August 22, 2014
Cake, candles, and a call to action
Social Security, arguably the most successful government program ever, turned 79 years old (young?) on August 14th.
Members of the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans have been celebrating nearly eight decades of Social Security coverage at senior centers across the state.
Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC-TV did a story about the Alliance’s commemoration of Social Security’s birthday at the Mecklenburg County Senior Center.
The Alliance unveiled a new report explaining how Social Security works for North Carolina.
The importance of Social Security—the nation’s family insurance against lost wages due to old age, disability, or death—cannot be overstated. Nationwide, Social Security provided $812 billion in benefits to 58 million beneficiaries in 2013—nearly 1 in 5 (18.3 percent) Americans. (source)
According to the report, Social Security benefited 1.9 million North Carolinians last year – including 1.2 million retirees – and pumped $26.6 billion into our state’s economy. The modest average benefit of $13,950 ($15,179 for retirees) was still enough to lift over 810,000 North Carolinians (559,000 aged 65+) out of poverty.
Charlotte resident Dorothy Wasp told NBC that “she hopes Social Security will still be around when her granddaughter reaches her golden years.”
“It helps a lot,” she said, adding without it, she probably would struggle to make ends meet.
For many seniors, Social Security has become their only source of income, something it was never supposed to be when it was conceived 79 years ago.
But with few companies offering pensions anymore, it is all many seniors can count on.
[Jim] Moore, the Alliance President said, “Without their Social Security check, it would be a tremendous burden on them and their children.”
Join the effort to expand Social Security
Social Security is wildly popular, and when polled, Americans reject benefit cuts and favor expanding coverage and services by wide margins.
Despite the popularity and growing importance of our Social Security system, some in Congress and in the Social Security Administration are closing field offices and reducing access to services.