems so easy. We pass a veteran in uniform in an airport or on the street and we nod and say, “Thank you for your service.” It is a gracious greeting that is much appreciated by these men and women who have fought or stood bravely for the ideals of freedom for which America stands. But the fact is that, though veterans respond in kind to appreciation, many have brought the battlefield home with them in various ways. >> …