Poor Americans Missing Out on Special Pension Benefits

Up to 4.6 million poor are not taking advantage of the Supplemental Security Income benefits available to individuals with monthly incomes below $375 or couples with incomes below $579 if they pass stringent guidelines.

Hundreds of thousands of people--including large segments of the elderly, homeless and non-English speaking communities have not been reached by the program because of the elimination of 16,000 Social Security agency staff positions since the early 1980s.

If memory serves me correctly, many Social Security Administration offices also were closed. Added to this roadblock is a 15-page form that the applicants must fill out.

Why were the 16,000 jobs eliminated in view of the huge surplus the Social Security system is accumulating? The only reason is to not diminish the cosmetic effect of the Social Security trust funds on the federal deficit. All this at the expense of the poor, the elderly and the minorities.



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