Monday, October 11, 2010

Protecting and Preserving Social Security for Generations

Last week, Generations United was honored to be invited to testify before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security on Protecting and Preserving Social Security for Generations. Unfortunately due to other pressing Congressional priorities, the hearing was cancelled. However, GU’s written testimony was distributed to the entire Ways and Means Committee and the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which is charged with identifying policies to improve the current fiscal situation and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.

Our testimony emphasized that Social Security lifts more children out of poverty than any other Federal Program and is a promise to all generations that must not be broken. It was founded on the belief that those who work long and hard should not become destitute due to retirement or disability, nor should their families suffer economic insecurity in the event of early death. Social Security not only protects older adults, it protects children through survivor’s benefits, retirement benefits, disability benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security is especially critical for grandfamilies, families where children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives. As one grandparent caregiver said, “Without it, we’d be living out of my car.” More than 6.5 million children across the country are living in households maintained by grandparents or other relatives.

GU urges Congress to look at ways to improve the adequacy of Social Security by restoring the student benefit, improving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and exploring ways to change the family cap and grandchild benefit to better support non-traditional family structures such as grandfamilies.

GU will continue to advocate and protect the intergenerational commitment embodied in Social Security and we’ll continue to build off the momentum created by our Social Security For All Generations Call-In Day, cosponsored by AARP, Child Welfare League of America, Children's Defense Fund, Grandfamilies of America, Easter Seals, National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights, North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Voices for America's Children. which garnered 4,600 calls to federal lawmakers stressing the importance of Social Security for all ages, and our informative testimony.

To read the entire Social Security testimony and stay informed visit our Social Security page or download our new fact sheet about Social Security's importance to grandfamilies (grandparents and other relatives raising grandchildren).

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